Sky’s the limit for Sheng BelmonteBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Established entertainers can’t afford to rest on their laurels this season, because a number of exceptionally gifted young comers are working hard to enjoy their rightful share of the show biz sun—and spotlight.
In the field of music and musical theater, the hot-to-trot find is Sheng Belmonte, who is now being managed by the well-connected Viva Entertainment group, hence the inroads she’s made in the recording scene and show circuit.
In musical theater, Sheng has scored a one-two punch by way of her two consecutive starrers in Spotlight Artists Centre’s first musical productions, the hit revival run of “Magsimula Ka” two years ago, and the current “Katy!” show, which bids fair to sustain its “top hit” status with its repeat run at Meralco Theater from July 26 to Aug. 4 (call 899-8088).
In “Magsimula Ka,” Sheng bagged the plum comedy-musical role of Monang, which had winningly launched the show biz career of Beverly Salviejo in the late ’80s.
Sheng had to “deglamorize” herself to look right for the comedic part, but she did it without a second thought. In “Katy!” Sheng no longer has to look “crazy-funny,” because her role as a sexy stripper is right up her performing alley as a trained dancer-singer.
In fact, she’s a certified pole-dance instructor, whose aerial snake-like feats would impress an anaconda!
No, she doesn’t “fly” in her big strip act in “Katy!,” but it’s still a heady experience for her, because she shares the scene and song-and-dance number with none other than the Dolphy’s son and heir, Epy Quizon!
He and Sheng make a hit comedy-musical tandem as they launch into their well-coordinated bump-and-grind routine in a shivering flurry of ostrich feathers—and Salome’s iconic seven veils!
During rehearsals for the imminent Meralco repeat run of the show, the musical’s other stars, trained singers one and all, noted that Sheng’s singing voice has improved in the interim, and complimented her for continuing to take voice lessons to further firm up her already considerable singing talent.
—“That’s the spirit!,” they encouraged her, and Sheng was thrilled to bask in the generous affirmation from her more experienced colleagues.
Clearly, Sheng and her handlers are making sure that her skills as a “total” entertainer are being honed to personal perfection, so when her really big break comes, she’ll be good and ready to shine!
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