Friday, June 05, 2009

Bright new talents in Atlantis Productions' Spring Awakening this September

Miguel Mendoza of “Philippine Idol” and “Pinoy Dream Academy” makes his professional stage debut in Atlantis Productions’ “Spring Awakening,” set to run September 25-October 17, 2009 at the RCBC Theater, Makati City.

In Duncan Sheik’s groundbreaking rock musical, which won 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Mendoza plays the supporting role of Georg, a piano student who has difficulties concentrating on his music because of his fascination for the feminine charms of his teacher. Just like the other characters in the play, Georg discovers the nuances of adulthood and the pains of growing up.

Before his stints in the television singing competitions “Philippine Idol” and “Pinoy Dream Academy,” Mendoza had been in a number of school productions, including “Godspell” and “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Meanwhile, Kelly Frances Lati, 18, is set to star as Wendla, the lead role originated by Lea Michele in the Broadway production of “Spring Awakening.”

Born and bred in New York City, Kelly has been studying and watching musical theater for as long as she can remember. She has a gamut of roles in her portfolio, among them Little Red Riding Hood in “Into the Woods,” Catherine in “Pippin” and Sally Brown in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” She was one of over 200 who came to audition for the musical's Manila staging. Her callback video was sent to the New York Producers for final casting approval.

The rest of the cast will be announced soon. Due to the show's explicit content, parental discretion is advised.

“Spring Awakening” will be directed by Chari Arespacochaga, and is made possible through a special licensing agreement with its Broadway producers: Ira Pittleman, Tom Hulce, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel.

It runs September 25-October 17, 2009 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Only a few shows remain available for showbuying and fundraising. Call Atlantis Productions at 8927078 or 8401187 for more information.

PLUS: Director Chari Arespacochaga talks about mounting the Manila production and her casting process and choices; Miguel and Kelly also share their thoughts about the musical.


MisterHeuge said...

Euge and I are looking forward to see this. I hope it lives up to our expectations.

Rainbow Runner said...

ooooh! wanna see this too!

Anonymous said...

Gibbs, do you know how much the tickets are?

pwerasibang said...

i had the chance to watch this musical twice on broadway...i love every aspect of the play. it rocks!truly brilliant! i'd love to watch this local staging. do you know how to get that 'special seat' on stage gibbs? hahaha

Anonymous said...

Hope hindi gaya sa broadway ito. Watched na some productions by Chari. Medio traditional magdirect. Dont know kung pano niya gagawin itong material na ito.

Anonymous said...

saw this on broadway. it's good (but overrated) and a sibling to Rent, with good songs, the staging is quite bare, the characters are quite one dimensional and caricatures.

Anonymous said...

LOVE SPRING AWAKENING TO BITS. I've been a fan for over a year now. Saw this musical twice - the tour cast and the Broadway cast (not original) with Hunter Parrish and Alexandra Socha as Melchior and Wendla. (I unfortunately missed the original Broadway cast, BUMMER coz I absolutely love Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele) I'm excited and very interested to see how our local productions plays this one out...

Ern Sy said...

KELLY'S SO AWESOME HAHAHA! Don't be afraid to show those girls on set ok honey!

gibbs cadiz said...

MISTERHEUGE! glad you're watching plays more often now. sama-sama tayo minsan. :)

RAINBOW, so pa'no, kitakits sa showing? :)

hi ANONYMOUS, unfortunately, no. you may want to call the numbers at the end of the article. :)

PWERASIBANG, uh, no. i've no idea at this time who gets to be seated onstage, hehe. :)

ANONYMOUS, let's wish chari and her team well. :)

ANONYMOUS, thanks for your comment--though i disagree. in music alone, it's a far cry from being a sibling to rent, in my opinion. :)

ANONYMOUS, jonathan groff! argh. :)

hey ERNEST! i saw kelly in you're a good man, charlie brown, and enjoyed her performance very much, so am looking forward to her work here. :)

Rio said...

As for being a sibling to Rent, I disagree as well. I think it is more appropriate to say that Rent was definitely a precursor to Spring Awakening. Do not also forget that when Rent came out back in 1996, comparisons to Hair were also referenced.

Though I must say, Rent played a major role in creating the modern rock musical and whose influence we can clearly see is the latest Broadway shows such as Spring Awakening, In the Heights (both Tony Award winners for Best Musical) and more recently, Rock of Ages (though that could be debatable, as Rock of Ages looks more American Idol than Rent to me)

I am a big fan of both Rent and Spring Awakening and have seen both shows live on stage and I must say each is a unique experience. In my opinion, what makes Rent unique is the variety of music styles encompassed in one show - such as gospel,pop, rock and even tango and performance art while Spring Awakening is more straight up rock and even, emo music if you may:) What these two have in common is that they dared to push the boundaries and explore areas that theater hasn't seen before, Rent exploring the then taboo topic of AIDS, drug use and homosexuality and Spring Awakening with issues of faith, the influence of the church, premarital sex, abortion, suicide, homosexuality and the overall sexual awakening of teenagers.

As for Spring Awakening's characters being one dimensional and caricatures, they seemed to me that way at first as well, but when I read the original play by Frank Wedekind and got into the story more and understood the characters in context, they're actually quite complex. I guess reading Spring Awakening: In the Flesh doesn't hurt as well :D

I'm really intrigued with this new production, and I wish I could come back home and see it this September:S It was a dark day on Broadway when Spring Awakening closed last January 18 but the national tour is still ongoing, and I am also more than pleased that productions in several countries other than ours have popped up as well. I am absolutely amazed with the videos of the Japanese production, even though I do not understand a word of what they say...guess that stands testament to the power of theater :D

Anonymous said...

I agree. Rent is not so related with Spring Awakening.

They're just not. :))

Anonymous said...

can't wait! we are selling ticket for the opening show! :)

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