For the show's hardworking cast and crew, "Chicago's" Manila season (until Dec. 21 in The Theatre at Solaire) is also an opportunity to enjoy the Philippines. Terra MacLeod (center) and other cast members have been checking out places in the country.
How the ‘Chicago’ cast is enjoying the Philippines
The cast of “Chicago” is thrilled to be part of the first theater production to hit the stage of The Theatre at Solaire Resort and Casino.
Bianca Marroquin, who has played Roxie Hart on Broadway for 13 years, said, “It’s very symbolic to kick it off. We feel honored. It’s huge, it’s beautiful.”
“It’s nice to start a fresh theater, we’re kinda setting the pace for it,” said Roz Ryan, the show’s Mama Morton.
In an earlier interview, Roz told us how excited she was to come to Manila: “It’s an opportunity to bring what we have to some new people and let them see what we do and share it.”
What they do is put on a great show night after night, bringing to life the incredible music and lyrics of songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb and the choreography of Bob Fosse (updated by Ann Reinking) and telling a captivating tale of murder, corruption, fame and greed.
For the show’s hardworking cast and crew, “Chicago’s” Manila season is also an opportunity to enjoy the Philippines.
Seven days in Boracay
Terra MacLeod, who plays Velma Kelly, spent seven days in Boracay before the show started. “It was beautiful. I needed a vacation. Talk about one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It was gorgeous,” she said.
Photography is one of Terra’s biggest passions. When we asked her if she took a lot of photos in Boracay, she said, “Too many! I think I took 800 pictures. Seriously. It was great, it was awesome.”
Jasond Thomas, who plays Sergeant Fogarty, also explored the Philippines before the show started. He went on the trip to celebrate his birthday, visiting Boracay and Palawan and chronicling his adventure on Twitter and Instagram.
He went to Puerto Princesa and El Nido, marveled at the Underground River Cave, treated kids to ice cream at Baywalk in Puerto Princesa, told his tricycle driver to surprise him by taking him anywhere (and serendipitously ended up seeing the first cruise ship he worked on 17 years ago—“Talk about full circle,” he wrote), watched a basketball game and talked to people about Lebron James, hung out with locals, snorkeled and got a massage.
In Boracay, he sailed, parasailed and hung out with locals in Carabao Island, eating lechon with them. He’s also spent time with friends in Manila.
He wrote: “This is #Philippines and I’m totally immersed in it!”
Colt Adam Weiss, who plays Aaron and is the dance captain, and Adam Pellegrine, who plays Harry/Martin Harrison, can’t wait to explore the Philippines with other
members of the cast.
“We’re looking into Batangas,” Colt said.
“And a trip to Boracay,” Adam added.
“If anybody wants to
be our tour guide, let us know,” said Colt.
Some cast and crew are going to Taal this Monday, the show’s only day off, while others plan to go diving.
They’ve also been enjoying Manila, partying at Valkyrie to celebrate cast birthdays and enjoying high tea at Diamond Hotel where they are staying.
Warm and lovely
For some cast members, the tour has also been a chance to connect with family and friends.
We first met Allison Blair McDowell, who plays Mona and is understudy for Velma and Roxie, in October, when “Chicago’s” 16th US tour opened in New Orleans.
“My brother’s getting married in the Philippines in December!” she said.
The day after the show opened last week, we talked to her again. Her brother Joseph, who is with the US Navy and who has been on a base in Japan, has been dating Bianca, a Filipino woman who lives outside Manila.
“They’ve been together for about a year now,” Allison said.
The wedding has been postponed until early next year, but Allison is looking forward to meeting Bianca on this trip. “They’re gonna come in this week. I’m so excited. Hopefully, she can show me around some as well.”
She said she hopes to return to the Philippines to attend the wedding.
C. Newcomer (Mary Sunshine) also approached us at the Chicago cast party in New Orleans to express delight about their Manila season: “My sister-in-law is from Manila. I’m going to get to meet her family for the first time. She’s been my family for 10 years and so I’m so excited to be there and meet them.”
We witnessed the reunion on Instagram, when the performer posted a photo with this caption: “So HAPPY to meet Miriam, Mark, Joy and Aida, my family from the Philippines this morning! What a warm and lovely group who made me feel at home :). This trip is a blessing in so many ways!”
“Chicago’s” Manila season is presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, Concertus Manila, Visa, Smart Infinity and Solaire Resort and Casino. The show runs until Dec. 21. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8999999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.