The Wheel and Axle

Tag: musical

Let’s Rak Again

by on Jul.19, 2019, under Music & Theater, Society

I can never get enough of Rak of Aegis. Recently, Season 7 opened, and of course I had to see it again (third time, the most recent being last year).

What I love about Rak is that – like many original Filipino musicals like Zsazsa Zaturnnah, Ako Si Josephine, and Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady – every run adds new spins. Updated jokes that reference current events and pop culture memes are inserted, making each run feel fresh again while retaining everything that made the show successful.

Rak of Aegis Season 7 is such an experience. On top of small reinventions, new cast members are placed into the mix, giving returning audiences the opportunity to see different interpretations of classics.

And so it goes that we once again experience the travails of Bgy. Venizia, which gets flooded for months after a the construction of a gated community nearby prevented proper drainage. Against this backdrop and the backdrop of a social media age where virality is the way to fame, the community’s diverse array of residents struggle to cope with poverty, love, friendship, and ambition. (continue reading…)

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Once Again On This Island

by on Oct.28, 2017, under Music & Theater

Once On This Island will always be one of my favorite musicals, ever. It doesn’t get as much love as a lot of the bigger Broadway classics, but it has a very loyal following throughout the decades. In the Philippines, it’s been staged both professionally as well as in various schools. I can pretty much still sing it from start to finish.

So imagine my excitement when I heard they’re doing a revival on Broadway this year, with an out-of-the-box casting bonanza as well. Aside from having the Lea Salonga, a Filipina, as the goddess Erzulie and Quentin Earl Darrington as the god Agwe, we have some gender-bending casting choices with Glee’s Alex Newell portraying the goddess Asaka and actress Merle Dandridge portraying the psychopomp Papa Ge. These are, after all, deities, so perhaps interpreting them as not conforming to human ideas of gender and sexuality is a valid point of view.

(continue reading…)

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Mighty Big Boots To Fill

by on Jul.24, 2017, under Music & Theater, Queer

From Atlantis’ FB Page

2005’s Kinky Boots is one of my favorite LGBT-themed films ever. Heck, it’s one of my favorite films, period. It’s funny, touching, and uplifting all at once. This was a time before Joel Edgerton ever became Ramses and Chiwetel Ejiofor ever became Baron Mordo. The film itself is something I can watch over and over without getting tired of it.

So obviously, Kinky Boots the Musical has absolutely big shoes (boots?) to fill in my eyes. True, it won Tonys, Oliviers, a Grammy, and more. Plus, hello, Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, duh. I have not seen it on Broadway – it’s on my bucket list – but I managed to catch the matinee of the Manila production last Saturday afternoon with my friend AJ.

The verdict?

Big shoes absolutely filled fantastically!

And such a perfect analogy, to boot (heh).

(continue reading…)

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Tale As Old As Time

by on Mar.20, 2017, under Film & TV, Geeky, Literature, Music & Theater, Queer

As expected, Disney’s live action remake of their animated classic Beauty and the Beast is as magical as the original. Although the new film is quite faithful to the first one, it still does have a few changes, primarily in order to flesh out the backstories and motivations of the characters. Some new songs were added along the way to enhance the story beats and the character arcs. All these resulted in a richer, deeper, and in many ways slightly darker approach to a classic tale that’s, well, as old as time.

(continue reading…)

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