She plays Mrs. Lovett, he plays Tobias in Repertory Philippines' production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, which opens November 14, 2009 at Onstage Greenbelt 1, Makati City.
For some reason, YouTube has been acting up and won't upload my new videos, except this clip of Marvin and Menchu singing perhaps Sweeney Todd's most familiar song, during the presscon held last week. Preceding the YouTube fuck-up (excuse my Fwench) is my Flip video running out of battery during the song and chopping off the closing lines. When it rains--it floods, indeed.
What refuses to be uploaded are two more clips--one of Franco Laurel (as Anthony) and Lena Mackenzie (as Johanna) singing Kiss Me, and, most interestingly, Audie Gemora (as Sweeney Todd) and Menchu tearing into A Little Priest, at the end of which hot pies were served to the media crowd. Macabre touch, delicious pies.
After having listened to them, I can say with assurance at this point that this Sweeney Todd will be better--much better--sung than the movie version. The score, including the choral parts excised from the Tim Burton film, will be performed in its entirety.
The rest of the cast includes Roger Chua (Judge Turpin), Robbie Guevara (Beadle), Liesl Batucan (Beggar Woman), Robbie Zialcita (Pirelli) and Juno Henares (Mrs. Lovett understudy).
And the ensemble: Ring Antonio, Cara Barredo, Teenee Chan, Red Concepcion, David Cruz, Hans Eckstein, Jejie Esguerra, Naths Everett, Jay Glorioso, Rona Guba, Collins Gutierrez, Gary Junsay, Raul Montesa, Jay Pangilinan, Meynard Penalosa (who also understudies Sweeney Todd), Marisse Santos, Glory Sicam, James Stacey, Oliver Usison (Mr. Fogg and Judge Turpin understudy), Joy Virata and Rem Zamora.
A sprawling cast, an expensive musical that's also dark and daunting, and in December yet. Why this, why now, why not next year, say February--was a question asked of co-director Michael Williams. “It'd be worse in February, during Valentine,” he quipped. The long and short of it: Rep wants a topnotch musical to close its season with a bang, and the actors are keen to challenge themselves. “Sweeney Todd is like the Olympics for any theater actor,” said Audie.
“A dream come true,” echoed everyone else--a trite phrase, but you could tell they were dead serious about it. This is Sondheim, after all--and not only minor Sondheim, but Sweeney frickin' Todd.
The musical runs November 14-December 19, 2009. For tickets and inquiries: 8870710, 8880887, 8919999. Visit www.repertory.ph or www.ticketworld.com.ph