Bo Cerrudo, way back when
Breaking News this week that Ricky Davao had to bow out of the “D.O.M.” musical and has been replaced by Bo Cerrudo has triggered our recollections of Cerrudo’s past stints in musical theater:
First off, we recall that his Filipino musical “baptism of fire” was in a CCP show we directed in 1985, “Awit ni Kadugnung” for Bulwagang Gantimpala. He was spanking-new at the time, and went by his real name, Rodrigo Redoblado.
The show’s script about the heroes of Bicolandia was a great piece of work, and the songs by Gines Tan were similarly excellent, so it was an exceptional musical. Aside from Bo, “Kadugnung” also topbilled the similarly young, lovely and very promising Angelique Lazo, also on her first musical outing.
Despite the fact that they were spanking-new and thus relatively “raw” talents, Bo and Angelique acquitted themselves very well, indeed. Aside from being exceptional singers and great lookers, we pushed them to also do well in the acting department, so it was a successful and effective “baptism of fire” in musical theater for both of them all around.
In fact, we were so pleased with their “buena mano” performances that we cast them in other shows—Bo in some of Lourdes “Bing” Pimentel’s musicals, and Angelique in Chic Fortich and Gines’ Bisaya musical, “Ay, Kasingkasing Ko,” opposite Jograd dela Torre.
An unforgettable aspect of the young Bo’s performance in “Kadugnung” was its unexpectedly vivid visual impact on the show’s audience:
Since he was playing one of the heroes of Bicolandia, his costume was revealing—just a bahag and chaleco (which he sometimes dispensed with). Bo was a veritable turn-on for the audience!
Aside from his handsome face, he had a well-toned, muscled body, which was revealed “dramatically” to viewers when he and an old seer did a circular movement in the dark—that ended with the young hero being suddenly illuminated by a well-timed spotlight cue, in all his youthful, heroic and almost bare “glory!”
It was the first time we ever heard a theater audience let out a collective gasp of admiration (and longing?) at the unexpectedly sight—a grand entrance for Bo into the theater world and a long and eventful performing career, indeed!
(Catch the premiere run of Spotlight’s “Dirty Old Musical” at Music Museum from Sept. 1 to 10. Call 891-9999.)
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