Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gawad Buhay! on video, part 1: the Sweeney Todd acting sweep

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo couldn't make it to the CCP Little Theater to accept her trophy for Best Actress-Musical for Rep's Sweeney Todd (her first-ever acting award in over 25 years of sterling work, can you believe that?). So co-star and fellow winner Audie Gemora received the honor on her behalf. Before Audie's turn to bound up the stage, Marvin Ong and Liesl Batucan also collected their own trophies for Best Featured Actor and Actress, respectively.

The four wins made for a sweep of the acting awards in the musical play category. A fifth prize would add to the kitty before the night was over: Outstanding Musical Direction, for Gerard Salonga's voluptuous orchestration of the Stephen Sondheim score.

Money quote of the evening: Audie's acceptance speech. A founding member of Philstage in 1997, the Rep and Trumpets stalwart acknowledged that, in the beginning, he was wary about the idea of giving out awards, because it might yet cause more discord at a time when the country's theater companies had reached a fragile truce and were starting to work together.

“I came from a generation na nag-aaway-away parati ang mga theater companies, where one theater actor could never cross over to another theater company. It was taboo... I'm just so happy that, today, we've blurred the lines, and this is a brotherhood. So I receive this award in that spirit... It's not about who's better, but it's about validation. We validate each other.”

Oliver Oliveros over at has more pictures and tidbits. Here are the three winners accepting their awards (this year, an artwork trophy of a dancing bulul designed by acclaimed young artist Don Salubayba):

PLUS: The second musical break of the evening--Marvin performing Not While I'm Around solo, in character.

Consider his win as the first salvo of a new generation of young theater talents blessedly unburdened by the divisions of the past, who are able to move freely between theater companies, switch easily from English-language to Filipino productions and interact with other industry practitioners in a relatively freer, more mutually nurturing light. After Sweeney Todd, Marvin's next appearance was in an original Filipino musical, PETA's Si Juan Tamad, ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto (another major winner--more about it next post), where he alternated in the lead role with another bright young discovery, Victor Robinson III. From Rep to PETA, and no ruffled feathers in between. The times they are a-changin', indeed.

[Photo: Jeremy Domingo]

1 comment:

~Carrie~ said...

ang cute ng bata ha. yun lang. :) hehe

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