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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Theatre Review: The Magnificent Macabre Tale of Jekyll and Hyde




Although Jekyll and Hyde may not have that big famous song that most Broadway musicals, it is still quite fascinating to watch, especially that the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, is one of my all time favorite books!  There have been Hollywood versions and adaptations of this story and this is the first musical I have seen about this story.

Well, it is great to see that Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo can also direct!  I love the stage design and how it effectively anchors the story into who Dr. Jekyll is. I even love how she created a chorus who are always sinisterly looking back at the audience in most of the songs.  They don't move, they just stay in the background - with no lighting on them and no movement.  But once they come out as a chorus, wow, they become some sort of 'speaker' for the musical, the soul analyzing the agony Dr. Jekyll is going through.

Michael Williams is just impressive as the lead! Playing dual characters is not easy, but without much make-up, he was able to convey through voice, clever lighting and effective facial expressions, who Dr. Jekyll was and who Mr. Hyde was, as the latter appears more often in the second act of the musical.  The last scene where the two duel internally with each other is surely the scene that made many in the audience give the cast a standing ovation. It was just really impressive to see him do that scene really well!

As usual, I love Cris Villonco here.  I just love her voice and how cleverly she uses it to show emotion.  She gives her character tenderness yet she looks tough, and conveys her love for the doomed doctor by always believing that his good nature will win in the end.

One revelation last night was Kalila Aguilos.  Oh my god, listen to that voice, so clear, like a nightingale, it just wafts as she sings her songs - and she plays a hooker here, mind you.  And yeah, she is hot and sexy too, I'm sure the red-blooded males in the audience had their hearts racing as Dr. Jekyll touched her there!

This is also the first time I saw Junix Inocian act.  Wow, no wonder he was cast in Miss Saigon.  Such commanding performance.  He's like a rock and he commands the 'Greek chorus' swaying them that most of what we see is just a 'facade'.

Well, the material of this play is a bit disturbing but watch it and revel at how great Filipino actors are!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lovin' Velvet Clothes



I read with amusement an article today, entitled, "Real Men Wear Velvet", which profiled an actual exhibition in the Philadelphia Museum of Art entitled "The Peacock Male: Exuberance and Extremes in Masculine Dress" because I am too, a lover of clothes in velvet. I remember the first velvet pants I wore, way back in my college days, was by Romeo Gigli, and I loved it!  Had it for the longest time.  Nowadays though, my velvet-y clothes are mainly my tracksuits and hoodies and they range in color from gold (yup - I am Puff Daddy!, lavender, royal blue, silver and mauve).  Problem is, I can't wear them regularly because in the hot tropical weather of Manila, velvet can be hot and uncomfortable - so "naghahanap siya ng okasyon" as they say in Tagalog.
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Larry Stylinson: BFF British Lads Style!



It's rather cute that the BFF friends, Larry Stylinson - that's Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have been perceived to be a couple by their American fans!  Just goes to show how more open society is - especially the youth - in just accepting the fact that two cute teenage boys can actually be a couple.  Blame it on Glee, blame it on Lady Gaga, but it has certainly freed up a large group of people - and young people at that - that the thought of two cute boys falling in love is just, well, ok!  Unfortunately though, touchy-feely though these guys are sometimes for the camera - they are actually heterosexuals!  Oh well, there should be a real cute teenage couple out there who just happen to be both boys!
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cocooning


Every once in a while, I retreat to my shell especially when my schedule gets a little bit crazy.  Often this happens when I find that I have too much on my plate already and I am forgetting already the most important things in my life.  So it happens again this middle of March, the cocooning process, as I decided to scale down some of my activities since I was just too busy for my own good. 

I had to let go of my French and Spanish classes for this session, at least, since I felt that I should go the next step and actually travel to a country that actually speaks French and Spanish - and I plan to do that this year, at least for the Spanish part.  I have also decided to do the prioritize four things that I really enjoy the most - write, dance in the gym, read a book and watch TV shows (something which I haven't done in a long long time!).  All the other activities have to work around these four, so that way, it makes my life easier.

My Body Is Creaking All Over the Place


I was doing Body Jam and Hip Hop today but as much as I wanted to do hataw, I couldn't! My body was just not freaking cooperating, it irritated me so much!  I guess I really have to accept the fact that some of the moves that I could do effortlessly two years ago, I may not be able to do now! Terrible feeling, isn't it?

I guess what made it worse was that 90% of the class were young people, 30 years old and younger so I kinda got depressed for the first 30 minutes, I wasn't paying attention very much to the steps in the hip hop class.  But eventually, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and just decided to have fun and enjoy the moment. Anyway, Errol's steps were still 'friendly' towards my body.  I just avoided too much jumping!

Twitter and the Angry Celebrities


I have Twitter but I just use it for my blog and I don't actually have the time to follow all my favorite celebrities.  And well, one thing I've learned about famous people is - the more you get to know them - the more you realize that there's no difference between them and you.  They are just more famous but it doesn't mean they're better than you in other things.  I can say this because I taught for some time at the ABS-CBN Talent Center and well, these kids are talented and goodlooking but well, they're human too and some are not really as bright as they project themselves to be.

So I read with amusement as some of our country's top celebrities (Sharon Cuneta, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid) have become fair game to everyone in the Twitter world.  By opening themselves up to everyone else, they also get what people REALLY think about them.  And sometimes, the truth hurts. Or sometimes, a lot of people just say nasty things to rile them up.  I guess some celebrities are so used to receiving praise often they forget that they're ordinary people too and that ordinary people like us are not always enamored with what they do.  At least Twitter allows everyone to call a spade a spade.  I guess that's another price celebrities have to deal with if they allow people into their lives.  Otherwise, they should just put their Twitter on private.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reminiscing About Those Grand Standalone Theatres Around Metro Manila


I read this wonderful article on the local Esquire magazine today about the grand standalone movie theaters that used to populate the main streets of Metro Manila.  I guess I was fortunate then to be able to watch a few movies in these theaters in the late 80s when we moved to Manila.  I remember watching some Nora Aunor movies in the huge New Frontier Cinema in Cubao and some Hollywood films in Delta.  At that time, the SM North cinemas just opened and these cinemas where still on my route home, so it was a good place to watch a movie after my classes.  Unfortunately, they could not survive being just a standalone theater because everyone started going to the malls where we can get to choose what movie to watch.  I guess those days of watching a movie in those places are part of our history now.  I do hope they can find something to do with these huge dinosaurs.  Maybe some sort of concert place?
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Discovering Barcino in Rockwell



Rockwell is not really my favorite mall because it's just a bit far from where I live in QC and there are not that many shops there that suit my taste and budget.  However, my friends brought me to Barcino Rockwell which is really a wine and tapas place and I had a great time just hanging out there! It's just the perfect alternative to hanging out in a swanky coffee shop since I can stay there to drink some affordable wine and eat some delicious finger foods.  My friends said it was bigger and better than the other Barcino's in Greenbelt and the Fort.  Also, the waiters are pretty helpful in recommending the wine and the food!  Great, another new place to hang out while I'm in Makati!

Delicious French Food At Champetre Fort


I forgot to bring my camera when I and my friends ate at Champetre so I had to borrow this picture of a lamb shank.  I've eaten in Champetre before when it was still Je Suis Gourmand and it was delightful to find out that the resto has maintained the quality of the food.  I remember ordering beef last time and this time I decided on the lamb.  It was very tender and juicy and most importantly, it was filling! This thing cost a bit so it's important that these things make one full too.  I also like the ambience of the place and the acoustics allowed you to hear each other's voices without having to shout and of course, have the privacy of having the next table not really hear what you're talking about.

I'm definitely going back here since the food is really good.  Too bad they don't have it in Quezon City.  Going to the Fort is like going to HK.  EDSA traffic is just really bad.
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Napa Restaurant in Scout Borromeo: Yum Yum!



My BFF Mabel was very surprised when I told her that we only shared around 350 pesos each for our birthday dinner for our friend Heidi last Friday.  We had the birthday dinner in Napa Restaurant in Scout Borromeo, a place handpicked by the birthday celebrant herself.  Mabel was surprised because the amount was normally half of what we toka during the birthday dinners we had last year!  And we did not even scrimp on the food!  We had the salad, two plates of them; the pizza shown above, which was very delicious and some fish, since it was a Friday.  Aside from that, we even had a cake and a coffee cheesecake which was really delicious!  So it was an affordable meal in a beautiful restaurant and you can even talk and have a conversation since the acoustics of the place was very good.  We also had a lot pictures taken around the place since the interiors were pretty cozy!  I could just come here for the cheesecake and maybe some pizza on the days when I crave for them!
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