Ms. Marquez, daughter of entertainment stalwart Pinky Marquez (currently playing the Mother Abbess in Repertory Philippines' "The Sound of Music") will play Gabriella Montez, while Mr. Alonzo (son of theater and TV thespian Chinggoy Alonzo, and younger brother of Ralion) does the part of Troy Bolton. Both were chosen through open auditions held recently at the Ateneo de Manila that attracted some 270 hopefuls, of which around 45 were eventually chosen for the cast. In 2005, Ms. Marquez alternated with KC Concepcion as Belle in Atlantis Productions' staging of "Beauty and the Beast" at the Meralco Theater.
"High School Musical" show dates are February 23-25, 2007, with Friday and Saturday 8pm shows, Saturday and Sunday 3pm shows, and a Sunday 10am show, all at SM Megamall Cinema 4. Only five performances, folks, which means, given the material's enormous popularity among young people, there'd be a mad rush for tickets when they go on sale in January 2007. If you're a fan of this cream puff of a musical (and who isn't?), do yourself a favor and book seats early. If not, you may want to content yourself with the DVD and the CD soundtrack, which continue to sell by the gazillion.
Did you know that, based on this blog's traffic reports in the last few weeks, many visitors got to this site while searching for "High School Musical" in Yahoo or Google? That's after I posted the announcement for the auditions. Well, I'm writing this report now as a complementary piece to my published article in the paper today--an exclusive announcement of the chosen cast, plus co-producer Hendri Go and director Chari Arespacochaga talking about how they bagged the rights to the musical and how they agreed on Karel Marquez and company.
Gabriella's diva rival Sharpay Evans will be played by UP student and stage actress Yen Morada, while the part of Ryan Evans goes to another new actor, Jaime Barcelon, whom I am very excited to see in a role that would allow him to break free and indulge in quirky exuberance (all those funky, stylish get-ups!). Mr. Barcelon has a terrific voice, on display some nights a week in Rep's ongoing "Sound of Music" revival. But Rolf is too slim a part for him. He may be a fresh face in Philippine musical theater, but his pipes (and good looks, by the way) deserve to be showcased in a big way.
Questions, inquiries? Call Hendri at 0917-8155794 or Jill at 0919-3608974.
Anyway, more details here. Now, sing with me: "We're all in this togetherrr!"
[photo 1: ABS-CBN Star Records; photo 2: Didang Dollosa; photo 3: Jaime Barcelon]