Cebu’s Monica Cuenco shines as Dorina Pineda in ‘Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical’

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13th October 2015, Cebu City Sports Club – Resorts World Manila had a press conference announcing the highly anticipated second run of Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical, with the award-winning RWM’s Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) in Pasay City as  the venue for the back by popular demand musical.

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With notable upgrades on both context and content, the original, all-Filipino production takes it up a notch in term of design, music, and cast which is once again led by new theater darling Monica Cuenco. The young Cebuana reprises her lead role as Dorina Pineda, a character previously portrayed by no less than Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Pop Princess Sarah Geronimo.

New stage darling Monica Cuenco shines as Dorina Pineda in Resorts World Manila's Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical

Joining Cuenco onstage are celebrated stage performer Mark Bautista who plays talent manager Nico Escobar, dashing singer Ronnie Liang as musical director Garry Diaz, and returning showbiz sweetheart Antoinette Taus who alternates for theater luminary Cris Villonco as pop-star diva Lavinia Arguelles.

Leads of Resorts World Manila's Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical (L-R) Ronnie Liang, Antoinette Taus, Monica Cuenco, and Mark Bautista

Leads of Resorts World Manila’s Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical (L-R) Ronnie Liang, Antoinette Taus, Monica Cuenco, and Mark Bautista

The second run promises to incorporate modifications to the material that brings out the production’s world-class qualities in both creative and technical aspects. Among the noteworthy changes is the incorporation of more songs, improvement in special effects and costumes, and additional dialogue that allows audiences to delve into each character deeper.

The changes further complement the production’s versatile musical repertoire and emotionally charged narrative. Helping tell the story seamlessly are the timeless compositions of the great Willy Cruz, a handful of memorable OPM hits, along with a well-placed famous Visayan ballad. “There were no Visayan songs sung in the original movie but I felt very strongly about making sure that the song ‘Usahay’ was there,” says veteran stage director Freddie Santos. “Monica singing that song helps the character of Dorina connect with the audience even more.”

Also reprising their roles for the musical’s encore performances are Jay Roa as Zosimo Blanco, Jon Santos as Auntie, John Nite as Kuya Germs, Michael Williams as Larry Calma, and the First Lady of Philippine Musical Theater Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Edith.

“It’s pretty much a new show they’re going to see. Based on the feedback from the first run, we redefined the script and will now present pretty much an improved version of it, which is really the way it’s done,” shared First Lady of Philippine Musical Theater Yulo who is also the artistic director for Full House Theater Company.

Other significant additions to the cast include versatile actor Epy Quizon, who will alternate for Jon Santos starting November, premier all-male vocal group PRIMO who adds musical firepower to the performance, and 11 new members of the 22-man all-Filipino, all-star ensemble.

Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical brings to life a story that has transcended Philippine entertainment. Originally told over a serialized comic strip by fictionist Nerissa Cabral, the story was made into a blockbuster movie in 1985 and was then re-made into a hit television series in 2006.

The production marked the first time a contemporary drama has crossed over multiple media, from print, cinema, television, and finally on stage. Bituing Walang Ningning was initially introduced by Nerissa Cabral via serialized comic strip, and later adapted to film by director Emmanuel Borlaza eventually becoming one of the most popular Filipino movies to date. The tale was then adapted into a TV drama series in 2006.

This time, the drama’s theater foray is told along with the music of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Rodel Colmenar.

The award-winning stage of Resorts World Manila's Newport Performing Arts Theater dazzles anew with Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical

Pursuing its advocacy to champion the Filipino, RWM continues to showcase the best of what local entertainment can offer. “Our vision is to establish an avenue for a new genre of original Pinoy performing arts that will open doors for next generation thespians, playwrights, and producers to explore,” Yulo added.

Tickets are now available at all TicketWorld and TicketNet outlets and at the RWM Box Office at Php1,000 for Bronze, Php1,400 for Silver, Php1,900 for Gold, Php2,500 for VIP, and Php3,300 for SVIP seats.

Catch more of this one-of-a-kind musical at Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until October 25 and continuing on with December and January dates.

For more about Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical, including cast and complete show schedules visit www.rwmanila.com/web/bituing-walang-ningning/.

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