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Musicals

Musicals

DRUM TAO: Why Watch the Art of Japanese Drums?

DrumTao There’s a world-class show in town, and you shouldn’t miss its limited run here in Manila!

DRUM TAO is a different kind of musical drum concert where the performers are trained in martial arts and prefer to practice outdoors in the forest to prepare for this awesome sensory experience.

It’s like watching synchronized drumming–very animated and snappy with a bit of ouido (playing musical instruments by ear, in synchronization with the beat of the group).

The entire show is composed of musical drum stunt performances with passionate drum beating, chanting and shouting (there are no lyrics, just instrumental Japanese music). In between sets, there are comical skits showcasing Japanese humor.

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Musicals

ROCK OF AGES Manila: 8 Reasons Why You Should Watch the Live Musical First!

ROCK OF AGES castIsn’t it great that Manila gets to see Rock of Ages two ways–on stage and in the cinema–at the same time? The Broadway musical (Manila production), led by Mig Ayesa, opens just as the Rock of Ages Movie, led by Tom Cruise, starts its run.

I was given the chance to watch the musical’s preview night–and it was an awesome show! It had the longest dancing standing ovation I’ve seen for a preview night in Manila. The casting was solid and all the characters lived up to (and some even exceeded) our expectations.

It was great to see the debut of MiG Ayesa as Stacee Jaxx, the same role he performed in the touring Rock of Ages show in the US, and Vina Morales in her first theater role.

This is the perfect musical for the ’80s generation.

Here are 8 Reasons Why You Should Watch Rock of Ages’ Live Musical Production in Manila first:

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Musicals

Forbidden Broadway Manila Spoofs Spoiler

Forbidden Broadway-3.jpg

Forbidden Broadway is a parody of famous Broadway Musicals (think Live Bubble Gang Spoof Skits Concert) like Into the Woods, Les Mesirables, Cats, West Side Story, Rent, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mamma Mia, to name a few.

It’s a very timely show considering some of these Broadway musicals have been staged in Manila and most musical theater fans can relate to the popular spoofs.

If you hear someone laughing about a “lost in translation” scene, it is probably because they either want to let you know that they can relate to the spoof (since they know more about Musical Broadway than you do) or they just want to reveal their age. 🙂

Here’s what we think about Forbidden Broadway in Manila…

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Musicals

Cirque Mother Africa Review (Read this First)

Cirque Mother Africa

Cirque Mother Africa opened last night in Newport Performing Arts Theater and will only run for 5 days (April 19-22, 2012) in Manila. It is a two-hour show with a 20-minute intermission.

Take note, it’s not a Cirque du Soleil show. I had the impression that it was because of the term Cirque.

It’s more like an African Variety Show featuring African culture through its music, costumes, dances, and circus acts. It integrates world-class circus acts you can see in Cirque du Soleil and music ala Stomp.

The highlights of the show for me are the following:

(1) The best performance is from the Master of Balance from Tanzania as he balances on a board on top of 4 wobbling, rolling cans.

(2) The most amazing act is from the Contortionist from Kenya, dubbed as the most flexible man in the world, who can stretch his body at impossible angles and smoke cigarette using his feet.

(3) The authentic African music by the eight-member band named InAfrica. They even play a 21-string bridge-harp called Kora, which is used in West Africa.

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Musicals

Jekyll and Hyde Manila’s Standing Ovation!

JETTPANGANHYDE

I don’t get to see a lot of standing ovations in most of the shows in Manila. Usually, the Manila audience would give a standing ovation if Lea Salonga was in the cast, or if it’s an international production like Mamma Mia.

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo’s new theatrical adaption of Jekyll and Hyde in Manila gets a standing ovation almost every performance because of the awesome solid cast.  I’ve watched most of the musicals this year, and this is so far the best production I’ve seen in terms of overall performance.

I almost missed watching this play. If you have not watched it, don’t miss the final shows of Jekyll and Hyde in Manila this weekend!

Here’s a glimpse of Jekyll and Hyde in Manila…

Related 2012 Musical Shows Blog Posts:

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Musicals

Charlie Brown Happiness :D

Director Michael Williams with the cast of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a stage musical adaptation of the popular comic strip Peanuts by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. It’s a live version of the comic strip acted and sometimes sung by Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends.

Honestly, we are not too familiar with the characters and we did not grow up reading this American comic strip. But we enjoyed the musical because it is colorful, feel-good, and happy. 🙂

The cast is solid, featuring theater veterans who obviously enjoy being in the show.

One thing though, it assumes that the audience knows the nuances and habits of the characters, so having some background info on each one would maximize your satisfaction in watching the musical.

Here’s a rundown of the different characters, the actors who portrayed them, and what you need to know about them…

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Musicals

FUERZA BRUTA Manila ♥alentine Premiere!

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I must admit I didn’t know what to expect from Fuerza Bruta, a Buenos Aires original show, which literally means “Brute Force”. All I know is that it is 360-degree-immersive experience and not-your-usual-cliche-Broadway-show. And if you like Cirque de Soleil, you’ll probably like this too.

To best experience the show, it is better that you do not have any idea of the show.
(This post contains visual spoilers, so better stop reading this and just wait and watch it now! 🙂

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Musicals

♬ Mamma Mia, ♪ Here I Go Again ♩My My, How Can I Resist You? ♫…

voulezvous2.jpg

For people like us, who grew up in the “Dancing Queen” generation, watching Mamma Mia was pure pleasure. How we wished we could interact with the show!

Once the musical started, I kept reminding myself not to hum, lip sync, nod my head, tap my feet, or play invisible drums with my hands because theater etiquette dictates that one should respect and not disrupt the viewing experience of other people.

But it was quite hard to resist.

Ever since I watched Mamma Mia in Las Vegas, I’ve longed for the musical to be shown here in Manila (see Petition Post here: Mamma Mia in Manila! 2009?).

Finally, Mamma Mia opened last night to an enthusiastic and dancing crowd in Manila. 🙂  

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Musicals

Love, Loss, and What I Wore

Love Lost, and What I Wore

Watching this play brings back memories of Vagina Monologues with a focus on clothes (instead of Vaginas) as witness to memorable events in a woman’s life. Each of the women shares her story and memories about Bras, Boots, Purses, Birkenstocks, the Madonna era, etc.

Yes, it is a show for women, but the guys could learn a few things to understand women a little better. This is one of those shows where it starts the discussion and you finish it by sharing your own reflections after the show.

It is a straight 90-minute play with one setting (see photo) where the top 5 actresses in Philippine Theater read through their monologues and occasionally interact with the other women.

It is always fun to watch Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo’s performance because she really embodies the role and empathizes with all the characters she portrays.

My favorite is Bituin Escalante’s sharp and witty portrayal of Mary in Fat/Thin segment, and her solo on the “I Hate my Purse” story of Nora.

Lastly, I personally love the segments on “The Bra”, “Madonna” and “I Just Want to Say”.

This is highly recommended for  a romantic theater date! (Catch its limited run only this weekend!)

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Musicals

Defending the Caveman in us…

DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN

Defending the Caveman is a straight play starring Joel Trinidad, who shares the nuances between men and women, with the hope that we understand each other a little better.

It kicks off with a funny marriage intro video, and introduces the photo of a 25,000-year-old carving of The Great Goddess of Laussel discovered in 1911 plus the 17,000-year-old prehistoric drawings of a man and bison discovered in the Lascaux Cave in France in 1940.

The arguments are founded on the idea that men are hunters and women are gatherers by nature. This dictates a lot of our behavior even in the modern age.

There was never a dull moment listening to Joel defend the male sex for almost 90 minutes (no intermission). 🙂

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