2016: A milestone for Bobby

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2016 marks a milestone for stage director/producer Bobby Garcia and the Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (ATEG). It celebrates Atlantis’ 40th theatrical production and will mark the 42nd production Garcia has directed in his 22-year career.

Atlantis Productions, which he formed in 1998, has evolved into the Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group, along with business partners and TV moguls Bobby Barreiro and Tony Tuviera. Garcia couldn’t be happier with the partnership. He says, “It’s rare to find people whose vision aligns with yours and who see the possibilities of theater and the Filipino talent in conquering broader markets across Asia. I couldn’t be happier to be working with Bobby Barreiro and Tony Tuviera, and together we hope to showcase the high quality and outstanding talent of a Filipino produced theatrical production to the rest of the Asian region.”

ATEG, which in 2015 produced to great success the new international tour of Saturday Night Fever and the critically-acclaimed international premiere of The Bridges of Madison County, will be bringing two celebrated and award-winning Broadway musicals to Manila in 2016.

First up in September is Broadway’s runaway smash hit, Jersey Boys. The Tony Award-wining Best Musical of 2006 takes you up the charts, across America and behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. As Clive Barnes in the New York Post says, “It’s just too good to be true.”

Discover the secret of a 40-year friendship: Four blue-collar kids working their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom. And experience electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these guys all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Dawn, My Eyes Adored You and more. The New York Times says, “The crowd goes wild!” Jersey Boys continues to pack houses on Broadway, Las Vegas and London’s West End.

Garcia says, “We have been wanting to do Jersey Boys for quite some time and we are so happy that that time has come. Jersey Boys is a dynamic, electric and energetic musical about a group’s rise to stardom and how it affects their friendship, their families and their lives. I have been such a fan of this show for quite some time and I am so proud that we are finally able to stage it in Manila.”

Immediately after Jersey Boys, ATEG will be presenting the first international production of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning musical Fun Home. One of the most groundbreaking productions ever to hit Broadway, Fun Home is the winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. It features the music of Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, whose work on this production earned them Tony Awards.

When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.

Tony Award winner Lea Salonga will be returning to the Philippine stage as Helen Bechdel when Fun Home opens in Manila in November. Jeanine and Lisa are also scheduled to grace the opening night of Fun Home in Manila.

Garcia says, “It is a thrill to have Lea Salonga back on the Philippine musical theater stage in this groundbreaking musical. Fun Home, one of the most original shows in recent years, is a landmark musical that blazes forward with so much passion and emotion and shows us the true hidden power of musical theater. The same can be said about Lea Salonga. I can’t wait to begin work on amazing piece of musical theater with one of the finest musical theater performers around.”

Garcia is also thrilled to once again be working with Cameron Mackintosh as he takes the reins representing casting for Miss Saigon in the Asian region. With open-call auditions for various global productions of Miss Saigon slated to take place in Manila in March, Garcia says, “I am proud to carry the torch that my friend and colleague Dong Alegre lit over 25 years ago and work with Cameron Mackintosh and the Miss Saigon creative team in discovering a new generation of talent who will shine on the international stage in Miss Saigon the way Lea Salonga, Joanna Ampil, JonJon Briones and Rachelle Ann Go, among many others, have in the past.” Miss Saigon’s creative team, along with Garcia, will be in Manila holding auditions for all Asian roles, including Kim, The Engineer, Thuy and Gigi. Audition requirements will be announced soon.

Through the years, Garcia has been instrumental in showcasing the dynamic range of Filipino theatrical performers in the Southeast Asian region through his various productions in Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, China, Korea and Malaysia. Among Garcia and ATEG’s recent casting collaborations was the National Theatre of London’s production of Here Lies Love.

Garcia beams with pride when he discusses Atlantis’ accomplishments over the last 18 years. He says, “Anyone who runs a theater company can attest to how difficult it is and how with each new production it feels like you are back to square one. I feel it all the time. But at the same time, I am so proud of Atlantis’ accomplishments. In the last 18 years, we have employed close to 5,000 theater practitioners on stage and off through our productions. From actors, technical staff and set builders, we have been able to contribute in our own little way to a person’s livelihood in the theater. That, I feel, is our biggest accomplishment.”

Amidst all these projects, Garcia manages to remain grateful for everything that continues to come his way. He says, “A life in the arts is never an easy one but it is a rewarding one. It’s that crazy combination of skill, hard work and luck that gets you to the next place. I remain thankful for all the blessings that have come my way and for the generous people who have opened doors for me and have helped me throughout this journey. While I still have the energy, I intend to continue working hard and l intend to keep on learning more from all the people whom I share a rehearsal room with. Like a kid in a candy store, I am excited for what this year has in store. Let’s begin.”

For details, call ATEG at 650-5144 or follow ATEG on Facebook. For the Miss Saigon auditions, call (0995)5348371 or like Miss Saigon 2016 auditions on Facebook.












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