Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More good news re US-based Pinoy talents

From a reader in New York:

I have to use this email to send a comment on your most recent post because I can't through your blog or I just don't know how. Anyway, It is also worth mentioning that several pinoys took the lead in the recently concluded off off broadway staging of ms Saigon in redbank NJ. Its not as big a production as that of broadway or even the one in ccp but We cannot ignore the talent that is Filipino and be real proud when i was watching the show. Taking the lead for thuy, the engineer and Kim are all pinoys. It might also be worth mentioning that Lora Nicolas who took the lead character of Kim is I think from sorsogon as she mentioned that she's a niece of loida Nicolas Lewis. Maybe you know her. Just an info for your blog. Thanks and keep blogging. A reader from ny.

Thank you, Ralph, for this info, especially that bit about Lora Nicolas probably hailing from Sorsogon. A nephew of Ms. Nicolas-Lewis was, in fact, a high school batchmate of mine. He also lives in NJ, so I'm sure he knows about Lora. I'll ask him to fill us in on his talented cousin.

And this one from Oliver Oliveros of (co-written with John Bautista):

Filipino-American actress Arielle Jacobs is currently playing the lead role of Nina Rosario in the first national tour of Tony and Grammy-winning musical IN THE HEIGHTS. The tour kicked off in Tampa, Florida last October 27, 2009 and will end in Costa Mesa, California on August 15, 2010.

San Francisco-raised Arielle gets her Filipino blood from her mother's side. Arielle's grandfather, who was originally from Pangasinan in the Philippines, moved to the U.S. with his wife and three children in 1965 after 17 years of petitioning for U.S. citizenship.

Graduating magna cum laude from New York University (NYU), with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance, Arielle has originated the role of Gabriella Montez in the national tour of Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and the world premiere of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2. She was also seen in musicals A CHORUS LINE, CINDERELLA, BABES IN ARMS, THE KING AND I, RAGTIME and ROSE OF CORAZON.

IN THE HEIGHTS, which features music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2008. It was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning three, including Best Musical.

IN THE HEIGHTS tells the intertwined stories of various characters living in the Dominican Republic neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. The music of IN THE HEIGHTS is very different from the familiar Broadway style as it fuses music genres of Latin, hip-hop, soul and rap.

Arielle has been winning rave reviews from theatre critics since the start of the tour.

“Arielle Jacobs makes Nina the show's most compelling character, both Jacobs and Gonzales-Nacer (Vanessa) have radiant voices that bring power and poignancy to such songs 'When You're Home,' 'It Won't Be Long' and 'Breathe,'” said Jay Handelman of Variety.

“We related most to Nina...Arielle Jacobs could sing her way to world peace. Seriously. Her mellifluous and angelic voice held the web of distraught characters together and drew the audience in with sweetness and grace,” noted Suzy Evans of Chicagoist.

Interestingly, Arielle's brother, Adam Jacobs, is also into musical theatre. He recently portrayed Marius in the 2005 Broadway revival of LES MISERABLES, where Tony winner Lea Salonga played Fantine.

IN THE HEIGHTS' first national tour also features stage actors Kyle Beltran (Usnavi), Daniel Bolero (Kevin), Rogelio Douglas, Jr. (Benny), Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Vanessa), Jose-Luis Lopez (Graffiti Pete), Genny Lis Padilla (Carla), Isabel Santiago (Daniela), Elise Santora (Abuela Claudia), Shaun Taylor-Corbett (Sonny), David Baida (Piragua Guy), among others.

(Full article here)


Oliver Oliveros said...

Lora is back in Manila for a vacation. She has studied Musical Theatre at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York. =)

dabo said...


(nagbasa ako ah pero wala na ko talaga masabi hehe)

inagt lagi gibbs

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