Theater & Play

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Hit Bisrock Musical “Gugmang Giatay” to Hit Cebu, Manila this November

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The runaway theatrical hit GUGMANG GIATAY THE MUSICAL is back and will be holding limited shows in Cebu and Manila this month.

The original Bisrock jukebox musical, GUGMANG GIATAY will have a one-night-only staging at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 10, at the Teatro Casino of Casino Filipino, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

Later this month, Manila will get its chance to enjoy the popular Bisaya production. A staging will be held on Sunday, November 26, 4 p.m., during BGC Passionfest, and again from Tuesday, November 28 until Thursday, November 30, 8 p.m. All Manila performances will be at the Globe Auditorium of the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, Taguig.

Written by award-winning songwriter Jude Gitamondoc and internet sensation Rowell “Medyo Maldito” Ucat, GUGMANG GIATAY is your (a)typical romantic comedy, with a good dose of maoy moments, hugot lines, and acerbic Bisaya humor. The musical features landmark Bisaya hit songs, both contemporary and classic, written by such iconic talents as Max Surban, Cattski Espina, Insoy Niñal, Jude Gitamondoc, Medyo Maldito, and Junior Kilat, among others.

The Manila staging of GUGMANG GIATAY will feature award-winning actor Bong Cabrera in the role of Ben. Cabrera is known for his role in the 2011 film Sa Ilalim ng Tulay, for which he won the award for Best Actor in the Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival. He also won Best Supporting Actor for the 2013 film The Guerilla is a Poet in the CineFilipino Film Festival.

Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson, the producer of GUGMANG GIATAY, says she backed the stage musical because she believes it has the power to touch lives. “I had fun reading the first draft to the final uncensored book,” she said. “I could not let go of it! I love it so much and I believe that Filipinos deserve to see it on stage. It has the potential to transform the theater scene here in Cebu and hopefully make Cebuanos a more supportive and engaging audience.”

Genuinely funny and entertaining, GUGMANG GIATAY also aims to elevate local pop culture to the musical stage. The musical, in its entirety, is a tribute to anything and everything Bisaya, says Enclona-Henderson.

Tickets to the November 10 Cebu staging are available online through 2tincans.yapsody.com, or by visiting Casino Filipino at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Ticketing arrangements may also be made by contacting the 2TinCans office through cellular phone number +63 933 188 0999. Tickets for the Manila shows on November 26, and 28 to 30 may be acquired through www.ticketworld.com.ph.

GUGMANG GIATAY is produced by 2TinCans Philippines in partnership with the BGC Arts Center and Casino Filipino, in cooperation with Offbeat Concepts Production House. For more information, visit 2TinCans Philippines on Facebook at facebook.com/2tincansphils

PRESS RELEASE

Gugmang Giatay: A Bisrock Jukebox Musical

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Arriving 2 hours late for the 8:00PM gala show of Gugmang Giatay last night, I was convinced that I’ll be having  lots of questions inside my head as I watch the last segment of the Bisrock musical. Surprisingly, I was able to get the characters dilemma in only 15 minutes as  I giggled at every hugot line delivered by the actors during the last section of the play. Gugmang Giatay or “GG” , as fondly ciphered by many, is well-written, convincing, relatable, engaging and extraordinarily entertaining. It very well encapsulated different kinds and scenarios of love in a 2.5 hour theater piece, with plots identifiable in today’s Cebu pop culture.

Very lucky to be able to get to chat with The Offbeats, the team behind the successful Bisaya musical, to tell us more about the play; plus, the amount of hardwork and effort the team and the cast put to perfect the first Bisrock jukebox musical.

 

 What made you do a bisrock musical?

After the successful multiple runs of our maiden offering, “You’ve Facebooked, The Musical,” we (Offbeat Concepts Production House or simply, The Offbeats) thought of doing another musical – this time using Bisaya. The idea was discussed as early as 2013. It was initially presented to us by our book writer and musical director, Jude Gitamondoc as a one-act play. We presented an excerpt for Vispop 2.0 but not until we found a willing producer, Ms. Sarah Enclona-Henderson of 2TinCans Philippines, did the final version come into life. Jude was able to get Rowell Ucat aka Medyo Maldito (a popular social media personality) as a co-writer of the musical. He also asked songwriter friends (lPhillip Amores, Cattski Espina, Rommel Tuico, Insoy Niñal – to name a few) if they were willing to lend their music to the play and luckily, they enthusiastically agreed.

Is the musical based from real life experiences of the team’s writers? 

No. We, The Offbeats (Jude, Jingle, Pamela Estallila – our resident set designer – and I) talked about love and all its different forms. That’s how the story came to be. In a setting so common in a city where people from different places and walks of life come to study, make a living, find and lose love. It’s a story of how it is to be human living in Cebu.

What are the musical inspirations that made you conceptualize Gugmang Giatay?

If you mean the songs, well, obviously it is the Bisrock and Vispop songs that helped create the whole musical. However, it was about the story first. It has always been about the story first. If you mean other musicals, we weren’t particularly pegging our story on one. We have conceptualized Gugmang Giatay long before we became aware of “Rak of Aegis”. We watched the show and fully enjoyed it but it was vastly different from what we had in mind. It was instructive though. Very much. Its success also reaffirmed our belief that a musical using a local language can be fully engaging and popular.

 

What are the challenges of doing a musical in Cebu?

Speaking as a choreographer, we do not have a lot of actors who have been formally trained in dance and it poses as a unique challenge to come up with movements that will render one’s vision pertinent to the play. But I love this challenge since it pushes me to become more creative and observant of people’s unique movements (I study them seriously!).

But as a whole: We do not have a theater industry to speak of really. That’s why we work hard in instilling professional behaviour into the actors we hire. We have to work from the very basics of theater since most of them have little experience or none at all in this art form. Luckily, our creative director, Edison “Jingle” Saynes, is more than capable of the doing the job. Then there’s our mission to change the way theater productions are being marketed locally – we used social media instead of marketing them to schools – relying on the quality of our productions to gain audiences (some are watching the play again, by the way!). Musicals are more expensive than movies to watch (since they have shorter runs and can’t be shown simultaneously in different theaters) and to get a sizable audience for our production is quite challenging – it has to be worth their time and money!

The choice of venue can be challenging, too. It has to be the right size for the type of production we are doing. We are fortunate that our producer, Sarah, was able to get SM Seaside’s Centerstage as a venue for this run of Gugmang Giatay. We are proud of the fact that we are the first production to be showcased there!

Regarding the technical requirements, the technology available in Cebu is still way off what’s being used in professional theaters in Manila. I’m talking about lights, sounds and microphones – especially the last one. Then there’s the difficulty of looking for good set and costume makers – as I’ve said, there’s no professional theater industry here to speak of. Luckily, what we have are a great number of talented and creative people who are able to produce what we require.

Lastly, putting up a musical is expensive and the ROI is not assured. We are blessed to have 2TinCans Philippines as our producer. Sarah loved the material enough to risk producing it. I guess it all boils down to this: a good material (Gugmang Giatay), a dedicated creative team, a cast of talented and committed actors, a hardworking crew, and a very supportive, transparent producer can create one good quality production.

 

How receptive are Cebuanos to theater and musical plays?

When we created The Offbeats and did the ambitious plan of doing “You’ve Been Facebooked, The Musical” we weren’t so sure. But based on the turn out, we came to believe that all that’s needed is really honest-to-goodness quality productions to make the audience patronize theater/musical here in Cebu. You just have to make the people realize your production is worth spending for and sitting for two hours at least. Gugmang Giatay reinforced that belief. We are after all on our second run in a very nice (as in!) venue.

 

 

Who among the cast members get the loudest scream from the audience?

Honestly, almost all of the leads got big reaction from the audience. I would say it was because of the material – the lines written and delivered, the director’s treatment, everything(!) made the actors worth applauding for/screaming (in glee) at! That’s what’s surprising about this – the audience thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the musical that they applauded everyone. The oft-quoted lines though are those of Lola Lucy, played by Shiella Pestaño Gemperoa. Von Saw who played Undo has his loyal screaming fans of course! Haha!

 

 

Why should people watch Gugmang Giatay?

First – It’s a story about love in its various forms – and everyone can relate to it. Those who are in love, bitter from past love, heartbroken over a lost love, dealing with the pain of unrequited love, dealing with a love that society might not accept – these are all human experiences that anyone and everyone can relate to.

Second – It is a celebration of Bisaya, the Visayan sensibilities, the Visayan language.

Third – It is a production of high quality.

Tickets and Reservations: 

For tickets, contact Adelfa at 0933 188 0999 (Sun) or 032 512 3134. Showdates on February 12 (Friday, 8pm) and February 13 (Saturday, 2pm and 8pm) at SM Seaside Centerstage. Regular tickets are at P350 and P600 (free seating) and VIP tickets for two at P1,500 (reserved seating).

Cast of Gugmang Giatay:

Lourdes May Maglinte as Inday, Von Saw as Undo, Eyre Hyame Dumalagan and Joer Ivan Gallur (alternates) as Charing, Marc Stephen Cuizon as Ben, Paola Pia San Diego as Rihanna, Shane Reseroni and Therese Marie Villarente(alternates) as Helen, Shiella Pestano Gemperoa as Lola Lucy, Therese Marie Villarente and Shane Reseroni (alternates)  as sexy nga tambay, Dionnex Seco Cecilio as kugihang traysikad drayber, Joer Ivan Gallur as Bagitong Barbero, Kristian Rey Malintad as Dakilang tanga, Aine Cima Abella as gwapa nga bugoy and Dave Nielsen Velez as lider lider sa tambay.

Photography by Kurt Fick Graphic design and artwork by Edge Javier Book by Rowell Ucat aka Medyo Maldito and Jude Gitamondoc Featuring songs from The Ambassadors, Missing Filemon, Rommel Tuico, Cattski, Aggressive Audio, Phylum, Wet Slipperz, among many others Musical direction by Jude Gitamondoc Dance direction by Vincent Paul Diez Gaton Artistic direction by JingLe Mirafuentes Saynes Produced by 2tincans Philippines, Inc.

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

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/.

Spit

It’s spontaneous, extemporaneous, hilarious and fun!

It’s S.P.I.T– Silly People’s Improv Theater! Manila’s premiere improv comedy group that’s coming to Cebu this February 20, thanks to Little Boy Productions!

Spontaneity is the name of SPIT’s game. Expect no fancy costumes, set design and cinematic storylines. Anything under the sun can be turned into something unscripted and fun.

SPIT is an un-scripted play, interactive presentation where the audience could pitch all sorts of nouns (names, places, occupations, dreams, objects) upon facilitators’ solicitation, and the SPIT troupe makes use of them randomly, sing some songs about them or insert them in their SPITserye.

If you followed the “Whose Line is It Anyway?” shows, similar impromptu elements explodes in a SPIT performance.

SPIT discourages green innuendos and crass language, actually believing and reveling in the most wholesome for the most hilarity.

For more information and inquiries:

Please call:  316-2987

Like iLuvcebu.con  on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/iluvcebucom/179807818717284

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