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Rent Coming to Manila in February

I was introduced to musical theater when I first watched Baz Lhurmann's Moulin Rouge! starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.  Being a movie, theater and music lover I develop my love to Musical theater.  Then I discovered Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, CATS, Miss Saigon and a lot more.  But other than Moulin Rouge! as my top favorite, Larson's Rent is the other musical that became very close to my heart.

2001, Rent hits Manila and that time I'm still not aware of Rent and my Musical Theater interest is still not in its peak.   To cut it short, I missed the show.  9 years past and I'm still crossing my finger and expect that some theater company will restage it again.  And one day an angel heard my prayers.  A friend contact me and said, "Hey Jori We will be doing Rent in 2010".  My heart stopped for a while but evidently on that moment, my soul is rejoicing and I'm saying to myself, at last Rent is coming back on stage here in the Philippines.

To those who don't know Rent, Rent is the winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize with book, music and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson.   Rent has made a lasting mark on Broadway for it is one of the shows that introduce broadway to more realistic and modern take of human society.  Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of AIDS. The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions, and in 2005, it was also adapted into a motion picture that features most of the original cast members.  And now here it is for its latest Philippine restaging to be brought by 9Works Theatrical.

Last month I was invited by 9Works Theatrical to meet the cast of the upcoming staging of Rent.  I was so very excited that night.  Seeing them gave me the assurance that the show will really push through this coming February and to be directed by one and only Robbie Guevara (Songs for a New World).

Among the cast that will join the line-up are Gian Magdangal (West Side Story) as the HIV Positive Ex Rockstar Roger Davis, Fredison Lo as the Film maker Mark Cohen, Nicole Asensio and Cara Barredo (Mulan Jr.) as the HIV Positive Exotic Dancer Mimi Marquez , OJ Mariano as the HIV Positive teacher Tom Collins, Carla Guevara-Laforteza (Spelling Bee, Avenue Q) as the performance artist Maureen Johnson, Noel Rayos (Spelling Bee, Hairspray) as Mark's former room mate and current Land lord Benny Coffin III, Job Bautista as the Gay drag queen Angel Dumott Schunard and Jenny Villegas as Maureen's current squeeze Joanne Jefferson.

Ensemble cast includes Ring Antonio, Peachy Atilano, Johann Dela Fuente (Spelling Bee), Harold Cruz (Songs for a New World), Gary Junsay, Raul Monteza, Anna Santamaria (Songs for e New World) and Mark Tayag.

With this cast I'm expecting a very successful show this coming February.

Catch Rent this coming February 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 AND 28. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm, Saturday at 3:30 pm and Sundays at 4:30pm. Carlos P. Romula Auditorium, RCBC Plaza Ayala Cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City 1200.

For Tickets call 557.58.60 or Ticketworld at 8919999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph or www.9workstheatrical.com

See you all at the theater, La Vie Boheme!!!

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