THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG Meets the Press; Show Runs 2/8-3/3
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by Oliver Oliveros
By Precious Lee Cundangan
Manila, Philippines, January 21, 2013 -- Love is in the air; and 9 Works Theatrical is ready to woo audiences with several evenings of music, laughter, and romance as the theater company presents the hit Broadway musical "They're Playing Our Song" (TPOS) at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in Makati City from Friday, February 8 to Sunday, March 3.
Just last week, TPOS cast, artistic and production staff were introduced to the media via a classy luncheon at The Peninsula Manila, whose resident orchestra, 9 PO, provided mood music.
According to TPOS director, Robbie Guevara, this revival production would explore a different type of presentation -- the musical was last staged in the Philippines, starring Tony winner Lea Salonga (Sonya Walsk) and Adrian Pang (Vernon Gersch), more than a decade ago.
Re-invisioning TPOS for today's new audiences was considered when changes were done on new musical arrangements without changing the notes. Along the way, there were things that had to be mixed and matched that made the show's music sort of "John Williams-ish" in terms of sound and accompaniment.
Despite these musical changes, Guevara was quick to point out that the production stayed true to the play's original book and setting: its costume design and sets -- which incorporate a revolving stage -- still look like New York City in the early '80s.
Based on the real-life romantic relationship between the late Tony and Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch and Grammy-winning lyricist and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, TPOS, which proves "opposites do attract," is full of wit and laughter.
Expect the unexpected: The play strikingly shows how love moves in mysterious ways especially when the entertainingly sarcastic, well-established composer Gersch (Lorenz Martinez) meets the very kooky, offbeat, and up and coming lyricist Walsk (Nikki Gil). One would think that TPOS is another "boy meets girl; boy falls in love with girl" typical plot. However, TPOS's real magic lies in how the musical journey of Gersch and Walsk, a most unlikely pair, would eventually strike the right chord in each other's heart.
Gil, who makes her fourth theatrical outing in TPOS, is excited and nervous at the same time.
"It's a very popular play," Gil told BroadwayWorld. "Everyone knows that everyone knows the song 'Fallin.' And it has a really small cast compared to 'Sweet Charity' [the last musical she did with 9 Works Theatrical]; so the responsibility to do well is more spread out."
Joining Martinez and Gil are male, female trios that serve as Gersch and Walsk's interior monologue performers: Reb Atadero, Noel Rayos, and James Stacey speak for Gersch; while Peachy Atilano, Anna Santamaria, and Jill Pena speak for Walsk.
TPOS, co-presented by The Rockwell Club and The Peninsula Manila, is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
Besides the musical, you may also want to catch 9 Works Theatrical's "Fallin' in Love: A Jamming Night with THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG Cast and Theater Friends" at Salon de Ning at The Peninsula Manila on Thursday, January 24 at 9 p.m.
Photos by Jory Rivera