Tag Archives: musical

Omigod, you guys! – Legally Blonde Review

Legally Blonde Manila

Last Friday, my mom got us tickets to the opening night of Atlantis Productions‘ Legally Blonde in Meralco Theater. Since my theater buddies were either busy or out of the country, I tagged along with my mom so she can also watch before she goes to Saipan.

Now, I liked the movie very much and a few weeks before I watched the Manila version, I watched the original Broadway musical on video and I was blown away. It’s a fun musical, and all songs were catchy and the story didn’t stray much from the movie version. In fact, I think the musical was better because we get to know more of Elle and Emmet, and it’s just more fun when there’s singing.

Legally Blonde in Manila is a fun show, too. :) Nikki Gil plays Elle Woods in all her pink-ness and blonde-ness, Guji Lorenzana as Warner, Nyoy Volante as Emmet, Jet Pangan as Dr. Callahan and Geneva Cruz as Brooke Wyndham. I’d rather not summarize anything and result to an easier review, so let’s go to bullets!

  • Like I said, it’s a fun show. I love all the songs and the cast was equally energetic, and I think everyone had fun with that and the dances, too. Favorite performances: There, Right There!, Bend and Snap and Take it Like a Man.
  • Favorite cast member: Jet Pangan as Dr. Callahan. I swear, he got the role down pat. Coming close is the woman who played Paulette — I’m sorry, I didn’t get her name. :-s
  • I think Nikki did a good job with being Elle Woods, especially with the songs. I think the only reason I wasn’t too keen on her on that because from what I know about Nikki (like what everyone knows about her since she’s a showbiz personality and all), she’s not like Elle at all. I couldn’t shake off that impression of her as she played the blonde moments in the play, so it kind of felt off, at least for me. But she’s a great performer, that I can say.
  • Nyoy and the original onstage Emmet had a lot of similarities, and I like his voice! But I think I’d have to agree with Anton of Our Awesome Planet — I wasn’t sure about the chemistry between Nyoy and Nikki. Maybe it is the height factor?
  • Whipped Into Shape! I am in awe of Geneva Cruz’s abs. I kind of wished there were more people in that performance, though.
  • I liked how they did the set — with all the books. It’s easy to connect to the show, and all the pink-ness didn’t matter, at least for me. :) I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a pink mattress there somewhere.
  • The supporting cast were awesome, and again, I would have to sing praises to Felix Rivera. He had multiple roles, but his best yet is the pool boy. There, Right There! got me laughing all the way, just like it did on the Broadway version. Gay or European win!
  • I found the Legally Blonde scene especially heartbreaking, just like when I watched the video. Nikki shone on that scene, and for a moment there I thought there were sparks between her and Nyoy…I think that’s the only scene where I caught the spark with their characters.
  • I think the only gripe I had with the entire show was the sound system — the mics kept on dying through the show. :( It especially sucked when the mic died for Carlos during the revelation in the Gay and European scene. That was my favorite, and the mic just had to die, then. I’d have to hand it to the cast, though, they kept on going even if the mics were dying around them. The show must go on!

Overall, Legally Blonde is a fun show that will tickle not your funny bones but your heart. Don’t let the pink-ness bother you, and let Elle make her way into your hearts like she did in Harvard. Because omigod, this show is just too fun to skip. :)

Legally Blonde is showing in the Meralco Theater until July 18. For more information, visit Atlantis Productions.

525,600 Minutes


525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love. Seasons of love.

I thought I’d go all cliche with the start of this post and quote the most popular song (is it?) from the musical to start this post. I’ve heard this song so much for how many years but I never knew where it came from until my best friend told me about it. Yes, I’ve been hiding under a rock.

So yesterday, my friends and I glammed up and headed to Carlos P. Romulo theater in RCBC Plaza in Makati to watch 9works Theatrical’s staging of Rent. Okay, so I glammed up — I just felt like being girly because I was at the theater. It’s just right to wear a dress for the theater, right? :P

Dress up :P

But anyway, that’s not the point of this review.

I’m not exactly a longtime fan of Rent, so I went to watch the play with no expectations. I didn’t even read about the story, and all I knew about it was there was a group of people renting an apartment. I didn’t know who the characters were. All I know what that song up there. Because of these known facts, I don’t really think I can give a full-theater review of Rent (then again, I’m no theater expert anyway), so I’ll just write them all down in bullets for easier reading:

  • The Story. Rent is definitely not a play for kids, with all the serious issues that it discusses within the musical. I had a hard time digesting/processing what the story was about at the first half of the play because I had no idea what it was about, but as the second act came, I started to understand the story. Lots of issues came up: AIDS/HIV, homosexuality, drugs, relationships, and ultimately, love.I remember my mom telling me that the only cure for AIDS was love. Back then, I thought love could be bottled up and be given to the people with AIDS to drink (like paracetamols or colon cleansing pills) — I know it’s kind of cheesy — and be healed, as in be rid of AIDS forever. Of course love couldn’t be bottled, but until now I believe that people with AIDS need love first and foremost. I think that’s what the story of Rent tells us: that these people need love. Hence the song, right?Although the story wasn’t as lighthearted as Avenue Q, I enjoyed the story of Rent. My heart broke for Angel, and I got frustrated with Roger and Mimi, and overall, the ending gave me a good and positive feeling inside.

    Favorite scenes/songs: Another Day, La Vie Bohème, Seasons of Love, Without You

  • The Characters. Rent showcases a colorful cast of characters — from the preppy observer Mark to the rocker Roger, to the prim and strict Joanne to the wild Maureen and Mimi, to the somewhat inconsistent Benny. It’s the first musical I ever watched that had both gay and lesbian couples, and “parents” on answering machines.I really liked the character of Mark, who acted as the narrator/observer among the cast of characters. Mark may seem like an outsider as he films/comments on things, and it may seem like he has no issues in life until his roommate Roger brings it up. However, I kind of like that he didn’t seem to have too many hang-ups, especially about romance, even if his ex Maureen did leave him for a woman.

    But the favorite character there? Hands down, it was Angel. He/she is the character that is everyone’s friend, which makes him/her more important and his/her absence feels more poignant over the other characters.

  • The Manila Cast. I’m always in awe of theater actors because acting onstage is not as easy as it looks. It always amazes me how much effort comes with every performance, which is always fresh and on the spot, unlike for movie/TV actors. That said, I think the entire cast of Rent in Manila did a great job with their performances. Granted, there could still be things to improve on — like maybe the chemistry of some of the cast with one another, or maybe a way for some of the cast to “rise” above the others so they wouldn’t be overshadowed by the other characters — but it’s still a good show, nonetheless. I would still urge you to catch its last run this weekend. I’m not exactly raving about it like I did the Altar Boyz, but the fact that I actually took the time to blog about it means I liked it a lot. :)

So yeah. Rent was good. :) Watch it — there are still shows this weekend. I’m serious, don’t miss it.

Up next on the shows to watch list: Avenue Q (another run whee!), and possibly Legally Blonde on June. See where my money is going? Heh.