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‘Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical’ returns bigger, brighter

/ 06:14 PM September 16, 2015
Monica Cuenco and Cris Villonco in "Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical". CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Resorts World Corp. Com

Monica Cuenco plays Dorina Pineda and Cris Villonco as Lavinia “trying-hard copycat” Arguelles  in “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical”. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Resorts World Manila Corp. Com

“Bituin fever” is definitely back.

With tighter script, new songs, new cast members, Resorts World Manila (RWM) brings back “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical” this October and December.

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“We took note of all the reviews and comments from the audience and so we made the necessary changes,” Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, co-artistic director of Full House Theater Company and one of the lead actors in the musical, told the Inquirer on Wednesday.

“Because we, the people in the production, know the musical already and how the story goes but as for the audience, they will always have a different perspective because the moment they watch the musical, it’s always like the first time,” she added.

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Director Freddie Santos and some members of the production did some revisions and now, the rerun of “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical” is on its first week of rehearsals.

RWM, through Full House Theater Company and Ultimate Productions, and in partnership with VIVA Communications brings back the musical starting October 8 this year.

In a statement, RWM said from the outstanding cast, remarkable stage design, and moving storyline, the luster of ‘Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical’s’ first foray made sure that a second run would be inevitable.

Menchu Lauchengco Yulo plays gossip society columnist Edith, talking about her real-life younger brother, 80s heartthrob Raymond Lauchengco. Photo by TOTEL V. DE JESUS/Inquirer.net

Menchu Lauchengco Yulo plays gossip society columnist Edith, talking about her real-life younger brother, 80s heartthrob Raymond Lauchengco. Photo by TOTEL V. DE JESUS/Inquirer.net

It cited there’s popular demand to stage it again at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) “for its highly anticipated encore performances.”

“Bituing Walang Ningning remains to be one of the most beloved Filipino dramas. It tells a story about dreams, love, and humility, which are the virtues we are anchoring to in developing this production,” said RWM Chief Integrated Marketing  Officer Martin Paz.

MENCHU Lauchengco-Yulo. INQUIRER file photo

MENCHU Lauchengco-Yulo. INQUIRER file photo

Earning critical acclaim during its initial, month-long foray earlier this year, the musical captured the hearts and imagination of entertainment fans and theater enthusiasts alike.

Reprising their roles as the main cast of this original, all-Filipino production are theater stars Cris Villonco, Mark Bautista, and newcomer Monica Cuenco who shined as the new Dorina Pineda, a role popularized by Sharon Cuneta on film and Sarah Geronimo on the drama’s TV stint.

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Accompanying the brilliant leads is a powerhouse ensemble which consists of veteran actors Jon Santos, Ronnie Liang, Jay Roa, John Nite, Michael Stuart Williams, and the first lady of Philippine musical theater Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.

EPI Quizon

EPI Quizon

The new addition to the cast are singer-actress Antoinette Taus, who will play alternate to Cris Villonco as main antagonist Lavinia Arguelles, and diverse actor Epi Quizon as Jon Santos’ alternate for the role of Auntie.

“But I’ll be coming in in December and hopefully January because Jon (Santos) would be unavailable by those months for other commitments,” Quizon told the Inquirer.

“I’m very excited because I miss doing theater. Theater sort of resets my acting. The satisfaction is different because the energy and the immediate response of the audience is easily felt,” he added.

Quizon was part of “Katy the Musical” a couple years ago, playing Golay, a Chinese character made famous by his late father Dolphy in his films during the black-and-white era.

“Every two years, I want to do theater and this is it. It’s like starting all over again,” said Quizon.

“Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical” brings to life a story that has transcended Philippine entertainment.

Originally told over a serialized comic strip by fictionist Nerissa Cabral, the story was made into a blockbuster movie in 1985 and was then re-made into a hit television series back in 2006.

The entire cast members of "Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical" in a finale. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE/RWM Corp. Com office

The entire cast members of “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical” in a finale. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE/RWM Corp. Com office

The production marked the first time a contemporary drama has crossed over multiple media, from print, cinema, television, and finally on stage. The drama’s theater foray is told along with the timeless music of the great Willy Cruz which is scored by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Rodel Colmenar with veteran stage director Freddie Santos at the helm.

TAUS. Dodgy mix of “contradictions.”

Antoinette Taus. INQUIRER file photo

Pursuing its advocacy to ‘Champion the Filipino’, RWM continues to showcase the best of what local entertainment can offer. “Our vision is to establish an avenue for a new genre of original Pinoy performing arts that will open doors for next generation thespians, playwrights, and producers to explore,” Paz added.

For more about “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical Second Run,” including cast details and show schedules, visit www.rwmanila.com/web/bituing-walang-ningning/.

Tickets are now available at all TicketWorld and TicketNet outlets and at the RWM Box Office. With a report from Totel V. de Jesus/INQUIRER.net

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TAGS: "Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical Second Run", Antoinette Taus, Cris Villonco, Epi Quizon, Mark Bautista, Musical, Musical Theater, Resorts World Manila
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