525,600 minutes... almost everyone knows the song 'Seasons of Love' from the musical play Rent or maybe even the movie and almost everyone fell in love with the way it was sung, its melody and its lyrics. Last night, I fell in love again with this beautiful song and many others I didn’t bother to listen to that much before, while watching Nine Works’ staging of the timeless musical play by Jonathan Larson.
Though I already know the story and the songs by heart, I didn’t really know what to expect when it’s staged by a Filipino cast (since I didn’t get to watch the ones in PICC and Music Museum). Overall it was great and more than I expected, and I think the strongest aspect was the casting. The lead Pinoy actors were really perfect fits to the characters they played. Although the girl who played Mimi was good too, I was expecting someone with a higher pitched voice to play the young, spunky and sensual girl that is Mimi. Giancarlo Magdangal on the other hand, as Roger was a real revelation – his voice and acting gives justice to the serious and passionate character. I just thought he was mainstream so I didn’t think he could pull off the character of Roger with such gusto. But if you ask me, it was Albert Bautista, the guy who played Angel, who really stole the spotlight taking along with him, OJ Mariano as Tom Collins. Their characters were such a delight to watch - nakakaaliw talaga. They left me and the entire audience smiling and laughing despite all the taboos portrayed. Another highlight for me was Carla Guevarra who played Maureen, she was bratty, carefree, blunt, seductive and a good singer too - galing! 525,600 props to Nine Works and their pure talent and love for their craft!
The entire cast is really worthy of praise, but the ones above are the actors that I think stood out. Do yourselves a favor please– watch RENT and fall in love with the wonderful lyrics and melodies of Seasons of Love and La Vie Boheme and the pure humanity of this beloved play!
Viva La Vie Boheme indeed! =)