“la cage aux folles”: it doesn’t matter whether you’re gay or not, or black or white… what matters is the heart that sees upon…


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)


la cagenew la cagenew2 michael by leo castillo direk audie audie



LA CAGE AUX FOLLES! (by nine works theatrical)



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9 WORKS THEATRICAL and THE ROCKWELL CLUB, with the special participation of the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines (FDAP), proudly present this year’s much anticipated and Broadway’s most fabulous musical, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES!

A tale of an unconventional family in the late 70’s with Georges, the owner of a drag-show nightclub, and Albin, his significant other and star of the show, and their hilarious misadventures that develop when Georges’ son, Jean-Michel, gets engaged to a girl named Anne Dindon who has a politician father and, not to mention, an ultra-conservative family. It’s a touching tale of family, love and acceptance told through characters that will make you laugh, sigh, cry and want to hug your loved ones.

The only 3-time Winner for Best Production at the Tony Awards (Best Musical in 1983, Best Revival of a Musical in 2004 & 2010) and Winner for Best Musical Revival at the Laurence-Olivier Awards for its 2008 London performance.

For its Manila staging, it will be top-billed by seasoned TV, Movie & Stage Actor, MICHAEL DE MESA, and Philippine Theater King, AUDIE GEMORA. Joining them are established and international thespians SHEILA FRANCISCO, RAUL MONTESA, NOEL RAYOS and ANALIN BANTUG; TV personality/host & stage actor, STEVEN SILVA; Aliw Awards Awardee, MISSY MACUJA-ELIZALDE; soloist ballerina, JONI GALESTE, and TV/Movie/Stage Actor, RAFA SIGUION-REYNA to name a few.

Opens on FEB 28 for a limited run at the RCBC Plaza, Makati!

For tickets or inquiries contact 0917-5545560, 586-7105, Ticketworld at 891-9999 or email us at info@9workstheatrical.com.



(words above courtesy of 9 WORKS THEATRICAL facebook page)


fanny tf serrano
fanny tf serrano

WORDS FROM FANNY TF SERRANO, below (grabbed from his facebook status without any authorization):

“I am so honored to be one of the chosen FDAP designers to create costumes for the cast of the exciting broadway fabulous musical comedy ‘La Cage aux Folles’…Soon at RCBC Plaza, Mkti on Feb 28~March 29…With Jonjon Martin, NineWorks Theatrical, Fanny Tf Serrano, Sheila P. Francisco, Direk Audie Gemora, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Michael Edward Eigenmann, Steven Silva and Robbie Guevara at the presscon held at The Loft at The Manansala Tower, Rockwell with FDAP president Edgar San Diego and Oskar Peralta.”



mr. erickson dela cruz
mr. erickson dela cruz


i am what i am

Shirley Bassey – “I Am What I Am”
Uploaded on YouTube.Com by: “sas9023055”

Uploaded on: Sep 23, 2010

(“Dame Shirley Bassey Concert TV Special in 2009”)


ABOUT this song:
“I Am What I Am” is a song originally featured on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “La Cage aux Folles” (1983–1987). The song is found on the finale number of the play’s first act, and performed by the character of Albin Mougeotte, first played by George Hearn. The song was composed in 1983 by Jerry Herman, an openly gay man.

The song has since been covered by the likes of Dame Shirley Bassey, Marti Webb, Joannie Taylor, Carol Jiani, Amanda Lear, Hannah Jones, Soraya Arnelas, Ken Page, Gerard-Rene-Gordon, Doug Shneider, Teatro, Linda Eder, John Barrowman, Amateur Transplants, Karen Mulder and Anthony Warlow.

“I Am What I Am” was the only studio album recorded by Shirley Bassey for the Towerbell Records label, several other tracks were also recorded at this label and issued as singles only. The recording sessions took place at Olympic Studios, Barnes, London, in July and August 1984. Following the success of the previous album All by Myself this album peaked at number 25 in the UK album chart and reached Gold status. This release was the first digitally recorded album made by Shirley Bassey and was issued on vinyl, cassette and CD. Consisting of mainly re-recordings from Shirley Bassey’s back catalogue and two new songs, this album was recorded ‘live’ with The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carl Davies. The album also reunited Shirley Bassey with Norman Newell, who had served successfully as her producer throughout the 1960s.


LYRICS (“I Am What I Am”):
I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation
It’s my world
That I want to have a little pride in
My world
And it’s not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a damn
Till you can say
I am what I am

I am what I am
I don’t want praise I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham
Till you can shout out
I am what I am

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the aces sometimes the deuces
It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a damn till you can shout out
I am what I am