Don’t be wicked, see ‘Wicked’!

SUNDRY STROKES (The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2014 - 12:00am

CCP artistic director Chris Millado gave the following announcement, herewith revised and edited by RLO.

The musical “Wicked” celebrated its 10th anniversary on Broadway last October after winning 50 major awards including a Grammy, three Tony and six Helpmann Awards, and fascinating 38 million viewers worldwide over the last decade.

Now, “Wicked” will be staged in Manila this month! A benefit matinee for Yolanda victims will be on Jan. 31, 1:30 p.m. at the CCP main theater. After the curtain calls, an auction will raise funds for Yolanda victims.

The auction will include a packaged “Wicked” prop from the show, and an experience of a walk-on role in the opening and closing scenes as a cast member; make-up and costume will also be auctioned by a celebrity. After the auction, the cast will be in the lobby to collect donations for the typhoon victims.

“Wicked” opens at the CCP on Jan. 22 and will be shown until Feb. 23. Producer James Cundall says: “It is an enormous privilege to bring ‘Wicked’ to the Philippines. I have always believed that audiences here will embrace the unforgettable show and love it as much as I do, so I am delighted to see such a strong demand for tickets, and to be able to offer 16 more performances. ‘Wicked’ is guaranteed to leave young and old Filipino theater-goers spellbound with a story that tugs at the heartstrings, and features spectacular costumes, technical wizardry and a phenomenal musical score that will keep audiences coming back for more.”

“Wicked” is a re-telling of Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, Elphaba, portrayed by Jenna Rix, is born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other, Glinda, played by Suzie Mathers, is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. In their remarkable odyssey, these two unlikely friends become the Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba and Glinda the Good.

Heading the Australian cast, Rix won a Helpmann award nomination in 2011 for Best Leading Actress in a Musical as Elphaba; Mathers was nominated as Best Newcomer at the 2009 Sydney Theater Awards.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, “Wicked” has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Joe Mantello with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The Philippine season of “Wicked” is produced by Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and John Frost.

There are currently nine productions of the musical worldwide: New York, London, Japan, (Tokyo), Australia/New Zealand (Auckland), South Korea (Seoul), Latin America (Mexico city), a UK tour, and two concurrent North American National Tours.

*  *  *

‘Rak of Aegis’

The music of the pop-rock bang Aegis will be featured as the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) closes its 46th Theater Season with “Rak of Aegis”, a Pinoy rock comedy-musical featuring the songs of Aegis. Opening January 31 at The PETA Theater Center, “Rak of Aegis” will run for six weeks, Fridays to Sundays until March 9.

Chart-topping songs of the 90s Pinoy rock band Aegis, such as “Luha,” “Halik,” “Sundot,” “Christmas Bonus,” and “Basang-basa sa Ulan” will be performed by a mix of talented theater artists led by Isay Alvarez-Seña, Robert Seña, Aicelle Santos and Joan Bugcat.

Cast members include Ro Alfonso, Jet Barrun, Kakai Bautista, Poppert Bernadas, Gimbey Dela Cruz, Neomi Gonzales, Pepe Herrera, Carlon Matobato, Julienne Mendoza, John Moran, Jerald Napoles, Gie Onida, Phillip Palmos, Myke Salomon, Paeng Sudayan, and Gold Villar.

A story of love, fame and resilience, the narrative revolves around the residents of the flooded village of Villa Venizia. At the center of the story is Aileen (Aicelle Santos alternating with Joan Bugcat) a young mall promodizer caught in the web of finding love and seeking fame to support her family.

Aileen’s family like the other residents are greatly affected by the flood. Her father Kiel is about to lose his job as barangay captain. Mary Jane (Isay Alvarez-Seña) plans to close her failing shoe factory. Knowing that her income will never be enough to make ends meet, Aileen decides to make a video of herself in the hopes of becoming the next YouTube sensation. Aileen’s suitor Tolits (Jerald Napoles alternating with Pepe Herrera) posts the video online, unaware that it will put Villa Venizia under the spotlight and change their lives forever.

The musical is created by PETA Artistic Director Maribel Legarda and Palanca Award-winning writer Liza Magtoto, with musical arrangement and musical direction by actor-musician Myke Salomon.

The artistic team includes Gio Gahol (choreography), Jonjon Villareal (lighting design), Mio Infante (production design), Carlo Pagunaling (costume design), Maco Custodio (shoe design), and Joan Pamintuan (accessory design).

The play runs from January 31 to March 9, at The PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, QC. Shows are Fridays-Sundays, Friday and Saturday shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., except Feb 23 with shows at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. and March 2 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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