Direk Joel Lamangan, malapit ang puso sa mga Tsinoy

AFTER the successful run of “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag: The Musical” last year, Direk Joel Lamangan is back in “Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical”, another groundbreaking musical of epical proportions.

Noted for his “Mano Po” movie, he said that “Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical” is in a way a homage to the Filipino-Chinese community in the country, too.
He even shared how the musical got conceptualized.

“Actually, lumapit sa akin iyong prodyuser kaya ko siya ginawa. Nanood kasi siya ng Maynila last year. Sabi niya, bakit ang Chinese, masama? Sabi ko, hindi naman ako ang naglagay noon. Iyon ang nasa nobela na pinagbasehan ng libretto. Sabi niya, gawa kami ng musical na mabait ang Chinese. So, sige gagawa naman kami na mabait ang Chinese, so love story naman ang ginawa namin,” he elucidated.

He however denied compromising his art when he accepted the project. He even said that he did not yield to the pressure of the Tsinoy community who might in one way or the other, got offended by his depiction of Chinese people in “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag”.

He’s also proud to work not only with Pinoy but also with Tsinoy theatre actors in his latest stage directorial job .

“Kaya nga kinuha ko si Arman Ferrer at si David Ezra at saka iyong iba pa, dahil mukha silang Intsik. Isa iyon sa konsiderasyon ko nang mag-casting at mag-audition kami,” he declared.

He’s also ecstatic to be reunited with his Maynila lead actors.

“Arman Ferrer has shown a lot of improvement. Sheila Valderama, my Ligaya in Maynila is also a wonderful actress. Then we have Carla Guevarra-Laforteza, Sheila’s alternate who’s an alumnus of Ms. Saigon plus David Ezra, Arman’s alternate of “Mabining Mandirigma” fame who has numerous awards to his name,” he said.

Produced by Synergy 88, Rebecca Chuaunsu Film Production (RCFP) and Fullhouse Asia Production and written by multi-award winning screenwriter and Plaridel awardee Ricky Lee with Gershom Chua and Eljay Deldoc, “Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical” also stars Floyd Tena, Noel Rayos, Yela Laurel, Ashley Factor, Ima Castro, Ana Feleo, Jennifer Villegas, Kay Balajadia, Dondi Ong, Russell Magno, Elizabeth Chua, Jim Pebanco, Lorenz Martinez, Khalil Kaimo, Ellrica Laguardia, Rhapsody, Tuesday Vargas, Jonel Mojica, Phillip Deles and Ivana Villanueva. The ensemble also includes Carlos Derriada, Cheeno Macaraig, Claire Borja, Daniel Cruz, Dusty Suarez, Janine Tolentino, Joseph Billeza, Joseph Puducay, Julia Chua, Paul Clark, Precious Sementilla, Rence Aviles, Randy Rey, Romcel Brinquiz, Roy Sotero, Ryan Caraan, VJ Cortel, Xander Pineda and Zyruz Imperial.

Other members of the artistic team are Von de Guzman (musical director), Douglas Nierras (choreographer), Joey Nombres (light designer), Otto Hernandez (production designer and technical director).

“Binondo:A Tsinoy Musical” runs from June 29 to July 8 at Solaire Theater.

For your comments/reactions write to artzy02@yahoo.com. Chikka Pa More/Archie Liao

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