Rocking out with “Rock of Ages” by Atlantis Productions

So. The reason for the conspicuous lack of posts for the past 10 days is because I’ve been on my days off and didn’t have the energy to write. Haha. Ironically, I rarely get to rest on my days off because of the so much stuff I have to do. Haha. Case in point:

  • June 14 – arrive in Manila, pick up shirts from printer, ingress for Toycon 2012
  • June 15 – ingress of Toycon 2012, man the Geekerie booth in Toycon until 5:30pm, pack up, rush to Makati for “Rock of Ages” with the Aids and friends
  • June 16 – Toycon Day 2, man the booth from 9am to 9pm, drop dead from exhaustion
  • June 17 – Toycon Day 3, wear two costumes between 10am to 7pm, gratefully remove high-heeled boots after 9 hours of wearing them, pack up the booth, finally arrive home at 11:30 pm.
  • June 18 – recover from Toycon, accept my Mom’s coupon for a free Swedish aromatherapy massage, pass out from sheer bliss after 20 minutes.

But back up a bit. I said “Rock of Ages”. Yes, my friends and I watched the opening night performance of “Rock of Ages” by Atlantis Productions in the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza in Makati. It stars Nyoy Volante, Vina Morales, Jett Pangan, Jamie Wilson, Aiza Seguerra, and MiG Ayesa and IT IS GLORIOUS.

Yes, I liked it enough to buy the souvenir shirt. It’s my first souvenir shirt from a musical ever!

I have seriously never had so much fun watching a musical before (though “Avenue Q” by Atlantis is a close second). With classic rock songs from the 80’s as its soundtrack, it’s almost impossible not to sing along.

  • MiG Ayesa is perfect as Stacee Jaxx, which shouldn’t be a surprise since he played Stacee during the US tour and on Broadway. His part in the “Don’t Stop Believing” finale is both awe-inspiring and hilarious. And yes, he looks really good in his costumes 😀 *fans self*
  • I loved Jett Pangan as Lonny! It’s a great departure from the dramatic roles he usually does (I last saw him in “Next to Normal”).
  • Aiza Seguerra is queen *bows down* She’s great as Regina and equally great as one of the strippers in the Venus Club. I must admit that it was slightly weird to see her like that since I grew up watching her on TV as a cutie pie child star. Haha.
  • Nyoy Volante is still cute. Heehee. His rock star scream is not quite there yet but hopefully he’ll sound better as more shows pass.
  • Vina Morales’ dance moves are impressive 😀
  • During Jamie Wilson and Jett Pangan’s duet of “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, I suddenly remembered Patrick Reichenbach and Robby Sunico of Clubb Dredd 😛

Something I noticed though. While the individual singers are all very good, they don’t blend very well as an ensemble. I mean, of course the ensemble singing is good, but it’s not great. Their voices don’t seem to reinforce each other.

One bonus of watching on opening night:

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! *dance of fangirl joy*

Yes, I got a photo with the Lea Salonga. GYAAAAHHHHH *spins around in joy* I also got to share elevator space with her!!! If you don’t know who she is, go Google her and find out why I love her so much. I’ve had the privilege of seeing her in three musicals: “Miss Saigon” (in the CCP), “Baby”, and “They’re Playing Our Song”. Looking forward to watching her in “God of Carnage” this July. I was too tongue-tied to wish her luck with “Allegiance: 🙁

“Rock of Ages” runs from June 15 to July 8, 2012 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in the RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

Review: “Mamma Mia!” live in Manila!

First off, I’d like to thank Cebu Pacific Air for the tickets. I won two Balcony tickets via their Twitter contest some weeks ago. To my Twitter followers, I apologize for flooding your feed for 15 minutes in an attempt to win said tickets. I wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise.

Aids and I got to watch the opening night of “Mamma Mia!” in CCP last January 24. It was so much fun! Have I mentioned how much I love musicals? Because I do. I really, really do 😀 I’d already seen the movie with Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried but as with all movie musicals that started from the stage, it’s much better in its original format.

I loved the cast! I could feel their energy even way in the back. For the record, balcony seats in the CCP Main Theater aren’t that bad. Yes you’re high up but you can still see the actors’ faces and expressions. Their dancing was just superb. No better tribute to ABBA than a kickass dance number.

We noticed a little something about the singing though. Taken individually, the actors’ voices sounded a bit thin compared to our local singers. It was especially noticeable during “Dancing Queen” and “Chiquitita”. However, they sound absolutely amazing as an ensemble. Their voices blend well and nobody’s trying to outdo anybody. Contrast this with our local singers, who try to out-belt each other at every opportunity. Perhaps there’s something to be learned there.

My favorite part was the encore, where the entire cast goes all-out in the singing, shimmying, and spandex. The variety show numbers for “Mamma Mia!”, “Dancing Queen”, and “Waterloo” got the entire audience on their feet and singing and dancing along. These last three songs completed my night 😀

Details for Mamma Mia’s Manila run over here.

F*ck yeah Ouran High School Host Club live action!

As of one hour ago, I’m officially caught up with the Ouran High School Host Club jdrama live action series via a 5-episode marathon. I wasn’t really planning on watching it because I’ve read the manga and watched the anime so I already know how it ends – my heart will get broken. This is because Haruhi (the series’ protagonist) doesn’t end up with Kyouya (the love of my otaku heart) but with Tamaki (the idiot prince) instead, who I cannot stand. It’s not as if Tamaki’s a bad guy – he’s actually really, really nice – but he’s Annoying. Kyouya would have been a much better fit for Haruhi if only he’d actually done something about it instead of sacrificing his own happiness in favor of his best friend’s (is that you Hanazawa Rui?). (And yes, him wearing glasses bumps up his appeal x100 :P)

Yes Kyouya, you are hot in whatever form you take.

Anyway, this post isn’t supposed to be a rant but a celebration of the cuteness that is the Ouran live action and the awesomeness that is episode 5. Why is it awesome? I believe the gifs speak for themselves:


All gifs from here

Continue reading “F*ck yeah Ouran High School Host Club live action!”

A night with Andrew Lloyd Webber

Confession time: despite my love for musicals, I have never watched an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical live. The closest I’ve ever come is the 1973 “Jesus Christ Superstar” film with Ted Neely (Jesus) and Carl Anderson (Judas). I know the songs of course – everyone knows the songs! – but I’ve never heard them sung live nor in context. I got the former but not the latter when I got to see “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” last July 2 in the CCP Main Theater.

“The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” was exactly how it was described: a theatrical event featuring timeless songs from 14 musicals spanning ALW’s decades-long career. The show allowed older fans to relive their favorite musicals while introducing new fans (or non-fans) to ALW’s extensive body of work. There were no story and costumes: just a whole lot of music.

The highlights:

  1. Michael Cormick and Trisha Crowe were utterly perfect in “The Phantom of the Opera”. CHILLS!!!
  2. “Tell Me on a Sunday”, regardless of who sang it (but Delia Hannah did a great job). “Tell Me on a Sunday” is my favorite ALW song. No, I didn’t know it was by ALW prior to this show.
  3. “No Matter What” with Blake Bowden, Shaun Rennie, Andrew Conaghan, and their corny (yet appropriate) choreography. They all looked so adorable! No, I didn’t know that this was an ALW song either. All the while I thought it was a Boyzone original.

The caveats:

  1. The show is best appreciated if you’re already familiar with the musicals. As I said before, you don’t get the context of the song. Your only introduction to the song are the graphics on the huge screens that include the musical’s poster. Because of this, the songs that got the most applause were the popular ones (“Memory”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “All I Ask of You”, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”) and the showstoppers (“Tell Me on a Sunday”, “Sunset Boulevard”, “Superstar”).
  2. Shaun Rennie as Judas didn’t work for me 🙁 He was almost there but not quite.
  3. No “Gethsemane”? Sadness.