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Love Thoughts Told with Songs: Breakups and Breakdowns Review

I saw Joel Trinidad's show last weekend.  A show that I'm really looking forward to see because of two major reasons: 1) It is an original Musical created here in the Philippines and 2) It is by Joel Trinidad who is one of most well respected names in local theater scene.  So what do I think about Joel's baby? hmmm

: Mark (Joel Trinidad) is a young play wright putting his finishing touches on his play about a bitter sweet retelling of his own failed relationship with Nina (Carla Guevara-Laforteza). Concerned with his friend's emotional condition, Derek (Reuben Uy) convinced Mark to go out and meet girls so that he will stop thriving on his past experience.

One stormy night while Derek is out on a date with Sandy (Emy Trinidad/ Jenny Jamora), Mark stays at home still perfecting his play. Suddenly, he is interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Outside the door is Nina, soaking wet after her car stalled on a nearby street because of the storm. As everything is almost going back in to place between Mark and Nina, Derek and Sandy arrived earlier than expected. In an unexpected turn of event, a surprising revelation shocked everybody and complicates the predicament of the four.
Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Nina and Joel Trinidad as Mark on a Heart Wrenching flashback sequence

For a starter, Breakups and Breakdowns is a very simple show.  I arrived at the theater with my brains and intellect in full power but I'm surprised that I don't even need to have a college degree to enjoy it.  I'm not saying that the show is for Dumb people.  The show is classy enough but it is presented on a way that it can reach out to any type of crowd.  You don't even need to be a theater lover to watch it.  It perfectly immortalizes the universality of a Romantic Comedy and any Tom, Dick and Harry can sit on it, laugh, fall in Love and eventually relate to the characters and say "Yeah, That's me".

Reuben Uy as the playboy Derek and Jenny Jamora
(alternating with Emy Trinidad) as Sandy cuddles in the sofa before going on a date.

Somehow I can say that some tunes are very inspired by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx.  They are lively and cheerful.  This is the kind of music that I will listen whenever I want to be energized.  On the other hand some songs also have these laid back feel that relaxes your senses like most of the songs of some of our greatest OPM hit makers like Jose Mari Chan, Ryan Cayabyab and Ogie Alcasid.  You should grab the CD, it's worth your every penny.

The cast singing on a well designed stage by Lawyn Cruz.

The set is small but highly detailed.  The Production designer obviously paid a lot of attention on details.  She maximized all of her resources and created a high definition replica of the set complete from the intricate textures of walls to the tiniest bits of props scattered on Mark's desk.  That is what we call dedication.

Words are not enough to describe how excellent the actors are.  Just looking on the resumes of Joel Trinidad (Avenue Q, Defending the Caveman, KAOS),  Emy Trinidad (Miss Saigon, Hairspray, Emir), Carla Guevara-Laforteza (Avenue Q, Spelling Bee, RENT), Jenny Jamora (Legally Blonde, A Little Night Music, The Joy Luck Club), and Reuben Uy (Orosman at Zafira, Panaginip na Fili, Mary Stuart), you will know that this people have already forged a good reputation in terms of skills and talent on stage and will certainly not disappoint you.  It might sound like an understatement but everyone of them definitely and undoubtedly did a great job on their respective roles.

In short, I really enjoyed the show so much.  I'm totally recommending this to everyone specially those who wants to at least feel the remnants of the love month.  With book and lyrics written by Joel Trinidad and music by Hong Kong Disneyland's Rony Fortichenjoy the romance and laughter with this sweet and cozy musical on its final shows on March 11 (8pm) and 12 (3pm,8pm) at Teatrino, The Prominade, Greenhills San Juan. For ticket reservations email Upstart productions at upstarttickets@gmail.com or call (0949)7917270 and (02)9646562. 
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