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Showing posts from August, 2016

Filipino-American Ali Ewoldt is first Asian to play Christine in 'Phantom of the Opera' on Broadway

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Filipino-American Ali Ewoldt is first Asian to play Christine in 'Phantom of the Opera' on Broadway
By WALTER ANG
Aug. 27, 2016
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Filipino-American Ali Ewoldt is currently playing the role of Christine DaaƩ in the Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera," and it marks a milestone: She is the first actress of Filipino descent and first woman of color to portray the role on Broadway since it opened in 1988.

"It is incredibly exciting!" she says. "I have loved 'Phantom' and dreamt of playing Christine since I was a child, so to get to play Christine is literally a dream come true."

Ewoldt, whose mother hails from Pangasinan, was born near Chicago and raised in Pleasantville, a short distance from New York City. She's been performing the role since June.

"Being the first Asian-American Christine on Broadway is an honor and, also, I believe, comes with a bit of responsibility. I want to demonstrate that …

Meet Bonifacio anew--in a Pinoy noh play

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Meet Bonifacio anew--in a Pinoy noh play
By WALTER ANG
Aug. 20, 2016
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Noh Theatre Ensemble (NTE), a resident theater group of University of the Philippines' Center for International Studies (UPCIS), will stage "Cedula sa BGC: Isang Kontemporanyong Noh," on Aug. 26-27 at University Theater, Villamor Hall, University of the Philippines.

"This noh is set in a mall in BGC [Bonifacio Global City]," says NTE's founding artistic director Jina Umali. "It's about Andres Bonifacio, so meet the 'B' of BGC, the Father of the Philippine Revolution."

NTE members have received continuous training since 2005 from Naohiko Umewaka, a noh grand master whose family's involvement in noh dates back 600 years.

Umali explains that centuries-old noh is the oldest form among the Japanese performance traditions, characterized by the use of masks, controlled physical movements and abstracted choreography such as sliding steps, and …

Farewell, Jonas Sebastian, theater pillar and Temptation Island's Joshua

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Farewell, Jonas Sebastian, theater pillar and 'Temptation Island' 's Joshua
By WALTER ANG
Aug. 13, 2016
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Director and actor Jonas Sebastian passed away on July 31 at age 73. He died of cardiac arrest after contracting pneumonia.

Born in Quiapo to a family who owned the movie studio Oriental Pictures, Sebastian entered the performing arts in 1967 as an actor in productions directed by Inquirer columnist Nestor Torre at Ateneo de Manila University, and Joey Gosiengfiao at De La Salle University.

He later joined Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta) as an actor and set designer; and Repertory Philippines as a set designer, eventually directing the company's inaugural production of "Sleeping Beauty" for its Repertory Children's Theater. He also acted and directed for Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, helming "Asyenda Animal" for the group's inaugural season.

Dinner theater
His directorial debut was "Hello …

Rachel Alejandro in an 'unromantic comedy for imperfect lovers and dreamers'

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Rachel Alejandro in an 'unromantic comedy for imperfect lovers and dreamers'
By WALTER ANG
Aug. 6, 2016
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Upstart Productions' "Love/Sick," a show with nine short plays written by John Cariani that explore romantic relationships from first meeting and dating to disillusionment and divorce, opens this weekend at the Mind Museum Auditorium in Bonifacio Global City and runs until Aug. 20.

Artistic director Joel Trinidad directs, helming a cast that performs double or triple roles each to thresh out 18 different characters. Among them is Rachel Alejandro, who has been friends with Trinidad since they were cast together in Musical Theater Philippines' "Alikabok" in the mid-'90s.

"But it wasn't until we did 'Avenue Q' (for Atlantis Productions, now Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group) that we became close," says Alejandro.

"We've been talking about doing more shows together and possibly produci…