The very minute that lead actor Audie Gemora stood there alone, finally, in one of the most significant scenes in the musical play La Cage Aux Folles, and he sang the song “I Am What I Am”, we knew that what we saw was not simply ordinary but a thing that would last forever.
It was the most shining moment of all. And the real wonder at that. Looking at one great theater performer who transformed himself into an all-out transgender, was, indeed, awesome. Candid. Wonderful.
It was a revelation, that whether you are gay or not, black or white, straight or curved, one individual has got the right to be HIMSELF. And this is the real beauty of the play La Cage Aux Folles.
Gays, Transgenders, Bisexuals, Lesbians, or the likes, may look outrageous, abnormal and hilarious- but deep within them are hearts of gold and love, hearts of caring and sympathy, hearts of concern and guidance.
As we watched this truly unforgettable play together with a veteran female celebrity and radio icon in person of Ms. Tessie Lagman, we just assured ourselves that local theater productions are now “at par” with Broadway musical standards. Just minus the hi-tech efficiency of original Broadway productions, Filipino performing artists can compete- with greater angst and power, wonder and delivery.
Kudos for director Robbie Guevara, he finely crafted the direction of this delicate play that dealt with the lives of two gay couple with a dashing son who proved in the end that he was never ashamed of having gay parents. What a redemption.
As they were circled-in with odd characters of gay impersonators and performers of the La Cage Aux Folles club, every minute you’d laugh, every single second you’d feel breathless and every hour, you’d see the more happier side of life, alongside the complications, that everything went well in the end.
A very fine and unique adaptation of the classic film turned into a Broadway musical genre.
The costumes were fabulous, colorful and classy, designed by Mio Infante with the participation of the the members of the FDAP (Filipino Designers Association of the Philippines) which helped a lot in putting more colors and life upon the musical play.
The musical direction of Joseph Tolentino and Sweet Plantado-Tionson was surely fantastic!
In this play, we were amazed by the great transformation of GMA-7 young star in person of Steven Silva. He acted-out his scenes with precision, great timing and own originality. Steven, we can say by now, is one fine young theater actor.
Rafa Siguion-Reyna was amazing! Truly amazing! As one the “La Cagelettes”, he was so poised, graceful and flirty. Oh, my.
Noel Rayos as “the maid” was scene-stealing and so funny.
And all the rest of the supporting cast were truly WONDERFUL.
But in the end, two people made this play TRULY GREAT.
Mr. Michael de Mesa and Audie Gemora.
Real men as the are, they captured the sensitivity and the soul of being homosexuals. They didn’t over-act, they didn’t outshine each other- but rather, their harmony and chemistry as the gay couple in this play astounded everyone. Very, very powerful performances with the both. A standing ovation!
I kneel and put my hats-off to them.
Because whether you are a straight guy or a gay, a white or a black…
What matters most is the heart that sees upon.
And both Michael and Audie had seen it, too…
(words by robert manuguid silverio)
(PHOTOS BELOW COURTESY OF THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE: MR. LEO CASTILLO, MR. ERICKSON DELA CRUZ, MR. JONJON MARTIN AND NINE WORKS THEATRICAL)
(ON THE PHOTOS ABOVE: AUDIE GEMORA, MICHAEL DE MESA AND THE WHOLE CAST AND STAFF, WITH CLOSE FRIENDS OF “LA CAGE AUX FOLLES”)