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“If you see only one show make sure it is this one.” – The Daily Mirror (UK)
“Le Fantome del’ Opera” or Phantom of the Opera, a play originally taken from the magnificent imagination of a French novelist: Gaston Leroux. It was in 1986, when Andrew Lloyd Webber, the famous British composer who also did Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Tell me on a Sunday among others turned Phantom into a musical.
I love the story being it a love story in the true essence of what love is and the twists and turns of it. It evolved with Christine Daae, whose song: Think of me has stayed in my heart and lovingly memorized it and found myself singing it in no time, it even became one of my mobile phone ring tones and my office mates would shriek thinking it was a soundtrack of a horror film until they get to listen to it they’d realized it was one from Phantom. That is how I loved the song. And then Raoul, and the Angel of the Music who happens to be the Phantom himself.
I am specially awed by the Masquerade scene (which I intend to include in one of our competitions years ago in a theme park where I used to be working. The group used it the following year and had actually won)
and the boat scene which I kept on imagining as to how it was executed on stage. I have been tempted time and again to Google it and thanks to my hard-earned patience and of wanting to surprise myself, I have resisted the temptation.
In the movie of course, the boat scene is on real water and I kept on guessing how are they going to do it on stage?
When news abound that the musical will be brought to Manila. I am so agitated as to whom to be with as everyone is so busy at that time. Besides, I only have less than a dozen close friends who has a liking into watching stage plays. Until my high school/ choirmate friend happened to be also waiting for the Phantom, made me almost jump out of gratefulness and that there is no need for me to be watching it “alone”.
Ironically, while we were waiting for the show to start, at the lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines,
while we were cam-whoring, a lady approached us and volunteered to take our picture together and that we will take hers in return. She confessed that she is alone and she somehow got tired of taking “selfies”. And we did take her picture (s), she was so grateful and we shared with her that had it not for Beth I might be watching it all by myself too. And we might find each other again and probably take each other’s picture. When she left, we were both laughing, and my friend was teasing me not to worry next time as I am not alone on it at all. Seriously, that woman has inspired me. I am officially unafraid now to watch musicals alone. ahaha! Just as long I will be able to spot two girlfriends alternately taking solo pictures and “selfies” trying all angles just so to fit in the camera’s border!
I like this musical best among the others because of the lesson it imparts. A person need not be misled by the way he looks like from the outside, as what counts most is how we looked from the inside. I like the plot, the arrangement of the synopsis and the more I get excited to actually see how it was presented on stage. The plummeting chandelier, the masquerade, the scene from the roof top, the politics on stage, the funny side of it, the cemetery scene, and the love realized even after so many years have passed.
Out of excitement, I left early and didn’t eat anything when my stomach ached, I had to buy some biscuit. Not consuming it all, I kept them inside my bag. Much to my surprise, even if i kept in under some stuff in my bag, the guard discovered it and since food is prohibited inside, you could just imagine the guard’s look on his face, turning his eyes from the cookies to my eyes which alerted me to say this immediately: “I’m so sorry Sir, I am so hungry but I promise not to consume them inside!” My friend was holding her laughter!
Please take a look at how did we smile after watching.
Since Beth and I are both singers, there were instances that we duet with numbers that we knew and no one noticed!
My favorite songs in no specific order:
- Think of me
- Angel of Music (and dute w/ Meg Giry)
- The Music of the Night
- Wishing you were somehow here again (for my papa)
The carrier song “All I ask of you” didn’t appeal to me that much, although it’s just as lovely as the others, some songs are even fit to carry the musical, oh, to each his own.
And you wouldn’t believe, I knew them word per word. They’ve been my lullaby all these years bringing me to Dream land.
Speaking of Dream land, I was also wishing for another Miss Saigon visit to Manila. I missed it the last time. Looking forward to more shows. And more friends to accompany me too…(–,)
Whoever’s idea it is to bring this to Manila, thank you thank you so much! (–,)
CATS in Manila
Turn your face to the moonlight,
Let your memory lead you,
Open up, enter in,
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is,
Then a new life will begin…”
I used to sing and act (a little) during school days. They call it “Teatro San Antonio”. I was not able to pursue this passion, though through the years, it was still in my heart.
Almost 10 years ago, working in a theme park requires talent, creativity and passion to entertain. The Entertainment Dept. of course in in charge of that, though the rest of the Departments like ours (Retail Operations) must uphold to the same goal. To entertain. And we did! There’s this annual inter-departmental competition to come up with a presentation (maximum of 12-15 performers) based on a specific theme. For 5 straight years. We won each year except for a certain year. Not bad, thats 4/5 wins! (–,) And we were able to establish a certain popularity. They would earlier suspect, that what we’re going to perform is something we took from Broadway. It has become our “Tour de Force”. The riddle is. what play would it be? We did “The Lion King”, “Ms. Saigon” (I was Kim! (–,)), “Grease” among many others. One of my favorites is “CATS”. You wouldn’t believe, I played “Jemima”.
After a few years, a friend of mine happily announced to me that Cameron Macintosh is bringing in “CATS” in Manila! I could not believe it but knew than whatever happens, I am going to see it! What made it more special, is that our very own Ms. Lea Salonga will play the lead role of “Grizabella”.
I finally did. I watched it with my soul buddy who willingly accompanied me because she herself likes Broadway hits as well. I’m so happy! We also tagged another friend. The more, the merrier.
As I was watching it, it brought me back while we were doing it, and it was a mixed-feeling. Had a lot of “I could haves” and always wondered why I did not pursue the passion (which eventually died a natural death) of performing on stage. I guess it’ll forever haunt me. From that, I learned, that we should always pursue what we love. Whatever it takes.
We were ecstatic, yelling (yes, yelling and screaming but of course at the end of the show!), there was a standing ovation at that time, and there have been good reviews which paved ways to more shows be brought in the Philippines. Yey! (–,)