The box-office hit “Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady: The Musical” is back on stage fully re-imagined and revamped through the fresh eyes of rip-roaring millennials. This pun-filled musical extravaganza brims with Carlo Vergara’s acerbic wit, flamboyant production numbers, and superhero-supervillain action sequences that pack a punch.
Tongue-in-cheek comedy, family drama, romance and live action converge in Ateneo Blue Repertory’s 25th Anniversary Season Finale. They partner with Dalanghita Productions in bringing to life the famed comic book world of Zsazsa Zaturnnah, but this time focusing on new characters.
“Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady” tells the story of a lowly labandera, Mely, and her young and wild sister, Viva, who struggle to fulfill their dreams in a world that gives a premium to foreign super heroes with white skin and well-educated barako men who always get the job. They seem to fight to be favored in a society that has no room for them.
When Mely lands a job as the maid for Fuwerza Filipinas, she steps up to this unique challenge for the sake of her family. However, her sibling relationship with Viva becomes more complicated when an unsettled past keeps coming back and a forbidden romance happens amidst an ongoing war between Fuwerza Filipinas, the superheroes, and Kayumanggilas, the supervillains. “Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady” is a journey about compassion, heroism, and redemption.
“Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady” ushers in a new artistic team led by Issa Manalo Lopez, Director, who recently performed politically charged pieces “I” and “Colonized”. With additional lyrics and composition by Kevin Maske, an Ateneo alumna and awardee of Loyola Schools Awards for the arts and music, he comes in as Musical Director of Vincent de Jesus’ original music. Delphine Buencamino, who has essayed the role of Apolinario Mabini in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Mabining Mandirigma” and has also choreographed Tanghalang Ateneo’s “Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon”, UP Dulaang Lab’s “Oresteia”, Ateneo Entablado’s “Desaparesidos”, and PETA’s “3 Stars and a Sun” directs movement as Choreographer. J Laspuña, whose previous soundscape collaborations include “Disco1081”, “I”, and “Kapit” does Sound Design. Carlo Tabije and Ben Padero, the award-winning Production Designers of the film “Heneral Luna”, creates the highly imaginative Set and Costumes. Joseph Matheu, Lighting Designer and Co-Producer of Twinbill’s “Asher Lev”, does the Lights Design.
The cast boasts of up and coming talented young actors of Philippine theatre. Natasha Cabrera, who previously played Viva in the musical’s commercial run, comes back to the production to play Mely – (Maid of Fuwerza Filipinas). She shares the role with EJ Pepito of PETA’s “3 Stars and a Sun”. Jerome Fugoso plays Senyor Blangko (Lead Super Villain of Kayumanggilas). Ateneo blueREP’s Kassandra Barnes and Ashe Uy alternate as Viva (Mely’s younger sister), Hans Braga as Leading Man (Newest Member of Fuwerza Filipinas), and Arianna Norton as Madre de Dios (Lead Superhero of Fuwerza Filipinas).
Lending support is a mix of theatre professionals and fresh young actors. These include Dulaang UP’s Sheryll Ceasico (Nanay, Mely and Viva’s mother), Ateneo blueREP’s Celine Bengzon (Nena Babushka) and Monica Lopez Gamboa (understudy), Nikki Cadiz (Windang Woman), Shawn Landayan (Popoy Pusakal), Johnason Wei (Bazooka Man), Wrench Canicosa (Marakas Marko), Maia Dapul (Itak-Atak) and Senanda Gomez (understudy), Jason Tan Liwag (Jeryc Sans Rival) and Ale Reynoso (alternate), Rando Torregosa (Henyotik).
The ensemble is composed of Joyce Buen, Miko Insame, Bryan Mendoza, Rion Cairus Reyes, Joseph Matthew Tuazon, Lexi Cruz, Erin Locsin, Jason Cabrera, Titus Villanueva, Wynken Gelito, and Kyla Maegan Frencillo.
The production aims to foster learning by partnering professionals with creative student team members such as Ateneo blueREP’s Marcel David and Jamie Gutierrez (Assistant Directors), Chab Ocampo (Dramaturgy), and Evee Raypon (Assistant Choreographer).
The production team is composed of Twinkle Liboon and Mikee Alvero (Production Managers), Alicia Florentino (Head Stage Manager), Luis Yatco (Assistant Stage Manager), Charlene Odeste, Patti Tan Palanca, Keanu Benavidez, Sabrina de Mesa, and Iris Eleria (Stage Managers), Miko Castro (Head Technical Director), Jesse Lim (Set Technical Director), Danielle Teo (Set Technical Director Deputy), John Paul Manlapaz (Props Technical Director), King Morales (Lights Technical Director), Zerah Alba (Sounds Technical Director), and Gayle Mendiola and Tenny Cayco (Costumes and Makeup Technical Directors).
Heading the committees are Russ Santos (Chief Finance Officer), Stephanie Escuadro (Front-Of-House Head), JM Munar (Corporate Relations Head), Mitchie Cabrera (Public Relations Head), Jeff Pascual (Documentations Head), Pocholo Comsti and Niño Constantino (Logistics Head), Chris Cancio (Design and Publications Head), Jamie Gutierrez (Art Director), Tara Oppen (Special Projects Committee Representative), and Fifi Santelices and Adrian Chio (HR Representatives).
“Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady” runs until May 1, 2017. The show starts promptly at 8 p.m. (Thursday-Sunday for the first week, Tuesday-Sunday for the second week). Matinee shows (Saturday-Sunday) start at 2 p.m. The show will be at Rizal Mini Theater, Faber Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.
For ticket inquiries, please contact Stephanie Escuadro at 09568452030.