Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Losin' Myself in Footloose the Musical

I love to dance. I haven't had any professional background on dancing but i just looove it. So...when i first heard of Footloose the Musical, my initial instinct was to know how to get tickets for the show (plus hope that the tix won't be too pricey Ü). However, i was faced with another dilemma...i don't know anyone who would be interested to watch the show with me (if only i had a special someone...but that's a totally different story...Ü). It took quite a while for me to find someone who would accompany me to the show. For starters, i'm the only person i know who loves Jay-R & doesn't find him "icky." Good thing i found friends who are equally eager to watch the show...Well, actually, 1 friend who was equally-eager (that's you Pam Ü)...another friend who got dragged into it but eventually was also eager (not as i am though) to watch the show after seeing a clip on it on TV (that's you Assu!)...and 3 others who i believe really got dragged in to watching it coz i couldn't find any reason on why they'd watch a musical such as this (i'm definitely grateful though...the night wouldn't be as fun without you guys...Maris, Rex & Gela)...So anyway, with the dilemma on "tix" and "pax" all covered for, we were now all set to see Footloose the Musical @ Meralco Theater on the 17th of September 2005, 8PM.

I wasn't expecting much from the show given that this is the first major project of the said production (i'm not so sure 'bout this though...). Also, i read a review from the paper (after having purchased the tix...) that the said musical still had some room for improvement...but it's a good show in general. Plus, my dream of seeing Jay-R on stage went down the drain when i read that Jay-R did not actually open the show on its initial staging coz apparently, he hasn't memorized all his lines yet (i'm not sure if this is just gossip or not). Anyway, i consoled myself by thinking that...what the heck, i'm not a professional critique when it comes to musicals or theater, i'm sure i'll enjoy this anyway, and...having Jay-R there or not is OK (but i still kept my fingers crossed that he's there Ü) since: (1) Footloose is synonymous to dance & i looove to dance; and (2) i just soooper love the 80s (i actually think i was born in the wrong era Ü)!

So...there i was in Meralco Theater with my tiny bag of expectations about Footloose the Musical. But oh boy...was i not ready for the surprises that lie ahead into the night. So...allow me to elaborate & enumerate: Surprise #1: Seeing Papa Piolo. NO, he's not part of the cast so this was really such a shocker. I'm actually thanking God for my über petite bladder that can only hold as much! Given that i gobbled up an entire big cup of iced tea before the show, i actually had to go to the washroom three times the entire time i was at Meralco Theater. The 2nd time was right before the show started. So...guess who were we to bump into en route to the ladies room? Papa Piolo of course!!! My God! I actually didn't notice him given that i was not wearing my glasses so my "peripheral" vision was limited to only a foot Ü...that's why we had to back-up a bit so i could get a closer look. WOW...heaven! He's moreno, though still a bit vertically-challenged (in my standards). But i guess his looks more than make up for his height. Well, that was my chance encounter with Papa Piolo. Next surprise, Surprise #2: In the ladies room with Lucy Torres. Well, this isn't as kilig & fun as seeing Piolo, but 'twas also such a "starstruck" experience for me since i actually read her two columns in the newspaper every week. She really is maputi. And tall. I didn't expect her to be that tall, though i've already seen her twice before in the last two Bench fashion shows. But this was the first time for me to see her in a more "up-close-and-personal" manner. Again, i thank God for my über petite bladder for this instance coz this was the same trip to the washroom in which we bumped into Papa Piolo beforehand. What were the chances of seeing two celebrities in a single bathroom break? Super slim i suppose...Ü Oh, by the way...Lucy was with Ben Chan that night. And given that there were quite a handful of VIPs that night (i consider Ben, Piolo & Lucy as VIPs...aside from US of course, haha!), i was hoping that, well...maybe Jay-R will be in this show Ü. And, lo & behold...Surprise #3: Jay-R opens the show. My heart literally skipped a beat when i saw him strut his stuff & sing the opening lines of..."Been working so hard, i'm punchin' my card, Eight hours for what, oh tell me what i got..." I'm not exaggerating when i say that my heart actually skipped a beat when i saw him. This is true. Dunno why... Probably the lack of a lovelife has made me a hopeless romantic...resolving instead to celebrities for inspiration. Haha! Anyway, the less than 800 bucks that i spent for the show paid off the moment the musical started. My friends & i were actually thinking that this was totally worthit & more than what we bargained for. Ü

Given the "events" that transpired before the show, i'd have to say that the events that followed (that is, the musical itself) also put up a good fight & didn't leave me disappointed. The musical was all in all good despite the few boring moments & technical (sound & lighting) glitches. But, like i said, i'm not a professional critique...and i actually enjoyed the show despite its shortcomings. The show had its memorable moments as well, especially when the cast was belting out some of my favorite 80s songs such as Holdin' Out For A Hero, Let's Hear It For The Boy, Almost Paradise, and of course, my all-time favorite, Footloose, which they sang as their opening & closing act (a double treat for me! Ü). There were also some other memorable songs that stick to memory such as Somebody's Eyes and Mama well as memorable perfromances from some of the cast members such as Giancarlo Magdangal as the cowboy-hat-and-jumper-suit-wearing, totally-momma's-boy, geeky-but-lovable Willard Hewitt...Nikki Valdez as one of the perky sidekicks of Ariel (the girl lead of the musical), Wendy Jo...and Caisa Borromeo as Rusty, who wowed the audience while singing Let's Hear It For The Boy (with Willard trying to dance in the background).Ü

I have to admit, the best performance of the night was that of Jay-R's (OK, OK...i know i'm quite bias but you'll have to let this pass...i'm the one writing this article anyway Ü). So maybe he's got a lot more to learn when it comes to acting in theater but oh-my-honey...this guy can DANCE. Well, i already know this for a fact having seen him groove on TV, but he still impressed me (and a lot others i suppose) with the way he moves & grooves to the music. Gela even mentioned that after having seen the show, she now has a newfound respect for the guy, who, just hours ago she thought was just one of those good-looking but talent-less actors in showbusiness. Aside from dancing, i was also soooper mesmerized by Jay-R's voice...Oh wow! All the time i was imagining that he was singing to me instead of Iya Villania (who, by the way, played Ariel Moore, the other lead), especially when they were both singing a duet of Almost Paradise (which has been playing over & over in my mind for the past few days...Ü). Haay...super imagine-to-death ako that Jay-R was singing to me. Wish ko lang...but sometimes, wishes do come true so...i'll just hope this one wish of mine does...Ü.

Given that the musical is an adaptation of the movie Footloose that was shown in the 80s starring Kevin Bacon, one might think that there are some elements lost in the translation from movie to theater. I'm not the best person to ask regarding this since i haven't seen the movie version (but i'll make it a point to see it soon Ü), but i'm quite sure they've captured the essence of what the original Footloose was all about. Though the plot is quite shallow given that dancing is actually punishable by law in the quaint town of Bomont (why would anyone do that?!???), one must see pass through this & realize that the core that the story wants to touch on is the relationship between family, friends & neighbors. The passion & the message is still there & i guess what makes this story timeless is its universal theme combining music & dance in a story almost everyone can relate to (especially us Filipinos).

The less than 800 bucks i spent for this show is totally worthit! I recommend for you guys to watch it if you want to have a great time...and if you like Jay-R Ü (or Iya Villania for you guys out there Ü). Just make sure you watch the 8pm show coz there's a bigger possibility for you to see Jay-R & Iya as the leads...but i've heard that their alternates are good as well. I guess my only regret for the night is not having my picture taken with Papa Piolo & Jay-R...but then again, i'm quite sure our paths will cross again (naks! how i wish!)...So...i guess this is all for now. Til next month's blog!Ü Enjoy the pix we took after the show...with us...well, actually, just me...fooling around & looking like a totally crazy whacko with all those people watching me having my pix taken with Jay-R's poster! Nyahaha! But...what the hell! What are the chances of me seeing these people again anyway? Super slim! So i'd rather look like a total whacko & have a fun time (i'm telling you, we did! 'twas a total laugh trip!) than sit & not have funny moments to remember this night by...Ü


If you're interested to watch the show, Footloose the Musical will be running for the whole month of September, every Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, with show times of 3PM and 8PM. For more details, visit