West End Mamas are (from left) Maya Barredo-Duffy, Gia Macuja-Atchison and Cez Campos-Bonner. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Ballet Manila ends 17th season with West End Mamas
INQUIRER.net / 01:11 AM February 23, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—Ballet Manila wraps up its 17th performance season with the latest installment of its popular “Ballet & Ballads” series, featuring the London-based trio West End Mamas as special guest.
The show has been ongoing on stage since middle of February at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City. Their final shows happen February 23, Saturday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. before they go back to London again.
“Ballet & Ballads” is presented by Ballet Manila, Aliw Theater, Star City and Manila Broadcasting Company, with Bank of Singapore as co-presentor and Island Rose, First United Travel and Ralph’s Wine and Spirits as sponsors.
The West End Mamas, which is making its Philippine debut, is composed of musical theater artists Gia Macuja-Atchison, Cez Campos-Bonner and Maya Barredo-Duffy.
The post-Valentine extravaganza promises to be an unforgettable evening of romance and celebration. In the tradition of the highly successful Ballet & Ballads series, this season-ender will feature a combination of Broadway and West End hit songs linked with highlights from Ballet Manila’s classical and neo-classical repertoire.
Ballet & Ballads showcases the Filipino-flavored dance pieces Dalagang Pilipina and Manila, Manila, Ballet Manila’s contemporary choreographies (Reve, Reconfigured) and classical staples (Le Corsaire Pas des Trois, Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene), as well as songs by the West End Mamas from Miss Saigon (The Movie in my Mind, I’d Give My Life for You), the rousing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and the popular Mr. Sandman.
Dance and song fuse in such numbers as Dream Girls, Defying Gravity, the Webber Trio and the Mamma Mia Medley. Also not to be missed is the West End Mamas/ Ballet Manila Disco Medley comprised of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, It’s Raining Men and Lady Marmalade.
“We are happy to welcome the West End Mamas in their first performance as a trio in their home country. We know they too are excited to perform for local audiences,” says Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, artistic director of Ballet Manila.
“Ballet & Ballads” also marks the return of Macuja-Elizalde to the stage after being sidelined for three months due to an ankle injury.
Artistic associate Osias Barroso, together with dancers Gerardo Francisco, Rudy de Dios, Rod Ma, Francis Jaena and Michael Divinagracia, choreographed the numbers featuring Ballet Manila and the West End Mamas.
The West End Mamas has been described as “the most exciting act of their generation.” Their moniker is quite apt as all three “mamas” have played lead roles in smash hit musicals in London’s West End.
Macuja-Atchison was in the original cast of The Lion King for five years where she played Princess Nala. She also performed both the roles of Gigi and Ellen in the West End run of Miss Saigon.
Maya Barredo-Duffy performed as Kim in Miss Saigon for many years around the UK and in London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane and was in the cast of The Lion King London. She also played Eponine in the Asian premiere of Les Miserables.
Cez Campos-Bonner has played Kim in Miss Saigon in Asia, Australia and Europe, including London’s West End run. She has also played Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance at London’s Savoy Theatre and the roles of Tuptim and Lady Thiang in The King and I.
For tickets and other inquiries, contact Ballet Manila at telephone numbers 525-5967 or 400-0292 or through the website www.balletmanila.com.ph or Ticketworld at 891-9999 or ticketworld.com.ph.