TaDi Snap Shots

Thursday, December 9, 2010

RENT The Musical... Our Generation, Our Music, Our Story -- Catch it in Power Plant Cinema from December 8 to 12

Potato On-the-Go:

♪♫ In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. ♪♫ In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. ♪♫ In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure, a year in the life?  ♪♫ 

After the press screening of RENT The Musical at the Power Plant Cinema last night, I realized that the music of RENT never fails to inspire every person who witnesses this masterpiece.

Rockwell Land and Power Plant Cinema brought back RENT in celebration of its 10th Anniversary.  RENT - a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning revolutionary rock musical is being presented for a limited run at Power Plant's Cinema 2 from December 8 -12, 2010.

Produced by Power Plant Cinema and Rockwell Land and staged by 9 Works Theatrical, this local screening of RENT is directed by Robbie Guevara.  With book and lyrics written by Jonathan Larson, RENT is an imaginative retelling of the classic Giacomo Puccini opera, “ La Boheme ” set in the gritty Lower East Village of New York City.

Fredison Lo as Mark Cohen, the nerdy film maker; Mian Dimacali as Maureen Johnson; and Jenny Villegas as Joanne Jefferson, Maureen's public interest lawyer.

RENT is the unforgettable and timeless story of a group of starving bohemian artists. Despite poverty and illness, they all learned to struggle with love and life, and survived during the rise of a mysterious, deadly disease known as AIDS. Eventually, all of them found their voices and brought a universal message of hope for everyone.

Amparo Sietereales as alternate for Mimi and Gian Magdangal as Roger Davis, the song writer

Some of the country’s talented theater artists who will reprise their roles for this specific production of RENT (as previously staged by 9 Works Theatrical – Feb. 2010) include singer/TV host Gian Magdangal as Roger Davis, the songwriter. Gian recently starred in the successful musical hit “The Wedding Singer”.

Job Bautista as Angel Dummott, the drag queen and OJ Mariano as Tom Collins, the computer genius

Also featured are Fredison Lo as Mark Cohen, the nerdy filmmaker; OJ Mariano as Tom Collins, the computer genius; Job Bautista as Angel Dummott Schunard, Collins' drag queen street musician lover; and Jenny Villegas as Joanne Jefferson, Maureen's public interest lawyer lover.

Consistent performance by Fredison

The rest of the ensemble is composed of Gary Junsay, Harold Cruz, Johann de la Fuente, Mark Tayag and Peachy Atilano.

The ensemble

A ‘must-see’ are the new members of the cast led by noted theater actor Lorenz Martinez who will give a new twist to the character of Benjamin Coffin III, a former member of the group who, after marrying a wealthy woman, has since become their landlord and the opposite of the group's Bohemian values.
Fresh from a stint with Universal Studios Singapore, Amparo Sietereales, will alternate for the role of Mimi, Roger’s lover / bar girl – a role she originated during a previous production of RENT in Manila several years back.

Sheree as Mimi is a revelation.

Sheree Bautista, TV personality/singer and Gian Magdangal’s real-life lady love will play the role of Mimi.
Newcomer Mian Dimacali bravely takes up the role of Maureen Johnson. Sab Jose and Pam Imperial also join as part of the ensemble.

The Seasons of Love performance, of course, is my all time favorite.  It's simple yet the song strikes to the heart. At first I was afraid Jenny Villegas as Joanne Jefferson won't be able to hit the difficult and fluctuating high notes but her belting proved me wrong and the whole audience gave her a commending applause right after her stint!  La Vie Boheme is a feast to my eyes and ears, and I was impressed on the choreography where the performers do a Last Supper and sang and moved together gracefully.  Kudos as well to Gian Magdangal and Fredison Lo for their consistent performance and throw of long lines that stitched together every element of the play.  Oh of course, Benny (Lorenz Martinez) is also well loved by the audience as he brightened up what is supposed to be the story's dark character.  =)

Mark's mom's phone call scenes are scene stealers which brought the audience to laughter =D  Angel is spectacular in her acrobat movements while Sheree, though had difficulty in singing the famous awoooh line of Mimi, is a revelation in this run, and this, I think, gave her the window to explore this other side of performing arena! =). The scenes that mourned for and gave tribute to Angel were both heart warming jaw dropping.  OJ Mariano as Tom may have started in the play unnoticeable but with these scenes, I could say he nailed it big time!  I just didn't have the guts to do the standing ovation by myself but I really felt doing it when OJ, in his mourning, sang brilliantly and with full of emotions with the rest providing a harmonious back-up.

Right after the show, a Q&A with the cast and its director, took place and one of the press people threw out this question:  "Why do you think RENT's story is universal?"  And Mian Damacali, who played Maureen, answered, "because it's all about love."  As for me, if I may answer that question, it is universal because RENT is our generation, our music, our story.  And watching it and listening to its music simply help us reflect on (and do something with) our loved life and our life's loves, our struggles and our survival, and the reasons of  our defeat and the meanings of our triumphs.

The artistic team of RENT is led by Robbie Guevara, director; Ricky Villante, musical director – band; Onyl Torres, musical director – vocals; Mio Infante, scenographer; Martin Esteva, Lighting Designer; Chuck Ledesma, sound designer; Bek Soriano, costume stylist; and Francis Matheu for additional choreography.

The RENT production team is composed of the following: Santi Santamaria, executive producer; Anna Santamaria, company manager; Toff de Venecia, Marketing & PR Director and Production Manager; Paul Domine, Technical Director; Arma Bonilla, stage manager; Toots Tolentino, PR Consultant; Jonjon Martin, PR Manager; Shelyn Tayanes, Marketing Manager; Campaigns Public Relations Inc., PR Agency.

RENT is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) 421 West 54th Street, New York, New York 10019 Tel.: (212) 541-4684 • www.mtishows.com

Direk Robbie Guevarra

RENT will be staged for a limited run of 8 performances at Power Plant Cinema 2 from December 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 (8PM), December 10 (330PM), 11 (4PM) & 12 (430PM). Get your tickets now at the Power Plant Cinema ticket booth. Call 898-1440 or 898 1441 or 0908-8692988.

The RENT cast of 9Works Theatrical

Now, let me go back to the song:

♪♫ In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. ♪♫ In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. ♪♫ In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure, a year in the life?  ♪♫

--- HOW ABOUT LOVE?  ♪♫  =)

(Here's the movie version of Seasons of Love)

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