Monday, October 05, 2009

Rep announces lead cast of Sweeney Todd

Audie Gemora, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Robbie Guevarra, Lena McKenzie and Franco Laurel comprise the lead cast of Repertory Philippines' new stage production of Stephen Sondheim's “Sweeney Todd”.

The musical runs at Onstage 2/F Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Makati City, from November 13 to December 13, 2009.

Sondheim (“Into The Woods”, “Sunday In The Park With George”) has won seven Tony Awards and a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theater. He is also a multiple Grammy Award recipient, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

The composer's signature dissonant style in melody and the chilling and exciting storyline make “Sweeney Todd” a memorable theater experience. This is Rep's third incarnation of the musical thriller, having staged “Sweeney Todd” in 1982 and in the 1990s.

In the title role of Sweeney is Audie Gemora, who has appeared in over 40 plays ranging from Broadway/West End to original Filipino works. He has played major roles in “Pippin,” “Evita,” “West Side Story,” “Les Miserables,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Noli” and “Fili” for the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Pilipino and “Ang Paglalakbay Ni Radiya Managandiri” for The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), among others.

The role of Mrs. Lovett, is played by two-time Aliw Best Actress winner Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. She began her acting career with Rep in “Fiddler On The Roof” in 1978. Since then, she’s essayed lead roles in “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line,” “Les Miserables,” “Camelot,” “The King And I,” “Evita” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” to name a few.

She recently made her directorial debut with the highly successful revival of “West Side Story” featuring Christian Bautista, Karylle and Joanna Ampil.

Robbie Guevarra plays the Beadle. He is another main player in local theater, having appeared in over 70 productions here and abroad. He also directed Rep's “Romance, Romance” and “A Christmas Carol” and Blue Repertory's “Batboy, The Musical.”

Two newcomers to the REP stage are Lena Mckenzie and Franco Laurel, who play Johanna and Anthony, respectively. Lena is a soprano who has performed in “Noli Me Tangere” for Tanghalang Pilipino. She is currently a voice major at the University of the Philippines.

Franco, on the other hand, began performing in musicals in 1999 with “Rama and Sita,” where he played Rama's younger brother. In 2004, he received the Aliw Award Best Actor for his role as Ugly in Trumpets' “Honk, the Ugly Duckling.” In 2008, he was Jose Rizal in “Isang Panaginip Na Fili” for Dulaang UP.

Baby Barredo co-directs with Michael Williams. Ms. Barredo comes full circle in “Sweeney Todd,” as she was Mrs. Lovett in the 1982 production. The other members of the artistic and production staff include Gino Gonzales for set design, John Batalla for lighting design and Mio Infante for costume design. Gerard Salonga conducts the FILharmoniKA orchestra.

“Sweeney Todd” runs November 13 to December 13 with additional matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at Onstage, 2/F Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center Makati City. For ticket inquiries and other information, call 8870710, 8880887 or 8919999. Visit


The Photoblogger said...

Wooot! As much as I like the Movie, I still love the original Play.

waltzang said...

in the 90s? really? when? who were the leads?

skdomingo said...

Reading your posts make me realize how much more theatrical and cultural is there compared to here in Vancouver!

If there only was a 20$ ticket to MLA, then I would be watching SA AND SWEENEY TODD among the many other fantastic plays that are showing this season

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