Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cherie Gil stars in stylish one woman play Full Gallop

March 14-23, 2014
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium
RCBC PlazaMakati

Legendary actress Cherie Gil portrays fashion icon Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop which will have a limited run from March 14 to 23, 2014 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza in Makati. MyOwn Mann Productions, Inc. and Actor’s Actors Inc. present this one woman play under the direction of Bart Guingona.

Never before staged in the Philippines, Full Gallop, written by Mary Louise Wilson and Mark Hampton, focuses on Diana Vreeland, one of the fashion movers in America during her time. She served as the editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue magazines and was a member of the International Café Society. Full Gallop aims to introduce Vreeland to Filipino audiences whether or not they’re into the world of fashion.

Bart Guingona, Cherie Gil, Giselle Töngi, Ruben Nazareth and Rajo Laurel

This one woman play is a monumental task for Cherie Gil, one of the most well known villainesses in the Philippine entertainment industry owing to her memorable performance in Bituing Walang Ningning during the early 1980’s. She has also recently ventured into producing films with last year’s Sonata, directed by Peque Gallaga. During the 2000’s, Cherie Gil started to showcase her acting chops on the live stage starring in productions such as Doubt, Nine and Masterclass wherein she earned rave reviews in her portrayal of yet another icon, soprano Maria Callas.

Full Gallop will also feature the special participation of Giselle Töngi. The creative team is composed of Director Bart Guingona, Set Designer Joey Mendoza, Lighting Designer John Batalla, Costume Designer Rajo Laurel and Hair and Makeup by Ruben Nazareth.

The play opens with a Gala Night Premiere on March 14 with proceeds going to the Virlanie Foundation as they build houses in Negros affected by the super typhoon Yolanda.

Bart Guingona, Cherie Gil, Giselle Töngi, Ruben Nazareth and Rajo Laurel

Full Gallop is co-presented by Inquirer Lifestyle, Look Magazine, and The Peninsula Manila in cooperation with Antonio’s Tagaytay, Facial Care Center, The Love Garden, Businessworld,,, and

The play is presented by special arrangement with Josef Weinberger Plays Limited, London.

Ticket prices for March 14, 2014, 8:00 PM Gala Night:
P3000 Orchestra Center
P2000 Orchestra Side/Loge
P1000 Balcony
*Inclusive of cocktail and wine by Antonio’s Tagaytay

Ticket prices for regular nights:
P1500 Orchestra Center
P1000 Orchestra Side/Loge
P600 Balcony

For inquiries:
215-0788, (0917) 537-8313
TicketWorld 891-9999

Monday, February 17, 2014

Romantic music in Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s post-Valentine concert

Violinist Odin Rathnam

February 21, 20148:00 PM
Meralco Theater
Ortigas Avenue
Pasig City

Odin Rathnam, violin
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Richard Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, led by its principal conductor and music director Olivier Ochanine, presents Romantic Brahms, a post-Valentine concert featuring music about love and tragedy happening this February 21, 2014, 8:00 PM at the Meralco Theater. American violinist Odin Rathnam will be the evening’s guest soloist.

The romantic music for this evening includes Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture that has a popular love theme commonly used in movies and even in the PC game The Sims. Also included is Richard Wagner’s revolutionary Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. The ambiguous Tristan chord, heard in this piece and confounded earlier listeners, paved the way for music to break away from the tried and tested harmonic tonalities of that time. Lastly, guest violinist Odin Rathnam will be the soloist for Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, considered as one of the top concertos in the entire violin repertoire.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

According to the press release Rathnam has established himself as one of the most passionate and versatile artists of his generation since his critically acclaimed Lincoln Center debut in 1993,. He has received unanimous praise from critics and audiences for his "captivating temperament," "brilliant technique" and “recalling the legendary violinists of the past.” He is a veteran performer at many major European and American festivals including the Algarve International Music Festival in Portugal, Denmark's Tivoli and Vendsyssel Festivals, Deia International Festival in Mallorca, Boswil Festival in Switzerland, Aspen, Caramoor and Endless Mountain Music Festivals. He has also appeared in recital on the Market Square Concerts series, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall, where he first appeared at the age of 15. As a soloist, he has performed with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Colombian National Symphony, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Lancaster Symphony, the York Symphony, the EMMF Orchestra, The New Amsterdam Symphony and the Randers Chamber Orchestra, to name a few.

Rathnam is extremely committed to the development of young musicians, and his numerous students have been accepted at major conservatories throughout the United States and abroad, several going on to win prizes in national and international competitions. Rathnam performs on a late 19th century violin crafted by an unknown maker, in the manner of Guarnerius Del Gesu’s middle period, and on an Italian violin by Bratolomeo Calvarola, built in 1755.

He received his early training at Juilliard Pre-College and Mannes College of Music with Sally Thomas.  He continued at Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki.

Conductor Olivier Ochanine

Ticket prices:
P1500 Orchestra Center/Loge Center
P1200 Orchestra Side/Loge Side
P500 Balcony
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
CCP Marketing Department 832-1125 local 1806
CCP Box Office 832-3704
TicketWorld 891-9999

Repertory Philippines stages Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County

February 21, 20148:00 PM
February 22, 20143:30 & 8:00 PM
February 23, 20143:30 PM

February 28, 20148:00 PM
March 1, 20143:30 & 8:00 PM
March 2, 2014, 3:30 PM

March 7, 20148:00 PM
March 8, 20143:30 & 8:00 PM
March 9, 20143:30 PM

March 14, 20148:00 PM
March 15, 20143:30 & 8:00 PM
March 16, 20143:30 PM

Onstage Theater
2nd Level, Greenbelt 1, Greenbelt
Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St.Ayala Center
Makati, Metro ManilaPhilippines

Most film buffs would recognize August: Osage County as the Academy Award nominated film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. It’s one of those films that might not set the box office ablaze but instead give serious cinema aficionados a major high that cannot be delivered by the usual blockbuster eye candy. The film may not have a commercial run in the Philippines but local audiences can see August: Osage County, written by Tracy Letts, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as Repertory Philippines stages this riveting play, which was the original source material of the film, this February 21-March 9, 2014 at Onstage, Greenbelt 1 in Makati.

Leo Rialp, Sheila Francisco, Pinky Amador, Baby Barredo, Chris Millado,
Liesl Batucan and Tami Monsod

This play, a black comedy centers on the Westons, a middle-class family from Oklahoma. When the Weston patriarch disappears, it sets into motion events that eventually make each member of the Weston family (each already nursing their own wounds and harboring a dark secret) sink deeper into misery. All this may sound like a typical Filipino soap opera but the cast claims that what sets this apart from the usual television series is the terse and intense writing with each scene by every character vital to the story. And Baby Barredo jokingly adds that the script is generously showered with expletives. Because of this, Repertory Philippines cautions that the material may not be suitable for children under the age of ten and those under the age of four will not be permitted inside the theater.

Kenneth Moraleda and Pinky Amador

The powerhouse cast of August: Osage County is led by theater pillars Baby Barredo (Violet Weston), Pinky Amador (Barbara Fordham), Tami Monsod (Ivy Weston), Liesl Batucan (Karen Weston) and Leo Rialp (Beverly Weston). They are joined by Kenneth Moraleda (Bill Fordham), Sheila Francisco (Mattie Fae Aiken and Violet Weston understudy), Thea Gloria (Jean Fordham), Richard Cunanan (Charlie Aiken), Hans Eckstein (Steve Heidebrecht), Noel Rayos (“Little” Charles Aiken), Angeli Bayani (Johnna Monevata). Rounding up the cast are Naths Everett (Johnna Monevata understudy) and Arnel Carrion (Sheriff Deon Gilbeau). The play will be directed by theater veteran and the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Vice President and Artistic Director, Chris Millado.

Thea Gloria, Leo Rialp, Richard Cunanan, Kenneth Moraleda and Pinky Amador

I’ve said before that I find straight plays a more fulfilling experience compared to musicals which might surprise a lot of people. I am more invested in the performance, pay more attention not just to what is being said but also how everything is presented which results in a greater payback for me.

Seated from left to right: Angeli Bayani, Sheila Francisco, Thea Gloria,
Pinky Amador, Baby Barredo, Chris Millado and Tami Monsod
Standing from left to right: Leo Rialp, Kenneth Moraleda, Hans Eckstein,
Noel Rayos, Richard Cunanan and Liesl Batucan

Ticket prices:
P600 Orchestra Center
P500 Orchestra Side
P400 Balcony

Ticket prices for the March 16, 2014, 3:30 PM show:
P1000 Orchestra Center
P600 Orchestra Side
P500 Balcony

For inquiries:
Repertory Philippines 571-6926, 571-4941,
TicketWorld 891-9999

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

4th International Rondalla Festival kicks off in Manila with Kwerdas at the CCP

February 12-16, 2014
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Celso Espejo Rondalla
Dipolog Community Rondalla
Harmonya: The String Ensemble of UPLB
Kabataang Silay Rondalla Ensemble
Lucban Pahiyas Community Rondalla
Maco Heights Central Elementary School Rondalla
U.P. Rondalla
Fu-Shing Junior High School Plucked String Band - Yilan, Taiwan
NTNU Chinese Plucked Instruments Ensemble - Taipei, Taiwan
Phing Nguyen Ensemble - Vietnam
Sundanese Kacapi Ensemble - Indonesia

Presented by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)  through the Musicological Society of the Philippines (MSP) and the UP Center for Ethnomusicology, Kuwerdas Festival will highlight the genius of the Filipino in the plucked string tradition through performances at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater), an exhibit on the History and the Development of the Philippine Rondalla, a Forum on Rondalla Instruments Development, and a Parangal, a tribute to the composers, conductors and dedicated rondalla teachers who have contributed greatly to the development of rondalla music in the country and abroad.

Kuwerdas, which launches the 4th International Rondalla/Plucked String Music Festival will be mounted in other countries where the plucked string tradition is practiced.  Kwerdas also celebrates the 10-year effort of the NCCA and MSP in promoting, sustaining and enhancing the rondalla that forms part of a shared plucked string tradition with countries such as Spain, Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Myanmar, India, Japan and Iran, among others.

Dr. Ramon Santos, well-renowned composer and Festival Director of Kuwerdas, regards the rondalla as an emblem of Filipino cultural identity, which has principally contributed to the social and artistic life of the entire nation. Santos claims that today the Filipino Rondalla is continuously developing in the United States, Europe, Australia, and in some Asian countries.

Performing a formidable repertoire that will provide Filipino audiences an exceptional rondalla musical experience are  seven (7) of the best rondalla ensembles in the country today that have passed the rigorous audition recently held in Manila, Davao City, Silay City and Dipolog. Concert repertoire includes classic and avant-garde compositions by Filipino composers, baroque pieces by Vivaldi, Bach, Corelli and Handel; overtures by Filipino and foreign composers.

Lucban Pahiyas Community Rondalla

The Filipino groups featured are the Celso Espejo Rondalla, a family rondalla from Las Pinas City that has consistently won grand prizes in prestigious rondalla competitions; Dipolog Community Rondalla, a group that has won in the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA), national level category in 2010; Harmonya: The String Ensemble of the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna, which dedicates its existence to the pursuit of excellence in both classical or contemporary works; Kabataang Silay Rondalla Ensemble that has earned the title of “Young Cultural Ambassadors of Negros Occidental”; Lucban Pahiyas Community Rondalla, National Champion Rondalla A and Solo Competitions, NAMCYA 2012; Maco Heights Central School Rondalla of Davao del Norte, 3rd place winner, NAMCYA Rondalla category A 2011 and 2013; University of the Philippines Rondalla, a group that has represented the country in major music festivals and that promotes, preserves and explores the versatility of the rondalla.

Joining the best Philippine rondalla groups are the plucked string artists Fu-Shing Junior High School and NTNU Chinese Plucked Instruments Ensemble of Taiwan as well as plucked string ensembles from Vietnam and Indonesia.

The Kuwerdas ng Pagkakaisa: Philippine Rondalla Festival will also hold a forum on Rondalla Instruments where instrument makers, manufacturers and rondalla artists will discuss about the problems and strategies on how to enhance the quality of the existing rondalla instruments in the Philippines. The forum will be held on February 14, 2014, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the CCP Silangan Hall.

Performance schedule:
February 13, 2014, 1:30, 4:00 & 8:00 PM
February 14, 2014, 1:30, 4:00 & 8:00 PM
February 15, 2014, 1:30, 4:00 & 8:00 PM
February 16, 2014, 4:00 PM
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)

Forum on Rondalla Instrument Development:
February 14, 2014, 9:00 AM
CCP Silangan Hall

Rondalla Exhibit:
February 16-28, 2014

Ticket price:
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For performance inquiries:
CCP Box Office 832-3704, 832-1125 local 1409/1406

For forum inquiries:

Monday, February 03, 2014

Karylle’s K Album Launch


Actress-singer Karylle made it a point to finish an album before the year 2013 ended. It had been a very busy year for her with an almost daily hosting duty over at It's Showtime and then capping the year with a starring role in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella held at the Resorts World Manila. But she finally made it, releasing her latest album, K, released by Polyeast Records, a seven track collection showcasing various facets of her career and personality.

The album’s lead single Kiss You started out with just the chorus and she had to set it song aside unfinished. Enter singer/songwriter Francis “Kix” Salazar, and three years later, they were able to finish the song. Another Salazar composition, Kapiling Kita, is one of the highlights in the album for me. Raw and emotional, this triple meter could be another signature song for her.

One song that has definitely become a signature song for Karylle, is the Sa ‘Yo Na Lang Ako, composed by Lara Maigue which was a finalist at the 2013 Philippine Popular Music Festival (PhilPop). This song has already conquered radio airwaves and its inclusion to the album is a no-brainer. The passion and the vulnerability she exhibits whenever she sings this song has even led some people to have silly speculations about how she truly feel about her past relationship.

Representing her theater career is the song In My Own Little Corner which is taken from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This is perfect for those who had seen the show and lamented the fact that there’s no Philippine cast recording available. It may be just one track but better to have one than none at all. I wished that Karylle’s rendition of Magbalik Ka Na Mahal from Rama Hari could’ve been included since this production was also a milestone in her career.

Other songs in the album are the up tempo Be Out Tonight and Bad Boys featuring her cousin Dash Calzado. Bad Boys also has a remix version included in the album.

I was able to catch Karylle’s album launch at Glorietta 5 that had her singing not only cuts from K, but also a few songs from her previous releases under Polyeast Records. She was joined Dash Calzado who jammed with her onstage. The album signing that happened after actually went far longer than the actual show. I saw for myself how Karylle painstakingly wrote inscriptions to every CD/item up for signing making them more treasured by the fans.

Karylle’s latest album K, released by Polyeast Records is available in record stores nationwide. Kiss You and the rest of the tracks are available for download at MyMusicStore Philippines and iTunes.


1. Be Out Tonight
2. Kiss You
3. Kapiling Kita
4. Bad Boys
5. Sa ‘Yo Na Lang Ako
6. In My Own Little Corner
7. Bad Boys Remix
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