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‘Wicked’ technical bump-in in full swing

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STACEY, the Time Dragon, seems to watch over the production crew—including 50 Filipino workers.

With just a couple of days before the Australasian production of “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz” opens here in Manila, the production crew of the popular musical was still neck-deep in work at recreating the magical Land of Oz at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater’s stage as of Friday.

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Ironing out theater world’s ‘wrinkles’

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We were shooting the breeze with some of the country’s best veteran theater people last month, and the talk got around to what they wanted most to change about the way things are.

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Stars turn to the stage to recharge their thespic ‘batteries’

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PACINO AND CRAIG. Crave more complex and challenging roles.

American TV and film stars earn megamillions of dollars each year—but, instructively, quite a number of them make it a point every couple of years or so to act in a stage play.

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A lovely night

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It was in 2008 that local audiences were treated to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” With a new script by Mark Waldrop and direction by Bobby Garcia, it was the start of an Asian tour that would send everyone off on an adventure long remembered for the lovely, lilting music, late night poker games, the aroma of street food and cheap ice-cold Tsingtao beer. That tour would last all of five months, and what a lovely five months they were.

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Jon Jon Briones–truly homegrown talent

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BRIONES. Reprises demanding and attention-calling role.

Kudos to Rachel Ann Go for getting the plum supporting role of Gigi in next year’s revival production of “Miss Saigon” in London. We’re sure that Isay Alvarez, the role’s originator in the hit musical’s first production, will give Rachel Ann very helpful advice on how to make full use of the golden opportunity for artistic growth and fulfillment that’s just been presented to her.

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Filipinos star Rachelle Ann Go in ‘Miss Saigon’ revival

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RACHELLE Ann Go

The first message of congratulations that Rachelle Ann Go received was from Lea Salonga.

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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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Milestones for Jenny and Missy

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JAMORA. From acting to producing.

Acting in New Voice’s 2003 production of playwright Diana Son’s compelling, lesbian-themed drama, “Stop Kiss” (directed by Monique Wilson)—about two heretofore “straight” women and the unexpected kiss that leads to a brutal hate crime—was doubly memorable for us.

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Tribute to a ‘fallen’ friend and comrade

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Behn Cervantes  INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The tribute to our dear friend, Behn Cervantes, last Wednesday at UP’s Protestant Chapel predominantly turned out to be a celebration of the activist theater side to his prismatic persona—and a happy reunion for his grateful comrades, many now also senior citizens like their beloved fellow-fighter.

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Holly doesn’t go lightly in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’

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CLARKE. Portrays cultural icon.  Photo by Nathan Johnson.

Can you imagine “Game of Throne’s” Daenerys Targaryen singing “Moon River” as she orders her baby dragons, Rhaegal, Drogon and Viserion, to behave? We had a good chuckle at the thought as we made our way to a preview of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” at the Cort Theater on Broadway last summer.

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Tommy Abuel recalls working with film masters

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ABUEL. From stage to screen.

Tommy Abuel is a treasure trove of information about the country’s film, TV and theater communities. He’s been there, and done that—name it, the iconic performer has seen it all. Onstage, he was in great demand as a leading man long before the movies began knocking on his door.

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From ‘maindie’ to indie

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DOMINGO. Boosts alternative film’s income-generating prospects. cinemalaya.org

After almost 10 years, the annual Cinemalaya indie festival and competition is fielding the biggest number of “maindie” stars to date in its currently ongoing edition: Vilma Santos in “Ekstra,” Gretchen Barretto in “The Diplomat Hotel,” Eugene Domingo in “Instant Mommy,” Lovi Poe in “Sana Dati,” Angel Aquino in “Porno,” Anita Linda in “David F.,” Jake Cuenca in “Nuebe,” Alessandra de Rossi in “Liars”—etc.!

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