Friday, February 05, 2010

Piolo Pascual to star in CCP production of Flower Drum Song this October-November

You're reading it here first: Piolo Pascual will star in the lead role of Ta in a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song that the Cultural Center of the Philippines and its resident theater company, Tanghalang Pilipino, will mount in October-November this year.

Former CCP president Nestor Jardin, who serves as executive producer of the musical, confirmed the casting. Mr. Pascual will alternate with Fil-Am Broadway actor Paolo Montalban in the role.

All other principal roles in the musical are up for grabs, with auditions set for this coming Monday, Feb. 8, and next Monday, Feb. 15, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., at CCP's Bulwagang Amado Hernandez.

Loy Arcenas (also at the helm of TP's Tatlong Mariya, which opens Feb. 19 at the CCP Little Theater), will direct the musical from the “revisal” (revision-revival) script created by playwright David Henry Hwang for the 2002 American production that starred Filipino performers Lea Salonga as Mei Li and Jose Llana as Ta. The reworked musical, based on the original book/libretto by Oscar Hammerstein and Joseph Fields and approved by the Rodgers and Hammerstein estate, opened first in Los Angeles before transferring to Broadway, where it ran for 169 performances.

Mr. Arcenas will also design the set, with Edna Vida doing the choreography and Gino Gonzales the costume design. The musical will run Oct. 15-Nov. 7 at CCP's Main Theater.

Is Lea Salonga being considered to reprise her role as Mei Li?

“No,” said Mr. Jardin. “Lea is an excellent singer and actress, but I understand she's currently busy with Cats. Also, we'd like to discover new people and give others a chance.”

More about Flower Drum Song here.

PLUS: Wang Ta's big musical moment is a short but soaring song called Like A God, which, in the 2002 cast recording, Jose Llana bats out of the ballpark (check out audio clips below--the third track is there for continuity).

No doubt Paolo Montalban can sing the role. Piolo? We're eager to find out. He might surprise us, you know--his roots are in theater (UST's Teatro Tomasino), and that voice can, with proper training, plausibly gain more heft, volume, stamina and control to step up to musical-theater--Rodgers and Hammerstein at that!--capabilities. And he'd be the handsomest Ta ever.


ian said...

WINNER!!! hehehe... I wish him all the best. :) I would love to watch this. :)

Anonymous said...

Piolo has a small voice, I'm not sure he can do it well. His singing makes me want to go to sleep for some reason. Nakaka antok.

Anonymous said...

Well, Piolo might surprise us just like what Eula Valdez did in Zsa Zsa years ago. Everybody knows Ms. Eula can sing but, nobody knew that she really CAN sing and carry that up-beat and challenging music by Mr. De Jesus. Kung si Lea Salonga, nakakakaba yung pagbirit niya ng Memory, eh beterana na siya ah. Lets give the boy a chance.

On the other hand, I'm thinking Sarah Geronimo for the part of Mei Li. I remember her performance as the young Katy in an ABS-CBN special tribute to Mr. C. Before that, the excerpt from Dalagang Bukid with Mark Bautista in CCP is also mesmerizing! Sana they'll consider her or Sarah for that matter. Eto na lang ang kulang sa kanya. To do theatre! What do you think sir? =)

- Phillippe Palmos

Anonymous said...

Ah...hindi issue kung si piolo ang bida. Ang medio interesting, pasok ba ito sa mandate ng TP? Would they translate? and kaya ba ng budget nila given the rights? its like dulaang up doing rent. or up repertory doing high school musical.

"Tanghalang Pilipino (Philippine Theater) is the leading exponent of Philippine theater and the resident drama company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines since its organization in 1987. It has successfully presented some 200 productions over 20 theater seasons, earning numerous awards and citations while generating one of the best attendance records among the CCP's resident companies.

Tanghalang Pilipino wishes to develop and train actors, playwrights, and designers with special emphasis in the production of original Filipino plays. By staging plays from the repertoire of Philippine past and plays in translation from other countries, TP hopes to bring to the experience of both artists and audience the best of Philippine and global theatre tradition. It looks forward to educating and awakening the cultural consciousness of the Filipino audiences through its regular performances and other related activities like workshops, symposia and interactions."

ethan h said...

You guys obviously have a crush on Piolo. And TP wants to generate buzz (and ticket sales) for their production. Purists will puke, though won't care much since this is Broadway and not opera.

I recall Christian Bautista in West Side Story. Wait... I can't recall.

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