Pinky marks ‘30’ as Edith Piaf
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Award-winning stage, film and TV actress Pinky Amador marks her 30th year in the business next year with her performance as Edith Piaf in Atlantis Productions’ staging of Pam Gem’s musical PIAF.

Atlantis Productions has secured the rights to stage a new version of the acclaimed play in March 2013. The new version, staged at London’s prestigious Donmar Warehouse before a West End transfer in 2008, features a reworked version of her classic 1978 play and incorporates over 25 of Edith Piaf’s songs including La Vie En Rose, Hymn of Love, and Non, Je Non Regrette Rien. PIAF will be directed by Bobby Garcia, who celebrates 20 years of directing next year.

From the streets of Paris to worldwide fame, Edith Gassion (known to the world as ‘Piaf’, the sparrow) continues to be remembered and revered for her exceptional voice and extraordinary life.  PIAF is the acclaimed musical that vividly captures the glamour and squalor, the rise and fall of this complex, fragile and enigmatic performer.

Pinky was last seen on stage in The Sound Of Music. She also recently appeared as Salvacion and Woman 2 in You Can Never Can Tell, a creative development project for Coloma Projects in Sydney, Australia. Locally, she has been seen in plays such as I Ought To Be In Pictures, Agnes Of God, The Foreigner and Zsa Zsa Zaturnah. She has also performed internationally in the original cast of the world premiere of Miss Saigon in London’s West End, as Tiger Lily in the UK Tour of Peter Pan, and as Kora in Images Of Tiffin in London. She trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Pinky is excited to return to the stage in one of her dream roles. She says, “Next year, I celebrate 30 years of being on stage and in the business. I wanted to do a project, which celebrates my body of work, experience, training and knowledge with a tour-de force performance. It is also the first time I am working with Atlantis Productions, who will soon be celebrating their 15th year, and Bobby, who celebrates his 20th year directing next year. So, it is exciting on many fronts.”

Direk Bobby says, “I have been obsessed with Edith Piaf, her life and music, for several years now. Her music speaks directly to me somehow and I have read every book there is about her. I am thrilled to finally get to work with Pinky, an actress whom I have admired for many years. I am also excited to be able to work with this new version of Pam Gem’s PIAF, which I think will have an immediate connection with audiences.”

The role of Edith Piaf is one of the most demanding roles for a stage actress. It was originally played by Jane Lapotaire for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress. The recent West End revival starred Elena Roger, who won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Pinky says that PIAF is a physical, mental, emotional and vocal challenge for her. “The role is “epic” in nature: From when she was “discovered” at 19 years, till her last days of 47 years.  Towards the end, she was heavily dependent on painkillers due to many physical limitations from accidents and suffering from arthritis. She is almost a cripple at the end and that is a challenge to be able to sing and act convincingly as such. Then there’s the mental and emotional challenge as Piaf really “suffered for her art” and was continually heart-broken and a tortured soul, suffering from loneliness, and addictions of the mind and the body. So as an actor, you must convey that internal struggle, turmoil and chaos.  On top of all that, she sings in English and in French. Not easy.”

But with 30 years experience, Pinky is up for the challenge and is raring to go and take on the greatest role of her career.

A full cast and creative team will be announced soon.

PIAF runs from March 8 to 23, 2013 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City. For show buying and fundraising opportunities, call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078.

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