The songs and music of Dear Evan Hansen (the musical) is giving me reasons to want to fly and spend another beautiful adventure in the city of New York. And while I try to find a window on y very busy schedules on the possibility of flying to NYC, I let myself be satisfied on playing and replaying the musical’s soundtracks in my Spotify account.
And when I saw this performance in The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, it further my wanting to fly to NYC. This I guess is the best performance that this song can possibly be sang! From the faultless singing to infectious involuntary facial twitches and from the impeccable lyrics to the seamless exhibited raw emotion, his rendition in this video can simply be spelled as P-E-R-F-E-C-T!
I will really be upset in case Ben Platt, nominated for Best Actor in a Musical, will not be awarded the Tony this year!
Stupid as it may sound, but my preconceived idea of the gay mecca in America is that the streets are filled with pink elephants, happy unicorns, colorful fairies, gentle dragons and sparkling angels. All of these were erased when I got to walk the streets of Castro District in San Francisco.
The Castro is considered San Francisco’s (if not USA’s) gay-friendly epicenter. It actually has glitzy bars and restaurants, flamboyant shops and of course a historical theater. You would know that you have entered this area when lampposts are donned with rainbow flags and zebra lanes are in rainbow colors.
But what I had was a quiet walk in the Castro. I was nevertheless left to realize that the area is a thriving marketplace for all things gay. While I grasp on the sidewalk historical plaques/markers representing past LGBT icons, it was not difficult to recognize that the area is catered to people who identify with the LGBT culture. Actually, passing through a coffee shop seated outside were two young men kissing. And wall murals and posters abound in the area about gay rights and human rights.
The streets may have been calm and quiet on the time of my visit, but I can truly feel the lingering colorful gay spirit in the atmosphere and the unabashed zest for life of The Castro.
This will most probably be one of the last write-ups of Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz musical as it ends its latest run here in Manila. Me, my sisters and Nengkoy (of course) had the awesome opportunity to catch and watch the last performance night here in Manila.
We were of course bedazzled and captivated by the sheer magnificence if the costumes, the colors and the music of Wicked. But I will not write anything about the musical for there has been millions of it in the web. Instead, let me deliberate on the venue and the people on the night we watched the show here in Manila.
Unlike my sisters and Nengkoy, it was my first time seeing a musical show in Solaire Theatre. I have seen a couple of shows in Broadway, New York but never was I been so stunned and dumbfounded by the high-endedness (is that a word?) of Solaire. The theater was so modish and dashing there were moments when I doubted being in poverty-stricken Manila. While waiting for the ushers to allow us inside the actual theater, the well-lighted foyer area was played with chic jazz music. I never noticed or heard stylish jazz or muzak being played at the measly lobby and waiting areas of New York theaters. In some New York shows, we the audience actually have to queue at the cold and dusty side street.
And what further dumbfounded me were the rest of the audience. Everyone was well-dressed for the night. Well-dressed, I mean well-dressed. Gentlemen were in their crisp long sleeve shirts with matching coat and necktie while the ladies were dressed to the nines. Some ladies were even donning in elegant gown and seem to have been to some pricey beauty saloon prior to the show just to watch Wicked, The Musical.
I was actually so shocked, wearing just a polo shirt and my old dungarees, I could not control my utterances about the theater and the people. I told my sisters that I have seen a couple of Broadway shows in New York but the atmosphere was never this chic, high-end and elegant.
Buti na lang di ako nag-tsinelas. Taray… Walang ganyan sa Nyu York!
To fulfil my self-imposed requirement, I seriously considered travelling to Tel Aviv, Israel in 2012 to watch the Sticky and Sweet World Tour. I chose Tel Aviv because that seem to be the nearest country where I can watch that concert. Also, being a Filipino I need not apply for a tourist visa in that country. But due to budget constraints I obviously was not able to go.
Then just about two weeks ago, my super friend Jesse who’s based in Sydney messaged me and invited me to see the Rebel Heart show in Australia. He sent me the link on how the purchase should go. This is despite the fact that Madonna performing in Manila is already becoming a big buzz. I was so close to buying the ticket! But for some weird reason, obviously I did not.
Until two days after chatting with Aussie Jesse, the big news was announced that Madonna for the first time will perform in Manila. I did not believe it still, until I personally checked the official Madonna website. And when I saw for myself that Madonna is indeed coming, I was like feeling so moved!!! I know I’m not religious, but I felt so moved, it made me wanna pray!!!
Then, 4 days prior to the official selling of tickets to public, I received a text message from Citibank informing me that I got the opportunity to buy Madonna tickets because of their pre-sale program. I of course did not let this chance go! I moved my ass and bought 2 ticket seats.
I need someone to accompany me during the concert so I bought 2 tickets. One for my dear sister Gaying. My sister during the event has been assigned to pinch my nose and slap me in the face to remind me that what I am about to see and experience is not a dream.
Now that I got myself her concert ticket, one of my life’s bucket list will finally become a realization. See you there…
This blog is a living proof that I absolutely without any doubt love anything about Japan. From its food, to its beautiful weather, to its magnificent sites, up to its exquisite culture and gentle people.
This blog also is a testament to the startling fact that I love Broadway musicals. From its ingenious production designs, to its mind blowing choreographies, to its incredible story plots up to marvellous musical tunes and talents.
Amazingly, the recent Youtube video which I stumbled upon is a surprising mix of both. This video gives me a reason to again visit Japan and see their unique version and remarkable rendition of western musicals.
What is so delightful in watching this video is that I don’t have to have the lyrics translated in a language that I understand. I already know the story, the uttered lines as well as the music. The only thing that I got to do is to witness the stunning visuals, hear the pleasing musical tunes and savour the delightful experience.
This is so beautiful…
Now I wonder how my favourite nemesis Ursula is interpreted by this Japanese musical company.
There have been lots of popular musicals that have been imported and graced my beloved homeland. There were even lots of these musicals in which the West End or Broadway casts were featured. And there were some musicals in which the company of actors were equally talented local Filipino artists trying their very best to sound and enunciate the American and/or English accent.
But after seeing The Book of Mormons, I can conclude that this show, though dubbed in America as the “best musical of the century” will never be imported and shown in conservative Philippines. It is because this musical can be stunningly foul-mouthed, incredibly vulgar and breathtakingly offensive.
It pushes the boundaries of a comedic story by talking/singing about child rape, the clitoris, people with AIDS, female circumcision and even the male scrotum (with maggots). There was even a vulgar song entitled “Hasa Diga Eebowai” which features a litany of despair and anguish that culminates in the rousing chorus stating that Hasa Diga Eebowai means “F@ck you god”.
A lot of scenes and dialogues were mockeries of true human stories that transpired and continuously happen in society. There was a song in which the continent of Africa was described as definitely not a “Lion King” of a site that one can behold. And that an Ugandan town (which can represent a lot of places in the planet) is being oppressed and harassed by its leader whose name in the story is General Butt-Fucking Naked.
There was the mockery of innocent people in society which were made to seriously believe on stories that involved putting together snippets of events from the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. And that these people were so innocent, they believe that the true paradise is located in Salt Lake City (the song’s sweet rendition actually made me teary-eyed). There was even a line in one song saying that the Garden of Eden is located in Jackson County, Missouri!
But what is so amazing about this musical is that these jokes were so smart, refreshing and extremely funny without really sacrificing the kernels of life’s reality that the viewers can ponder about. And maybe the reason why these jokes and mockeries were so effective is because these were uttered and put across by the sweetest characters that a musical could ever have.
Underneath all these jokes and mockeries, The Book of Mormon is a very moral musical. If truly assessed it has a surprisingly tender core. It tackles about loyalty to friendship. It tackles the hope of discovering utopia. It tackles the beauty of innocence as well as the dangers that comes along with it. It tackles about finding love and happiness. It tackles about experiencing victory in the strangest of situations. And ironic as it may seem, it is about the pureness of the heart.
It is therefore not surprising that this musical won 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical in 2011 and continuous to draw big crowds daily. Too bad, Philippines won’t be able to see, hear and experience the pureness of the heart contained in The Book of Mormon.
Ito ang myusikal kung saan ang huling linyang sinabi kung Tatagalugin ay … “Ang Betlog Ko Pa Rin Ay May Uod!??