New York, November 16, 2011 -- The first-ever BroadwayWorld (BWW) Philippines Awards, an audience initiative project that encourages BWW readers from the Philippines to nominate and vote for their favorite plays, musicals, and theater personalities of the past year, revealed its list of nominees two weeks ago to an overwhelming response. Related web pages on my blog and BWW have around 2,000 hits, 100 comments, 2,000 likes, and 100 shares to date.
Although, user comments have been mixed, for example:
• "Sound of Music (SOM) for Best Sound? They must be kidding" (SOM's current performance venue, the Newport Performing Arts Theater, had some acoustic problems lately);
• "It's about time we had something like this;" and
• "This is a better venue for recognizing and levelling off the field for other theater companies especially those that aren't really mainstream... BWW Phils. Awards are a refreshing take from the usual award-giving bodies. This is a great beginning to empowering the theater industry. Kudos to BWW Phils."
I'd rather look at these diverse and opposing views as healthy conversations between BWW and its steadily growing fan base of readers more than anything -- every point raised is important.
Nonetheless, BWW Philippines has been thankful for the warm response from nominees like OJ Mariano, Vince Tañada, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Jaime del Mundo, Christopher de Venecia, Gian Magdangal, Jerald Napoles, Joey Mendoza, Jett Pangan, Caisa Borromeo, Ciara Sotto, Bea Garcia, Skyzx Labastilla, Markki Stroem, Shamaine Buencamino, Dexter Santos, Pipo Cifra, and Jon Jon Martin, among others; and for some Philippine media outlets that have picked up the story like MyxPh.Com and Pep.Ph.
The BWW Awards were first launched in the United States and United Kingdom three years ago. But since there has been a large number of readers that's based in the Philippines, BWW Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Robert Diamond, and I had decided to extend the BWW Awards to the Philippines. Last month, Filipino readers sent in their nomination entries in 20 categories (Best Musical, Best Leading Actor [Musical], Best Sound et al.), which totalled around 500. From these nomination entries, we've shortlisted 85; and these nominees were very diversified productions: they ranged from commercial Theater Productions, non-commercial Theater Productions, and semi-professional, campus-based Theater Productions whose book or script was either in English or Filipino.
The BWW Philippines Awards are now open for voting and will close on December 31, 2011. To help BWW readers decide, I'll do a weekly roundup of nominees starting with the nominees for Best Musical:
Collage work by Ching Nicolas