Friday, January 14, 2011

New faces in new Zaturnnah run, part 2--plus new showdates

In part 1 (here), I reported that Gabe Mercado has been signed up for the role of Didi, while Rocky Salumbides will alternate as one of the Dodongs. Ayen Munji-Laurel was slated to play Queen Femina along with Kalila Aguilos, but her TV schedule got in the way.

So Tanghalang Pilipino, for its newest run of ZsaZsa Zaturnnah beginning February 4 (at CCP Little Theater), has conscripted another seasoned, all-around actress to play Femina: Pinky Amador.

Pinky is no stranger to musicals, of course--she was in the original London cast of Miss Saigon. Her resume also includes Aliw Awards for the lead roles in plays such as Agnes of God and The Foreigner for Repertory Philippines. A graduate of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in London with a Master’s Degree in Acting, she has “over 70 plays and musicals to her credit, plus 300+ television appearances and 60 films to date.” (More here.)

While she's been busy with TV work, Pinky hasn't been seen much lately in stage musicals. It's exciting to contemplate what she'd bring to the kick-ass role of Queen Femina Suarestellar Baroux, a most worthy (not to mention screamingly glamorous) opponent to Carlo Vergara's superheroine. The part has been played previously by Agot Isidro, Meliza Reyes (another Miss Saigon alumna) and Kalila (back to alternate with Pinky in the role).

[Update: Pinky says, via e-mail, “Am really excited to start rehearsals for 'Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah!' I try to do at least 1 theatrical piece a year; last year it was 'Love Letters' in Cebu, so this something new for me.”]

Another major name coming on board Zaturnnah for the first time is first-rate scenographer Gino Gonzales, who will be tasked to revamp the original production design Tuxqs Rutaquio created for the show, and that has served it in good stead in all its incarnations from the Batute to PETA to the CCP Little Theater stages. The fresh look and the fresh faces should help reinvigorate this by-now perennial musical.

The show's schedule has been moved by a couple of weeks, by the way--it now opens Feb. 18 and runs until March 13. And it sports a new tagline--ZsaZsa Zaturnnah... Vack With A Vengeance!

PLUS: What's in store for Pinky as Queen Femina? A fab wardrobe, some tough songs and scenes of killer physical comedy--all in all, one big challenging package. Here's how Agot Isidro and Kalila Aguilos performed Femina's introductory number--the first track from the commercially released double-disc album, the second from the limited-edition cast recording CD released during the original run in 2006. Transmorphication complete! (Thanks again to composer-lyricist-musical director Vince de Jesus for the tracks.)

Agot Isidro (that's her in the blue suit)

Kalila Aguilos

“ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal… Vack With A Vengeance” runs February 18-March 13. Tickets are now available at the CCP Box Office (8323704) and TicketWorld outlets nationwide (8919999). For inquiries, call Tanghalang Pilipino 632-8323661 or 8321125 local 1620/1621.

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