TaDi Snap Shots

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Resorts World Manila to stage the spectacular adaptation of The Sound of Music


"Panoorin mo 'to.  (Watch this.)  This is an internationally acclaimed classic."  This was the line of my dad when he first encouraged me to watch The Sound of Music.  And since then, The Sound of Music has always been in the list of my favorite stories, whether it's in theater or movie or animated series!  Not because it was told to me by my father but I myself witnessed how great the story and beautiful the music is of The Sound of Music.   And when I heard that Resorts World Manila is planning to bring back and stage the said musical, I felt nothing but excitement!

Joanna Ampil plays the lead role of Maria.
A musical by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, The Sound of Music tells the story of Maria Rainer, a young postulant  in Austria who is appointed governess of the seven children of widower Captain Georg von Trapp and changed their lives by teaching them the gift of music.  This will be the key for the children in finding their voice and unlocking the cold and stern heart of their father to warmly loving them.  But the Captain's unlocked heart will also lead him to an unexpected love with Maria which will become the latter's most challenging trial of faith.  Soon, they find themselves threatened by uncertainties of wartime as they struggle to build a new life together.

At the preview of the The Sound of Music in Resorts World Manila's Newport Performing Arts Theater, I was again reminded on the very reason why I got hooked with The Sound of Music.  And this time, the feeling was more magnanimous as I saw the added flavors that Resorts World Manila has put not only to differentiate their version of the musical, but to make it even much bigger!

With the aim to champion Filipino talent in world-class standards, Resorts World Manila assembled seasoned and newcomers alike as well as a stellar creative and production team to give its audience the best Sound of Music ever.  Resorts World gave an exclusive press preview of three of the most memorable scenes in the play - Maria's "The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music" and Captaine George von Trapp's "Edelweiss", The von Trapp Kids' "Do Re Mi", and Liesl's and Ron's "I Am Sixteen"!  And with those scenes, I could easily say that the Philippine audience is really headed to seeing one of the most magnificent productions of The Sound of Music.  I was already in awe to see a few of the powerful and lovely performances with state of the art giant LED screens as the stage's backdrop!  I was speechless seeing it!  I just can't wait to see the full play come October 15!

Resorts World Manila's PR Manager Archie Nicasio formally welcomes the audience to the preview of The Sound of Music.

The cast is headed by Filipino powerhouse Broadway talents.  Joanna Ampil of the hit musical Miss Saigon comes back to Manila to play the role of Maria.  Her magnanimous voice and overwhelming stage presence just makes her more than perfect for the role, letting me want for more!

Cris Villonco, who pursued her music studies in New York, also makes her return as the alternate to Joanna.  Captain George von Trapp is reprised by theater veteran Audie Gemora with Ed Feist and Jon Joven as alternates. 

The kids who are portraying the roles of the von Trapp children also caught the attention and got the admiration of  the press.  They are pleasing to watch and listen to, they don't look like acting on the stage but just playing and being themselves, which I think are good indications of great performances ahead!  Liesl, the eldest of the von Trapp siblings is portrayed by Tanya Manalang with Rachel Coates alternating. Rolf, Liesl’s love interest, is depicted by Marvin Ong and Bryan Homecillo. The rest of the von Trapp children are played by Paolo Luis Ocampo, Luis Nieto (Friedrich), Danielle Sanghio, Rebecca Coates (Louisa), Atasha Muhlach, Janina Punzalan, Alessandra Allado (Brigitta), Roberto Sison, Anton Posadas, Justin Sian (Kurt), Alida Moberg, Paula Therese Zamesa, Sofia Yabyabin (Marta), Alexa Villarroel and Shanti Gleason (Gretl). 

The captain's fiancee, Baroness Elsa Schraeder, is played by sultry character actress Pinky Amador with Lynn Sherman as alternates.  Other supporting cast members include Debraliz Valasote (Frau Schmidt), Eduardo Bouffard (Franz the Butler), Lorenz Martinez (Herr Zeller), Jennifer Villegas, Carla Guevara (Sister Berthe), Sarah Facuri, Pamela Imperial (Sister Margaretta), Jillian Peňa, and Maxine Sian (Sister Sophia).

Resorts World Manila picked only the best in the industry to recreate this timeless musical.  Roxanne Lapus is at the helm of staging and direction.  When asked about the most spectacular or her favorite part of the play, Director Roxanne Lapus cited the singing of the nuns.  "It's like a slice of heaven," said Roxanne Lapus.  This was also made possible of course through orchestral music provided by none other than The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Maestro Rodel Colmenar. Vocal Directress Lyn Fabella of Wind Song, a Christian singing group famous for its heavenly vocal blending, supports Maestro Colmenar in recreating the well-loved songs from the musical.

Roxanne Lapus also proudly said that she has the best cast ever in this staging of The Sound of Music.  "This is my dream cast.  Every person I want came in.  They just don't have the ability but they also have the attitude to rehearse.  The people are just amazing," explained Roxanne Lapus.

Aside from the cast, Roxanne Lapus is also proud of her production and creative team. Noted couturier and designer to the stars, Francis Libiran, provides the costumes, from the military uniforms to the fabulous ballgowns. The picturesque landscapes of Austria, solemn hallways of Maria’s convent, and imposing interiors of the von Trapp residence is brought to life by production designer and scenographer Mio Infante. Adding to the visual feast is video producer Paul Soriano who will showcase video animation scenes simultaneously with the theater performance. Furthermore, the story is made larger than life with NPAT’s LED screen, touted as the largest in Southeast Asia.

Roxanne Lapus added that while the audience is offered great music, fantastic choreography and state of the art technology in theater, "I hope the play's message won't get lost.  I told my cast that before they became actors or singers, they are first, story tellers.  And they must tell the story from the heart."  

With Resort's World entry to the theater scene plus the countless productions being staged in the country, I asked Joanna Ampil if there's a chance for her to stay in Manila for good (because I'm a fan hehe) "Why not?  If they would make me stay, I would love to work here in the country," said Joanna.  Well, I really do hope that as Audie Gemora said, the Philippines can become the Broadway of Asia, so that our talents can stay with us =).

First staged in Broadway in 1959, The Sound of Music ran for 1,443 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Actress before premiering in London in 1961. Since then, it has been re-staged in London, Broadway, and countless theaters worldwide. In 1965, it was made into a film that starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Resorts World VP for Marketing Jeff Evora explains Resorts World's Manila's role in the promotion of the country's tourism and theater.

This spectacular heartwarming production is an offering of Resorts World Manila. RWM presents The Sound of Music will run from October 15, 2011 to December 11, 2011. Show times are 8:00PM on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; 3:00PM and 8:00PM on Saturdays and 3:00PM on Sundays.

Ticket prices are as follows, VIP - PhP 2,000, Premiere - PhP 1,700, Delux - PhP 1,300 and Balcony PhP 1,000.  The above rates apply to tickets bought from the RWM Box Office located at the main casino entrance. For ticket reservations and inquiries, visit any Ticketworld outlet or the Resorts World Manila Box Office. For more information on Resorts World Manila, visit www.rwmanila.com.


  1. You're a fan of Joanna Ampil? She's my aunt and I am so ecstatic she's playing Maria. It's still a bit surreal to see a cut out of her and her picture on the steps of Resort World, though. :p Great review btw! :)


  2. It's a great story which I grew up with. My kids already watched the original film several times. I wish there could be 5 spare free tickets for us as we surely will not be able to afford any extra expense to watch this.

    Enjoy your night then!

  3. Hi Wonder Woman! Yes I am, a silent fan though =) And thanks for the nice words! =) On the stairway cut-outs, well, I think it is creative though and I may write a separate post about it. Well, perhaps the thing that is concerning you is when someone steps on the face? Hmmm... 'will check again if the face is in a position that can't be stepped on. =)

    Hi Orange Magazine! Thank you so much! =)

    Hi C5 Life Is a Choice! It's really great for your kids to see the play. Well, let's see if the organizers can sponsor a contest here where I can give out tickets as prizes. =) If not, I'll let you know if there's any promo out there. =) But as of now, I haven't heard of anything yet.

  4. I watched the premiere, Joanna Ampil is great. Though I find the 3-hour play to be too long. I am not sure if they have plans of shortening it. Thank you for posting this, I got to know the casts.



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