‘Senakulo 2015’ replay today in Baguio City mall | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Senakulo 2015’ replay today in Baguio City mall

By: - Reporter
/ 12:10 AM April 22, 2015
LANCE Raymundo (center) plays Jesus Christ in the play.

LANCE Raymundo (center) plays Jesus Christ in the play.

“I don’t mind wearing just a towel in some scenes. This has nothing to do with image,” said singer-actor Lance Raymundo, the latest performer to play Jesus Christ in the long-running Lenten musical organized by the Manila Mobile Theater Foundation.

Now titled “Senakulo 2015,” the stage play was presented twice this past Holy Week in Manila—in San Juan and in Santa Ana in March, and at SM City in Baguio. It will be staged again tonight at the same Baguio venue.

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Lance was poised to play the role in 2014 but he met a freak accident that resulted in facial reconstructive surgery. Jojo Riguerra took on the role in that production, still called “Martir sa Golgota” at the time.

“I was auditioning at the Cinemalaya (Philippine Independent Film Festival) last year when I met Direk Lou (Veloso). He was searching for his next actor to play Christ. He said he noticed me and asked someone to introduce us,” Lance related. Lou is the founder of Manila Mobile Theater, also known as Tanghalang Santa Ana.

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Lance accepted the project right away. “I’m a Catholic; it’s a huge honor for me. I never made it to any of the Cinemalaya auditions that day. I was so happy, I just went home.”

Lance rehearsed with the troupe for two months. “I transformed myself physically to achieve the physique of Christ, who was a carpenter, a manual laborer.”

While Lance trained in a gym on March 19, 2014, an 80-pound barbell fell on his face and fractured his skull. He recounted, “I had to take steroids for my head injury. As a result, I gained 30 lbs. In January, I was still overweight.”

Fast forward to three weeks before the show: “My six-pack abs were back and I had lost weight. I would have very little to wear, so I had to get back in shape. Plus, my coactors would have to carry me in parts of the play.”

Lance is all praise for director Lou Veloso, who put up the troupe in September 1989.

Aside from Lance, “Senakulo 2015” also features veteran actors Bodjie Pascua and Bernardo Bernardo as John the Baptist and King Herod, respectively.

“Direk Lou changes the script every year to include songs and dances that make the stage play relevant to the times,” Lance said. “The shifts from biblical to political [themes] are so seamless, people don’t notice.”

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Lance hopes to play Christ one more year before he passes the torch. He explained, “While I wish to play the role for as long I as can, I cannot own it. It should be experienced by as many actors as possible—not just as an acting performance, but as an opportunity to evangelize. The actor has to give all that he can to tell Christ’s story.”

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TAGS: “Martir sa Golgota”, “Senakulo 2015”, Lance Raymundo, Musical Play, play
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