Quantcast
Latest Stories

Get ready for ‘Wicked’

By

Suzie Mathers (Glinda) and Jemma Rix (Elphaba) at the press launch of “Wicked” PAM PASTOR

Manila is wickedly ready for   ‘Wicked,’” said Bambi Rivera-Verzo, executive producer of Concertus Manila, confirming the rumors that have been buzzing for months now.

The megamusical is really coming to Manila in January 2014 for a limited season.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and the magical world and characters created by L. Frank Baum, “Wicked” tells the untold story of the Land of Oz, long before Dorothy showed up with her dog Toto.  It’s a tale of friendship between Elphaba and Glinda, two very different girls who eventually grow up to be the witches of Oz.

Since its debut on Broadway almost 10 years ago and in London’s West End two years after that, “Wicked” has amassed some 50 major accolades, including three Tony Awards and a Grammy. The musical holds a record for the highest-grossing week on West End and continues to be Broadway’s number one show, with 37 million audience members worldwide having fallen under its spell. Touring productions have been highly successful, too, setting records in Tokyo, Stuggart and Australia.

Herculean task

“It is truthfully the mother of musicals,” said James Cundall, CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, one of the companies that also brought “Cats,” “Mamma Mia!” and “The Phantom of the Opera” to Manila.

Lunchbox, Concertus, David Atkins Enterprises and 105.9 Radio High have teamed up with VISA and Smart Infinity for the herculean task of bringing the show here. Cundall said, “I thought ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was big until I started working on ‘Wicked.’”

Their biggest challenge? Transforming the Main Theater of the CCP into the Land of Oz and preparing it for “Wicked’s” 54 different scenes and locations.

Cundall said, “It’s such a complex show. We’re having to spend something like 20 million pesos just making the venue work for the show. It’s not that the venue doesn’t work, the show is just so complicated. We have a computer flying system, we have to put in new dressing rooms. It’s a lot of work.”

Worth the effort

But it’s a show worth all the effort. The result is a fantastic production with great music, beautiful costumes and goosebump-inducing effects.

At the press launch last Wednesday, guests got a small taste of the magic of “Wicked.” A dragon stood guard outside Diamond Hotel’s ballroom, welcoming guests into an Emerald Banquet. The show’s musical director David Young played a medley of the musical’s songs on the piano, and stars Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers, who had flown in from Australia, performed numbers from the show, including the duet “For Good.”

A scene from the blockbuster musical

Mathers, who has played Glinda over 300 times in Singapore and Korea, also sang “Popular.” “Popular is such a fun song. It was actually my audition song for drama school,” she said to us in an interview after the launch.

Rix, who has played the green-skinned Elphaba 800 times in productions in Australia, Singapore and Seoul, performed the Wicked favorite “Defying Gravity,” making jaws drop with her powerful voice.

Not the first time

It wasn’t Rix’s first time in the Philippines. She was in Cebu over a week ago to watch her husband Josh compete in this year’s Iron Man. He placed eighth.

“He had a great day and I was so excited. I wish I could have stayed in between. It was a lot of fun. Cebu was beautiful. We swam with the whale sharks,” she said.

Young, Rix and Mathers are headed to Auckland for a production of “Wicked,” but they are looking forward to returning to Manila in January with the rest of the company—around 70 people total.

“A lot of my friends toured with shows that have been through the Philippines like  ‘Mamma Mia!,’ ‘Cats,’ ‘Phantom,’ etc. They have all said what a wonderful place it is and how nice the people are, especially, and how great the audiences are. Finally it’s my turn,” Young said.

Filipino musicians

For Cundall, Filipino audiences are “superb.” “You love music. You understand the story really well so you reward the cast onstage with your appreciation not just of the music but of the story. I just love coming here because of that.”

Later this year, Young will be auditioning Filipino musicians to become part of the show’s orchestra.

Added Cundall: “There are no shortcuts. There’s no difference between this show and Broadway or the West End, it’s the same set, it’s not a touring production, it’s not a little stripped-down version, this is the real big boy that’s coming. Or big girl.”

The producers also believe the show will appeal to a younger demographic. Verzo said, “We want to cover a bigger market.   ‘Phantom’ being really more for the older crowd, this time we want to bring in more of the young. This has been on our wish list for the longest time. We’re glad it’s finally happening. ‘Wicked’ is such a great production, bigger than ‘Phantom.’ We’re so excited about it.”

“Wicked” will begin its run on Jan. 22, 2014. Ticket prices are: P7,000 (Emerald), P5,800 (A Reserve), P4,500 (B Reserve), P3,500 (C Reserve), P2250 (B Reserve) and P1750 (E Reserve). Call Ticketworld at tel. 8919999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. Visit www.wickedthemusical.com.ph.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bambi Rivera-Verzo , Concertus Manila , Theater , “Wicked”



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  7. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  10. Philippine novelist wins US book award amid cancer and ‘Yolanda’
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
  • Napoles to have surgery on Tuesday – report
  • Mayor’s assassination linked to black sand mining controversy
  • Initial batch of Etihad passengers tested negative for MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
    Marketplace