Sunday Lifestyle

10 things you didn’t know about Rachelle Ann Go and her life as Fantine in ‘Les Miserables’

Tim Yap - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – There’s really more than meets the eye with this one. Rachelle Ann Go is back on our shores, albeit temporarily as she dazzles audiences and brings them to tears as Fantine in the Manila run of Les Miserables. Saw her here and in London and I’m more than happy and proud to see her grow as an artist and as a human being. Here are 10 things you might not know about this toast of the theater town.

1. Did you know that Rachelle Ann keeps an online diary of sorts on her Instagram @gorachelleann, with the hashtag #TheLesMisDiaryofRachelle? Follow her adventure on social media!

2. Did you know that the Les Mis cast are not allowed to wear any makeup? “But I put mascara on which they said is fine,” Shin (Rachelle Ann’s nickname) says.

3. Shin loves wearing her brother Oz Go’s gowns to the gala opening night parties. Oz is an outstanding Filipino designer who is now based in Dubai.

4. “I’m one of the ensemble ladies here in the Manila production for the barricade scene.” You’ll see a glimpse of Shin wearing a burgundy dress on the right of the stage. Her self-made character name? Georgina.

5. “In London, also in the same scene, I play a street urchin. I also made a character name, George Riff. My cast mates gave me the last name ‘cuz I always riff!” says Shin with a laugh.

6. When Jean Valjean sings Bring Him Home, all the ensemble members are supposed to be sleeping in the scene. “But I don’t! I always watch him sing it since the audience can only see my back!” says Shin.

7. Rachelle Ann Go sang onstage with musical theater legend Patti Lu Pone, who originated the role of Fantine some 30 years ago. They sang together at the 30th anniversary of Les Miserables.

8. At the end of every show, a crowd of fans, not just Filipinos, gathers outside the stage door, waiting for Shin to come out. I’ve personally witnessed this, from Miss Saigon to Les Miserables.

9. Shin recalls the time when she went back to Les Mis London after taking a two-week break from Manila. A bit dazed from the long travel, she accidentally changed some lyrics: “Instead of singing ‘All your grief at last, at last, behind you…’ to Valjean, I sang ‘At last, at last, I found you!’ At least they found each other!”

10. “The week before I flew back to Manila (the last week of January), we shot Miss Saigon for DVD and cinema release. So I was Gigi during the day, then Fantine at night!” Talk about multi-tasking!

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