Sunday, August 14, 2011

In Chicago, Anton Juan stages Rizal's Sweet Stranger, The Musical (Untold Stories of Josephine Bracken)

[As you requested, Val and Lou.:)]

As the highlight of the year-long celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal's 150th birthday, the Chicago-based SamaSama Project and Circa-Pintig present the world premiere of "Rizal’s Sweet Stranger, The Musical (Untold Stories of Josephine Bracken)," a work that attempts to show a glimpse of the personal life of the National Hero's foreign-born (Irish-Hong Kong) wife, Josephine Bracken.

With concept and direction by Anton Juan, "Rizal Sweet Stranger" is a contemporary musical that uses a collaborative montage of the 2009 Palanca awardee for full-length play, "Miss Dulce Extranjera," by Sir Anril P. Tiatco, as well as Isagani Cruz’s "Josephine," plus extrapolations with other historical texts and visual documents.

Musical direction is by SamaSama Project’s very own Baron Lloyd Cabalona, with music by Cleofe Guangko Casambre and William Elvin Manzano of Happy Days Band in Manila. SamaSama Project is a Filipino folk-fusion band, while Circa-Pintig is a not-for-profit community theater group. Both are based in Chicago, USA.

Ariel Dayanghirang and Chip Payos (Jose Rizal) and Toni Gomez and Elizabeth Tuazon (Josephine Bracken) lead the cast, which also includes Bert Matias, Levi Aliposa, Nicole Dizon, Lovien (Joey) Flores, Evelyn Masbaum, Georges Augustin, Jovie Calma, Daniel Estorco, Charles Gareza, Hope Kim, Dylan Lainez, Anthony Martinez, Je Nepomuceno, Angel Pabalan, Tatum Pearlman, Emilia Ramos, Logan Ramos, Mae Vidal, Patrick Viray and Michael Baylon.

The show also features Lani Misalucha as Inang Bayan.

SamaSama Project’s Lee Maningas, Josh Torres, Ran Sevilla, Louella Cabalona and Baron Llyod Cabalona will set the play to music, along with Emilio Nicolasin on kulintang and Vice Velarde as choir director. Dramaturgy and video design by Pat Valera, assistant direction by Ginger Leopoldo and Levi Aliposa, lighting design and technical direction by Meliton Roxas, production design by Giau Truong, costume design by Lhenvil Paneda, photography by Jay Escalante, additional graphics by Charles Gareza and stage management by Angelica Atian. Elizabeth Tuazon is the repetiteur.

"Rizal’s Sweet Stranger, The Musical" will run Sept. 23 (Friday), 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 24, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the St. Scholastica Academy Theater, 7416 N Ridge Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60645.

Tickets are at $25, $45, $75 and $100, and VIP tickets are at $120, which includes a gala night reception on Sept 24 at 6 p.m.

For tickets or more information, contact the following: Lakhi 224-538-1471, Lou 708-528-6321, Baron 312-593-5154, Jovie 847-987-5227, Mario Adap 224-766-8804, Via Times 773-866-0811, Tita Ging 773-615-0330, Biboy 773-744-8804.

Or email / Or purchase tickets at and

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