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Entertainment

Jennylyn’s engaging show

- The Philippine Star

To be sure, Jennylyn Mercado is not the best vocal performer in the country. Her singing prowess is merely adequate; Sarah Geronimo, Jonalyn Viray, even Toni Gonzaga can all easily outsing her.

What others don’t have, however, is Jennylyn’s engaging onstage charm and her uncanny ability to connect with her audience. The concept of her concert — a thematic exploration of singleness during Valentine’s Day, a spin-off of her Tere Madlangsacay persona from her hit movie English Only, Please — made full use of her charismatic sensuality balanced by the vulnerability of being unable to find a good man in spite of her undeniable appeal. Such irony makes for an interesting concert framework, and fortunately, it was not lost on those who saw the concert.

The choice of repertoire, too, was almost perfect: Well-thought out and designed to advance the hypothesis of a single woman vainly searching for true love. Jennylyn gamely tackled torch songs, like Basang-Basa Sa Ulan and Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita with aplomb, which more than sufficiently compensated for her limited range. She sang with conviction, too, and a certain amount of self-deprecation, making her instantly relatable to the mass of people who packed Skydome to see her. Most of those people have followed Jennylyn’s colorful love life through its ups and downs, and seeing her narrate her personal life through the instrumentality of a movie character — making the story not too autobiographical by using the device of a fictional person — they identified with her. I must admit, I did, too.

The direction by Louie Ignacio was brisk and tight, never dragging, limiting guests — which included the exes of Jennylyn, adding thrills to the proceedings — to only several minutes, keeping the focus on the star of the show. The stand-up act of Jerald Napoles was a delight: Masa without being vulgar, accessible without losing its intelligence. Verily, I hope to see more of that guy. He represents a new breed of comics the local showbiz landscape desperately needs.

Clearly, Jennylyn is no Lani Misalucha, but watching her perform, no one will mind. She is a shimmering package of pulchritude, sex appeal and personal charm that will beguile the audience time and again. It’s good to see that her time has finally come.

BASANG-BASA SA ULAN

DAHIL MAHAL NA MAHAL KITA

ENGLISH ONLY

JENNYLYN

JENNYLYN MERCADO

JERALD NAPOLES

JONALYN VIRAY

LANI MISALUCHA

LOUIE IGNACIO

SARAH GERONIMO

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