BeFunky_cinderellac cover.jpgKARYLLE and CHRISTIAN BAUTISTA top bills in another spectacular musical play, this time for Resorts World Manila Newport Performing Arts Theater’s version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic fairy tale CINDERELLA.

BeFunky_Christian Bautista and Karylle Tatlonghari during the Cinder.jpgThe two STAGES artists went asia-wide when they did the TV show KITCHEN MUSICAL in 2011 and then last year (2012) they conquered the CCP stage with RAMA HARI.  It seems that their chemistry as partners in musical productions continue to grow as they reunite once again for what is said to be the Philippine’s grandest interpretation of the classic story of CINDERELLA under the directorial helm of veteran stage actor and director Michael Williams.

Originally written for television, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella was based on the popular French version Cendrillion by Charles Perrault.  The television musical was first broadcasted in 1957 in CBS it featured Julie Andrews in the title role and Jon Cypher as the Prince.  The three-act TV version was comprised of original compositions that spiced up the well-loved fairy tale including “In My Own Little Corner”, “Ten Minutes Ago”, and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful” among others.

Several remakes were made including the CBS 1965 version starring Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella and Stuart Damon as Prince Charming.  In 2008, Tony Award winning actress Lea Salonga top-billed Broadway Asia Entertainment’s 30-week Asian Tour of Cinderella which premiered in Manila.

Last Saturday, I was invited to see the 20-minute preview of the new CINDERELLA production.  According to Director Williams, everything are still in the works from the set, the costumes and even the dance routines but what the preview showed us are the talented casts and the musical prowess of actors Christian Bautista (Prince), Karylle (Cinderella), Singapore-based theater actress – Julia Abueva (Cinderella) and rising stage actor Fred Lo (Prince).

Also supporting the main cast are Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the first lady of Philippine musical theater as Fairy Godmother alternating with veteran actress Pinky Marquez plus an ensemble of talented stage performers starting with Justine Pena (alternating Julia Abueva as Cinderella), Sweet Plantado, Sheila Francisco, Miguel Faustmann, Maronne Cruz, Gianina Ocampo, Red Concepcion and many others.

Julia Abueva and Fred Lo

When asked how Resorts World Manila’s CINDERELLA is different from the other productions, Chief Entertainment Officer COLIN KERR said,

“In the interest of theatre arts, we have to invest because when people come they expect to see something better, more glamorous, more “bonggacious”, than the previous production.  That’s something that Resorts World Manila always aims to do.  We always try to give a wow factor.  What we have done before, that becomes the norm and we always try to do better with subsequent productions.”

Although it was not revealed during the preview and not even during the press conference, Colin Kerr and Michael Williams promises everyone that the production will be as real and as magical as the original story.  The special effects will be something that audiences will be looking forward to, as well as the grandiose synergistic combination of the physical stage and its virtual set.

They however revealed that the CINDERELLA production will not have the usual curtain down scene shift sequence and instead the whole stage will be like a huge pop up story book that incorporates fully automated set changes.  A state-of-the-art production that will really WOW audiences, child and adult alike.

CINDERELLA opens at the Newport Performing Arts Theater on October 9.   For more information, visit www.rwmanila.com or call the Tourist/Visitors Hotline at (632) 908-8833.

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