GANTIMPALA THEATER FOUNDATION INC. ALL SET TO OPEN “KANSER@35 THE MUSICAL” ON AUGUST 28
In line with its 38th Season, Gantimpala Theater Foundation Inc. proudly presents “KANSER@35 THE MUSICAL” based from the novel Noli Me Tangere by Dr. Jose Rizal with libretto written by Jomar Fleras, music by Jed Balsamo, and choreography by Paul Alexander Morales under the direction of Franniel Zamora.
Today, KANSER is the longest running play in Philippine theater history and to mark its 35th year, “KANSER@35” will be presented for the first time as a full length musical theater production beginning August 28, 2015 at the AFP Theater, Camp Aguinaldo Q.C.
Noli Me Tangere is Dr. Jose Rizal’s expose of corrupt friars from who have made the Catholic religion as instrument for enriching and perpetuating themselves in power by seeking to mire ignorant Filipinos in fanaticism and superstition. Instead of teaching Filipinos true Christianity, according to Rizal; they control the government by opposing all progress and persecuting members of the ilustrados unless they make themselves their servile flatterers. The novel lampooned, caricatured and exposed various elements in the colonial society.
Over the years, this work of fiction have had many incarnations and considered, as one of its most important versions is KANSER, which Gantimpala Theater Foundation Inc. produced back in 1979.
In “Kanser (Noli Me Tangere),” Crisostomo Ibarra returns home after his European studies and rekindles his romance with childhood sweetheart Maria Clara. His return triggers an old rift with the town friar, Padre Damaso. As the play progresses, Ibarra realizes that the malady of oppression and colonial brutality has been killing not only his town, but his motherland as well.
Palanca award-winning playwright Jomar Fleras noted that “Back in 2005, when KANSER celebrated its 25th year, director Franniel Zamora and I casually dreamt of turning this play into a musical when its turns 35. It was really a whimsical dream, knowing that making a musical is not only ambitious but expensive. So when Franny reminded me last year that Kanser was already turning 35 and he wanted to “cash in” on my “promise,” I just dropped everything and started working on the libretto for about 3 weeks.”
“ When I wrote the libretto, I wanted to make it as close to the straight play as possible. However, we also added new scenes and new perspectives which serve to make the audience understand better the soul and message of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. There is also a grandness in the design which the straight play did not have. The original script was written for chamber theater so there is a sea of difference from the concept to the musical.”
“ And from my libretto and the newly composed music by Jed Balsamo, the actual pre-production took several stages. After the rigorous auditions held last February, the cast for KANSER@35 is relatively young and a lot of them were not even born during the first stagings of Kanser. It was an imperative that the cast should know what this novel is all about through a lot of reading sessions with the objective that we want them to perform in a serious musical and not a concert. We also gave an overview regarding the evolution of Kanser and how they were produced by Gantimpala Foundation through the years. And most importantly, we also tackled the nuances of the different characters of the novel. And how to immerse into the role they were to portray,” Fleras added.
There had been other Noli musicals and plays but most of them delved on the love story between Ibarra and Maria Clara. “Kanser@35 will reiterate its focus on the discourse between reform and revolution. The vision of “Kanser@35” from the very start is that it should be able to show parallelisms between the social realities of Rizal’s era with that of the present.
Portraying the lead roles of Kanser@35 are Michael Pangilinan and Jacob Benedicto (Crisostomo Ibarra), Myramae Meneses (Maria Clara), Bodjie Pascua (Pilosopong Tasyo), Vien Alen King (Elias,) Kate Alejandrino and Michaela Fajardo (Sisa), Carlo Angelo Falcis (Padre Damaso), Carlo Mañalac (Padre Salvi), William Serrano (KapitanTiago), Queen Mia (Dona Victorina), Meldea Flor Chua (Consolacion).
The supporting cast include Albert Daniel Silos (Basilio), Angelo Gabriel Ilustre (Crispin), Joey de Guzman (Tiburcio), and Norman Peñaflorida (Alperes).
The ensemble is composed of Glenda Liao (Sinang), Roxy Aldiosa (Tia Isabel), Jobeth Rozul, Iona Ventocilla (Maria Clara, understudy) Ma. Victoria Mina, Princess Perez, Francis Cruz III, Dusty Suarez (Lucas), Angelo Moratilla, Jonel Velado (Bruno), Jovito Bonita, Michael Galang, Roby Malubay (Tinyente Guevarra) Michael Jullian Musa and Syd Calam (Padre Salvi, understudy).
The artistic team of Kanser@35 are Jomar Fleras (Playwright/Librettist), Franniel Zamora (Director), Gean Allain de Leon (Associate Director), Joed Balsamo (Composer/Musical Director), Paul Alexander Morales (Choreographer), Joseph Matheu (Lighting Director), Rards Corpus (Sound Engineer), Albert Figueras (Costume Designer), Joseph the Artist (Sand Art Visuals) and Sonny Anecito (Set and Graphic Designer).
The production team is composed of Charyl de Guzman (Production Manager), Roselle Buenaventura (Stage Manager), April Anne Dolot (Assistant Production Manager), Romer Gumban (Deputy Stage Manager) Kielvin Recaido, Christian Lilagan and Riant Hernandez (Assistant Stage Managers), Neil Geronimo (Audio Spinner), Jovs Bonita (Dance Master), Vangie Inocencio (Wardrobe Mistress), Nonoy Ambriosio (Set-up Master), Diane Obado (Assistant LD/Boardman), Toots Tolentino (Publicist), Gean Allain de Leon (Social Media Manager), Jojit Lorenzo (Photography / Press Release), Amiel Kabigting, Rice Ramos (Photography /Collateral Materials), Patrick Layugan, Paulo Layugan, Jonille Dayal, Shax Siasoco (Videography).
Gantimpala Theater Foundation brings you
“KANSER@35 The Musical”
The play will start running on:
– August 28, 29, 2015 at AFP Theater 9AM / 12PM / 3PM
– September 4, 2015 at Star Theater 9AM / 12PM / 3PM
– September 11, 12, 2015 at SM Southmall 11AM / 2PM
– September 17, 2015 at Malolos, Bulacan 10AM / 2PM
– October 10, 2015 at Baliuag, Bulacan 10AM / 2PM
For Ticket reservation / Show bookings, you may call Gantimpala Theater Marketing at 998-5622 and 872-0261.
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See you at the theater!