1. Congratulations to the Virgin Labfest 6 plays, directors and performers nominated in this year's Aliw Awards. The Virgin Labfest itself is getting a special citation on the awards night scheduled for October 18.
• Paul Jake Paule, Best Actor--Carmi Martin
• Frances Makil-Ignacio, Best Actress--Suor Clara
• Mailes Kanapi, Best Actress--Ever-San
• Cai Cortez, Best Actress--Ondoy
• Floy Quintos, Best Director--Suor Clara
• Paul Santiago, Best Director--Carmi Martin
• Suor Clara, Best Non-Musical Production
• Carmi Martin, Best Non-Musical Production
Thanks to Rody Vera, Virgin Labfest prime mover, for this list. We have to ask: Where can one find the complete list of nominations? I've searched online--nada there. Aliw has no website, and it looks like it hasn't sent out any press release on the nominations, either. Who else from local theater have earned a slot on the list?
2. For the reader who e-mailed me requesting an audio clip of Barbra Streisand's original version of He Touched Me--well, here it is, Barang's astonishing pipes (she was merely in her 20's when she recorded this) transforming the song into a thrillingly symphonic statement.
3. More Lea/Fantine--the other scenes in the Les Miserables 25th Annniversary Concert (aside from her showstopping I Dreamed a Dream) where Fantine is in the spotlight. At this point, the only major Fantine scene missing on YouTube is Come With Me, her deathbed duet with Valjean (played by Alfie Boe in the concert). Anyone who has that scene on video--share, please? The melody there, in any case, is repeated in the finale, where the ghosts of Fantine and Eponine (Katie Hall) beckon to a dying Valjean. Lea's voice here, and her gorgeous presence on the giant screen, are to die for. (The slim-voiced Nick Jonas is Marius, Camilla Kerslake is Cosette).
[Update--corrections by Lea herself: Samantha Barks played Eponine, Katie Hall was Cosette. Camilla Kerslake was indisposed and couldn't perform. Hall was her last-minute replacement.]
PLUS: The TV promo for the Les Miz 25th Anniversary celebrations, with spots by Lea, Nick Jonas, Alfie Boe, Camilla Kerslake, Jenny Galloway and Matt Lucas (Mme. and Mssr. Thenardier), Norm Lucas (Javert), as well as the creators--producer Cameron Mackintosh, composer Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyricist Alain Boublil (in French--the English lyrics are by Herbert Kretzmer).