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Young music students’ ‘Grease’ gets enthusiastic reception

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The casts of ‘Grease’

Two music schools staged a successful three-day run of the hit musicale “Grease” Feb. 8 to 10 at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. The largely Filipino American production was by the NorCal Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) in cooperation with Evergreen School of Music and Arts (Esoma), their first show of the year.

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Ewan McGregor to star on Broadway next year

This Sept. 10, 2013 file photo shows actor Ewan McGregor at the press conference for "August: Osage County" at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. AP FILE PHOTO

“Trainspotting” star Ewan McGregor will make his Broadway debut next year in a revival of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing.”

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Dance, docus, ukelele jamming at CCP

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BALLET Philippines’ staging of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” EDWIN BELLOSILLO

In under four hours, we had: 1) crawled into a small-scale mine in Nueva Vizcaya with 13-year-old Ongan and followed him around till he held a speck of raw gold in his palm, fruit of his day-long labor; 2) witnessed the grueling life of Bobby, a fisherman/padyak tricycle driver; 3) took in some opera classics as performed by Tsinoy singers; 4) sang along with high school students as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra played Eraserheads hits; 5) and marveled at a verbal joust in verse.

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Carillo, Tiongco opened doors for Pinoy performers

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CARILLO, with Robert Mitchum (left) and Sabu in “Rampage.”

Many people are surprised when I inform them that talented Filipinos weren’t first noticed with “Miss Saigon.” Truth is, petite singer Cely Carillo and mestiza dancer Maureen Tiongco were the first Pinoys on Broadway.

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Epy Quizon portrays his dad in stage musical

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STA. MARIA. Versatile.

Glenn Katada, student: “If boxer Nonito Donaire is thinking of another career, he can always pursue singing. I watched him sing live on TV, and he more than passed muster. And the guy looks good, too. I’m not saying that he should transform himself into another Manny Pacquiao, by pursuing interests other than boxing. But, if I were to choose between the two, Donaire is definitely the better singer!”

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Martin Scorsese-Mike De Leon team to save Lino Brocka’s film

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National Artist Lino Brocka (left) and his cinematographer-producer Mike de Leon joined forces in 1974 for the movie that would alter the course of filmmaking in the country. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The restoration of Lino Brocka’s 1975 film “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag” has found a surprise benefactor from across the globe—Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation (WCF).

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Anatomy of a flop

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DOLPHY. Viewers didn’t want him to stop playing the clown —and fool.

What makes one production hit it big, and another show bites the dust of ignominy—with great alacrity? A producer once intimated to us that the difference between a hit and a flop can be quite slight. Not all the judicious planning and money in the world can assure the creation of a blockbuster. On the other hand, a movie produced for just peanuts some years ago ended up making over a hundred million dollars!

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Roberto Seña makes his bid for stardom

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SEÑA, with (from left) Silvoza,  Puentespina and Panopio.

Roberto SEÑA grew up listening to his famous parents’ music. In fact, as a young boy, he vividly recalls how he had cried his lungs out the first time he saw his father, Robert Seña—playing Thuy in “Miss Saigon,” at the West End in London—get shot onstage, by a singing and screaming girl named Kim! Also featured in that lavish Cameron Mackintosh production was his mother, Isay Alvarez, who originated the role of Gigi.

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Unfair competition

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phantom of the opera 2

FOR years now, our homegrown entertainers have been complaining about the unfair competition they’ve been getting from stellar imports on the concert and musical theater scene. This season, however, the problem has gotten from bad to worse, with the “invasion” of even bigger names like JLo, Elton John, the Jonas Brothers, Sting as well as the blockbuster musical, “Phantom of the Opera,” at the CCP.

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Viewers pick their favorite Hollywood actors

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COOPER. No kiss and tell.

Recently, I asked painter Romy Carlos who his top Hollywood actors were. He picked Gary Cooper among his favorites—not a bad choice since the lanky star is one of only a few actors who have won two Academy Awards for their performances.

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2 bishops back calls to make Dolphy national artist

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DOLPHY

Two members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines voiced support Saturday for calls that the ailing actor and comedian Dolphy be proclaimed a National Artist.

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Portrait of former teen star as an artist

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EARLY this year, Jao realized he had assembled enough paintings in the attic to mount a solo exhibit.

“Each painting tells a story,” actor-turned-painter Jao Mapa explained.

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