There are some things Mitch Valdes will not joke about. The seasoned comic-singer-actress said: “I avoid adding pain to disabilities, limitations and hopelessness about one’s situation.”
Younger comedians should take down notes, especially in light of the brouhaha over rape jokes, but Valdes demurred: “I’d rather not give advice. Experience is the best teacher.”
As far as she knows, she has yet to offend audiences. “My attention has not been called. I’m sure I’ve stepped on a lot of toes especially in my early days. Then again, I have friends who will tell it to my face, should I cross the line in any of my shows.”
Valdes is fascinated by the “comedy-bar” phenomenon. “It’s intriguing. The wit is super swift,” she said. “Filipinos are quick to take up arms against anyone who criticizes Manila, the Philippines or any Filipino. But they willingly shell out hard-earned money to get insulted in comedy bars.”
In any case, she’s glad that Filipino humor is thriving. “Everything evolves,” she quipped.
Speaking of which, she is undergoing her own reinvention, acting as producer of her latest show, “Wow Pare! Mitch Valdes with the AMP Big Band” tomorrow at Teatrino Promenade Greenhills in San Juan.
If there’s one lesson she has learned as producer, it’s “to avoid producing. I’d rather perform.”
She’s just joking. She considers herself fortunate that she has solid production background. “When I was president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-Aawit,” Valdes recounted, “we staged several shows. I’m familiar with the process.”
As a show biz neophyte, she cut her teeth backstage. “I started out in (theater company) Repertory Philippines as a props girl, wardrobe mistress, curtain raiser and stage hand.”
She recalled one unforgettable show: “We had a zarzuela at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and I was required to produce a carabao for a fiesta scene. Needless to say, I had to clean up … after the sequence. Thank heavens, I was discovered as an actress soon after.”
Valdes’ experiences, past and present, have instilled in her “total empathy” for production people. She elaborated: “I’ve always respected the production aspect of any project. I try to be a sensible talent. You’d like the producer to make some profit, so he could keep on financing shows. I understand budget and costs.”
And now, also the pressure of selling tickets. Speaking of which, she promised the audience a rollicking good time—humming along with rock ’n’ roll classics, strolling down memory lane…
Valdes confessed that “becoming a senior citizen” inspired the show’s nostalgic mood. “I’ve been going to a lot of reunions, wakes, having chance meetings of late. I realized that I should thank God for giving me so many friends—from school, theater, show biz, the literati, culturati. Ex-lovers, too. My life was made rich by all these experiences and memories.”
What keeps her rocking and rolling?
“I love to entertain!” she exclaimed. It’s my oxygen.”
(Call Ticketworld, 891-9999; Music Museum, 721-6726; or Viva Live, 687-7236. Or visit www.viva.com.ph.)
Robinsons’ ‘Retro Party’
Reminisce the Coco Banana era—the 1970s’ prime disco place—as Robinsons Place Manila, right in the heart of Ermita, goes “retro” every Thursday from July 18 to Aug. 1.
Dubbed “Retro Party,” the weekly event features dance bands that will play the biggest hits from the 1970s to the early 1980s.
Entrance to the venue (the Midtown Atrium) is free on a first-come, first-served basis. The hourlong shows start at 6 p.m.
“With ‘Retro Party,’ we offer our shoppers a different way to unwind—by reliving their younger years through the music and dance of those times. Diners in nearby restaurants can also enjoy listening to the bands,” notes Dollie J. Bufi, regional operations manager for Robinsons Place Manila.
On opening night, the very popular Spirit of ’67 takes center stage with a repertoire of dance music from the 1960s through the 1980s. Sprit of ’67 returns on Aug. 1, first day of the monthlong, mall-wide Red Hot Sale.
(For details, call (02) 310-3333 or mobile number (0932) 847-2576. Look for Jemma Zafra.)
MYMP’s 10th year
Catch the MYMP Band tomorrow and on July 19 at Chic-Boy Antipolo (beside Ynares Center) and on July 13 at Bulalo Fiesta in Fairview, Quezon City.
MYMP Band also celebrates its 10th year in the music business with performances Mondays at D’Publiq Bar in Las Piñas, and Wednesdays at 19 East along Sucat Service Road in Parañaque.
Fall Out Boy
Pop rock band Fall Out Boy (FOB), which shot to fame with the hit single “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” will rock Manila for the third time in six years on Aug. 8 at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
Billed as “Fall Out Boy: Save Rock and Roll Tour,” the one-night-only presentation from MMI and Ovation Productions is part of the band’s ongoing world tour to promote its latest album, “Save Rock and Roll.”
FOB’s last performance here was on Feb. 13, 2009, also at the Big Dome, where it staged its Manila concert debut via a two-night sold-out engagement on Sept. 21 and 22, 2007.
The band was formed in 2001 in Wilmette, Illinois, by four young musicians who originally played with underground punk bands. They eventually emerged in the 2000s as the hottest act in emo-pop.
(Tickets are at P4,755, P4,225, P3,700 P2,115 and P845. Call Ticketnet, 911-5555; or visit ticketnet.com.ph)