Audie Gemora sets the enlightened pace and scope at The Theatre at Solaire
One of the disheartening problems on the local live performance scene is the lack of well-equipped musical-theater shows and pop or rock music concerts.
Helping to compensate and make up for the stultifying situation is The Theatre at Solaire Hotel and Resort—which, in an impressively brief period, has been recognized by both local and visiting producers as one of the best conceptualized and equipped performing venues in the country.
Anyone who’s watched a big show at The Theatre at Solaire will understand why that enthusiastic encomium is deserved.
But, other plus factors and clarifying reasons are less obvious to the eye, ear and, most significantly, the viewer’s sensibility.
We discovered this for ourselves when we watched our first two Solaire presentations, Repertory Philippines’ 50th-year gala extravaganza, and Celeste Legaspi’s “tribute” concert last August.
In both instructive instances, the “linking factor” turned out to be Solaire’s entertainment director, Audie Gemora.
A Rep veteran himself, Audie helped conceptualize and actualize the Rep anniversary blast, which involved diverse components and scores of performers—a daunting challenge to measure up to.
As for Celeste’s concert, Audie’s “enabling” hand was similarly felt, beginning with his fervent faith in her iconic talent, and in its power to still draw an SRO (standing room only) crowd, even after a long hiatus.
What makes Solaire’s decision to tap Audie as entertainment director truly inspired is the fact that he doesn’t just make things efficiently hum at The Theatre, he creatively fine-tunes it until it sings—and zings!
The fact that he’s a topnotch musical-theater performer himself gives him the cred and “K” to make the best talents feel secure, because they sense that they’re in good and empathetically caring hands.
Audie’s reputation precedes him, because he’s starred in a number of acclaimed musicals.
We last saw him in the crossdressing musical, “La Cage Aux Folles,” where his portrayal was its best suit.
Even more significantly, after decades of performing in English-language plays and musicals, Audie is now venturing into acting and singing in Filipino productions.
This expansion of his artistic horizons has proven to be a fortuitous boon for his stint at The Theatre At Solaire, which has increasingly been opening its doors and facilities to homegrown productions, like the Celeste and Rep shows, followed by “coming attractions” like Pilita Corrales’ anniversary celebration.
What about an original Filipino musical at Solaire? That’s a bright and bracing possibility that we’re looking forward to savoring, after hit imports like the visiting production, “The Sound of Music.”
With Audie setting the enlightened pace and scope at The Theatre at Solaire, hopes are high that the improbable dream can become a vibrant and vivid reality in a season or two.
Our added hope is that it’s good enough to become a big hit, disproving the discredited notion that “lokal” isn’t as good or posh as “imported.”
When that happens, thanks in significant part to Audie’s “enabling” hand and heart, our gifted theater artists shall have truly found a welcoming home—at The Theatre at Solaire.
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