In my last post I mentioned that I was rehearsing for a new, original musical titled, “Katipunan: Mga Anak ng Bayan” being produced by Gantimpala Theater Foundation. Well, rehearsals have finished and we have already started touring. This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of hero Andres Bonifacio, so it is quite fitting for the debut of this show. The show is directed by Joel Lamangan and Jun Pablo. And I feel so grateful and thankful for working with them for the first time.
This is my first time to be involved with an original musical. This makes for a very different experience than the other shows I have done here in Manila. There is no original cast recording you can buy to study the songs. We are the original cast for this musical! Although “Katipunan” (written by Bonifacio Ilagan) was performed and produced by Gantipala 36 years ago, it was not a musical then. When Direk Joel and Direk Jun mentioned that they were part of the original straight play as actors in 1977 (the year I was born!!), I knew they already had a clear vision for this musical version, aside of course from their very long, successful credentials as directors. It’s so exciting to be a part of this living thing that can change from rehearsal to rehearsal. With that comes some added pressure as we would sometimes get a song at the beginning of rehearsal, can listen 2 or 3 times, and then go immediately into blocking on the stage. Keeping everyone on their toes is good professional experience though and I am always up for a challenge.
|Upper left: opening scene; Upper right: Bows at the end of the show|
Lower left: Full cast number; Lower right: Andres courting Oryang
On a lighter note, the part of the show that always gets great feedback is the love story between Andres and Gregoria. The nervousness as Andres courts Gregoria, the wedding, and even fighting side-by-side. As our audiences are primarily students, they enjoy the love story and it reaches the peak with the big kiss on stage! I am so grateful to share the stage with such a talented, young actor, Sandino Martin, who plays the role of Andres Bonifacio. At our first rehearsal I thought I would look more like his mother than his wife! He is a great sport with the love scenes and is always asking me if my husband is OK with it. And a favorite part of mine is when Gregoria falls in love; there is such a great melody (written by composer and actor RJ Jimenez) in the song “Puso Ko’y Lumilipad.”
The music perfectly matches the
light-hearted mood as I get to float
across the stage in love.
|Poster for Katipunan Mga Anak ng Bayan|
|Various shots of the cast during our rehearsals.|
We became one big, happy family. Sugod mga kapatid!
|Thank you Sandino for this artwork, honored to play Gregoria de Jesus (Oryang)|