Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tony Award-Winning Classic, THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, Returns to Manila

Finally! After a whole year of waiting, 9 Works Theatrical is back with a new production that will surely tickle our senses. To those who are not familiar with the company, they’re the great team that made RENT, The Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown come alive on stage in previous years.

This coming Valentines season, make sure to catch the staging of They’re Playing Our Song where well-known composer Vernon Gersch meets aspiring offbeat female lyricist Sonia Walsk. Although it follows the pattern of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl falls head over heels for boy – this story is made more fun to watch with the combination of Sonya’s kookiness and Vernon’s wisecracks that lead to one hilarious scene after the other.

The New York Post actually dubbed this as “fun [as] it is funny, full of blithe good humor, hilarious jokes and witty, pointed characterizations” while the New York Daily News described it as “engaging, light entertainment”.

engaging event hosts Jonjon Martin and Toff de Venecia
They’re Playing Our Song is based on the real-life relationship of the show’s Broadway creators: the late, Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) and Grammy Award-winning songwriter Carole Bayer Sager (Michael Jackson, Celine Dion). It takes a peek into the trials that the couple had to go through before they found true love.

Executive Producer Santi Santamaria
This romantically offbeat comedy musical features hit songs like Fallin’ (I’ve loved that song for a long time) and I Still Believe in Love, the show returns to Manila after more than a decade.

Singer-actress Nikki Gil returns to the stage in the role of Sonya. I, unfortunately, didn’t get to see her play Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical but loved her as Charity Hope Valentine in 9 Works Theatrical’s critically-acclaimed dance musical, Sweet Charity.

Nikki Gil as Sonya
According to Nikki, she’s very excited and also very nervous on taking on the role. Although this is her fourth theatrical production, she says that performing onstage is always nerve-wracking and it never gets any easier. In addition, her idol, Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, once played Sonya.

“I love Lea and anything that has to do with her,” confides Nikki. “She really brought the role of Sonya to life in the previous staging. I’ll just have to bring something different to the table … my own version.”

Lorenz Martinez as Vernon
Playing the male romantic lead is veteran actor Lorenz Martinez, (he really made a great and lovable Snoopy in last year’s production!). He has this inherent gift of quick comedic timing that, combined with his tenor singing voice, has enthralled audiences (me, included) both here and abroad. These made him perfect for the role of Vernon. At the moment, you can catch him in Resorts World Manila’s The King and I as Lun Tha. Lorenz has also appeared in shows like Forbidden Broadway, The Wedding Singer, and the Netherlands production of Miss Saigon as the Engineer, among others.

Nikki says it felt weird but also very exciting to be sharing romantic scenes with the former assistant director for Sweet Charity. “But I know that he’s also one of the most versatile characters in Philippine theater today. I will surely learn a lot from him.”

Director Robbie Guevara
Robbie Guevarra, 9 Works Theatrical’s Artistic Director, will take the helm of They’re Playing Our Song. Nikki is all praises for Robbie whom she considers such a cool director who allows her to discover and grow alongside the character she’s playing. “I love that Robbie allows me to explore. I’m looking forward to working with him again.”

Reb, James, and Noel
Joining Nikki and Lorenz on stage are some of today’s finest stage personalities including James Stacey, Reb Atadero, Noel Rayos, Peachy Atilano, Anna Santamaria, and Jill Pena.

Peachy, Anna, and Justine
The artistic team is led by Robbie Guevara (Director), Joseph Tolentino (Musical Director – Instrumentation), Lionel Guico (Musical Director – Vocals), Mio Infante (Scenographer and Costume Designer), Martin Esteva (Lighting Designer), Gemini Quintos (Choreographer), Chuck Ledesma (Sound Designer), Twinkle Zamora (Costume Execution), KalilaAguilos (Costume Stylist), Joseph Pascual (Photographer), Tin Samson (Magazine Editor), and Larry Palma (Graphic Designer).

The production team is composed of Santi Santamaria (Executive Producer), Anna Santamaria (Company Manageer), Toff de Venecia (PR Director), Jonjon Martin (PR Manager), GM Hernandez III (MarketingManager), Carlos Canlas (HR Manager), Sunshine Domine (Production Manager), and Aries Alcayaga (Stage Manager).

They’re Playing Our Song will run at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati from February 8 to March 3. It is co-presented by The Rockwell Club and The Peninsula Manila with special participation of SM Accessories, Lynelle’s, Mary Grace, BPI Credit Cards, and media partners MYX, Business World, and HerWord.com.

For tickets, call 9 Works Theatrical at 586-7105, 0917-5545560, or Ticketworld at 891-9999. Visit www.9workstheatrical.com, like their Facebook fan page (9workstheatrical) or Twitter (@9WT).

They’re Playing Our Song is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Watch this show and surprise your special someone by getting a Valentine’s Room Package at The Peninsula Manila. Click here for more details.

To see more photos from the press con, view this album on Facebook.

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