Another stage musical for Bea Alonzo in the works
If plans push through, film and TV actress Bea Alonzo will be playing the lead in a musical stage play next year.
She disclosed this after doing a cameo performance in the recent tribute concert “Contra Mundum: Ang All-star Concert ng ‘Ang Larawan’” held at the Metropolitan Theater Manila.
Together with Culturtain Musicat Productions, the Met staged the concert version of “Ang Larawan,” based on the original play by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin. Bea played the fashionable socialite Elsa Montes.
“Yes, I keep a busy work schedule, but as they say, you also have to do work that’s good for your soul,” the actress told Inquirer Entertainment.
Bea also said she agreed to play the role because “it didn’t require me to belt out songs and I knew I could have fun with the character.”
“I consider it an offbeat role, compared to what I’ve done for TV and the movies through the years,” she added. “Prior to doing the show, I told myself that I just wanted to enjoy performing onstage. With Elsa, that’s exactly what I did. I know I’m not yet ready to play one of the major characters. This is just to get my feet wet.”
Not just Bea
“Contra Mundum” also featured mainstream actors Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino, who were first-timers onstage, as well.
When we asked what she enjoyed the most about her participation in the show, Bea said: “It’s the environment. I personally discovered that what they say about the discipline in theater being something else is true. I never encountered people with bloated egos while working on the show. Everybody came on time during rehearsals. Since nobody was around to prompt us, I had to constantly check my phone to find out if it was already my turn to rehearse. I appreciated the presence of mind of these people and the discipline.”
Performing in a musical requires an actor to sing live in front of hundreds of people. This is something that Bea said made her extremely nervous. “To be honest with you, I still wouldn’t categorize myself as a singer. I’m still an actress who happens to know how to sing,” she began.
“I’m an actress and singing is just secondary. Once you know the backstory of the character, once you’ve created her movements and nuances, the music will just flow freely,” she pointed out. “I wasn’t even concerned about not hitting the right notes. I was more focused on being able to deliver all my lines correctly. It’s like how I look at acting on TV and in the movies—that it’s not about me, but the story that I need to tell. I just wanted to portray the character well, tell the story and help the audience get the message. That’s actually the point of storytelling, even though the medium is different.”
A different media
Bea said it would have been better if “Contra Mundum” wasn’t merely a one-night engagement. “Medyo bitin, although a longer run would require a lot more preparation time. I was fangirling the whole night,” Bea said, “To be able to perform onstage and at the Met, was on my bucket list. I’m happy that I got to do it, even just for a cameo role.”
She also said she was pleased that a lot of mainstream actors like her are now trying out theater, like Jake Cuenca with the recently mounted “Dick Talks” and Piolo Pascual with the musical “Ibarra” that is scheduled in June.
“It’s a great thing. It feels nice to be able to enjoy the different media — the small screen, the stage, cinema, and only recently, streaming and YouTube. They’re all very different. It’s just nice to go up the stage for the first time. The great actresses that I’ve always looked up to started in theater — Hilda Koronel and Gina Alajar, as well as the late actors Nida Blanca, Dolphy, and Charito Solis. I also want to follow in their footsteps.”
She added: “They paved the way for young actresses like me to enjoy all these good things. We’re more privileged today. What I wish for, if time permits, is to be able to study and do what they’ve done as actors. I want to be able to do all these in order for me to call myself a good actress.”
Bea, however, had to be reminded that the show also benefitted from her participation since she was able to provide star power to it. “That’s the least I can do. It’s good if artists like me are able to convince our young followers to start patronizing theater or encourage old patrons to return to appreciating stage productions once again,” she declared.