Tom & K-La perfect for their Aladdin roles
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2012 - 12:00am

Singer and musical theater actress K-La Rivera and former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemate and TV actor Tom Rodriguez had their biggest musical to date when Atlantis Productions’ staging of Disney’s Aladdin opened some weeks ago.

After the success of its productions of Disney’s Beauty & The Beast in 2005 and Disney’s The Little Mermaid last year, Atlantis Productions was handpicked by Disney Theatricals to stage the Asian premiere of its newest full-length stage musical Disney’s Aladdin.

Based on the much-loved animated film, Aladdin tells the story of a street-smart commoner whose whole life changes with one rub of a magic lamp. The brand new romantic musical adventure incorporates all the beloved songs from the film’s Oscar-winning score and brings some of the movie’s most memorable characters to life. Jafar; Iago, the Sultan; the Genie and of course, Aladdin and Jasmine come together to create a whole new world of magical musical theater for the whole family. Aladdin features music by eight-time Oscar Award winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Oscar Award winner Howard Ashman, Oscar Award winner Tim Rice and Tony-Award nominated lyricist Chad Beguelin (who also wrote the brand-new book of the musical).

K-La, who was nominated for an Aliw Award for her musical theater debut in In The Heights, plays the iconic role of spunky Princess Jasmine. “I’m having so much fun. Even during the rehearsals, we already felt like family and working once again with direk Bobby Garcia and direk Chari Arespacochaga is a blessing having their direction and knowledge guide us all.”

She has also been enjoying work with her new leading man. Bobby says, “K-La and Tom have an amazing chemistry together. That is something you can’t teach or direct. Either you have it or you don’t. And every time these two are on stage together, there are sparks. K-La, once again, sparkles on stage and Tom is a natural on stage. He’s a fantastic actor and singer and he is Aladdin. No one else could have done it. Like K-La, he will have an amazing career in musical theater.”

Tom, who makes his professional musical theater debut, says, “Being part of Aladdin has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me. K-La, as a partner, is just amazing. She is such a pleasure to work with and really helps me out since I’m a newbie. I am lucky to be paired up with her for this show. There couldn’t be a more perfect Princess Jasmine.”

K-La says of her leading man, “Tom is such a natural singer, actor and even dancer. He has it all! There couldn’t be a more perfect Aladdin and I am excited for everyone to see him play his first stage role in Aladdin. His hard work inspires me also to try harder and he puts his heart into everything he does. It’s a blessing to have him as my leading man!”

Also in the cast are Aiza Seguerra and Calvin Millado, who alternate as the Genie; Raul Montefar plays Jafar; Jimmy Marquez plays Iago; and Jamie Wilson, Bibo Reyes and Johann dela Fuente play the show’s storytellers Kassim, Babkak and Omar. Aladdin is directed by Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga; set design by Lex Marcos and Lawyn Cruz; lighting design by Jay Aranda; costume design by Twinkle Zamora; choreography by Cecile Martinez; hair and make-up design by Johann dela Fuente; musical direction by Ceejay Javier; and vocal direction by ManMan Angsico.

Disney’s Aladdin concludes Atlantis Productions highly-successful 2012 season which included In The Heights, Rock Of Ages, God Of Carnage and Nine.

It runs until Dec. 9 at the Meralco Theatre. For details, call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078.

AIZA SEGUERRA AND CALVIN MILLADO ALADDIN ALADDIN AND I ALADDIN AND JASMINE ATLANTIS PRODUCTIONS IN THE HEIGHTS K-LA MUSICAL OSCAR AWARD PRINCESS JASMINE
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