9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE!’s “A Christmas Carol The Musical” Review1

When I think of Christmas, I think of the cold night breeze on the dawn of simbang gabi, the smell of puto bumbong and bibingka wafting in the air, and the inevitable Christmas rush traffic. But, most of all, when I think of Christmas, I hear the songs of Jose Mari Chan and the Christmas carols we have listened to from when we were young. This year, 9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE! is bringing a different kind of Christmas carol: familiar but with a twist. It’s Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol The Musical presented in a way that’s never been done before.

The cast of Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens' "A Christmas Carol The Musical" from 9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE!
Budding young talent and seasoned thespians unite in Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ “A Christmas Carol The Musical” from 9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE!

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Must-Watch: Tick, Tick…Boom! Review+

Tick, Tick…Boom! tells the story of a promising young composer, Jon (Jef Flores). Things will become different in January 1990 when he turns 30. For him, this means that he will not be “young” anymore. He’s reached his deadline. At 30, he should have had kids already like his father did. He should have had sold-out plays on Broadway! At 30, he’s stillpromising composer. He’s been promising for years now and he’s afraid that he’s “starting to break the f***ing promise.” His is a sad but familiar story.

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Are You Ready for “Tick, Tick…Boom!” ?1

In celebration of hit musical Rent‘s 20th anniversary, 9 Works Theatrical is continuing its stellar run of musical plays with another one penned and inspired by Jonathan Larson, Tick, Tick...Boom! What’s different this time is that instead of their huge musical productions, like La Cage Aux Folles and American Idiot, 9 Works is stripping down to its rawest, most vulnerable emotions.

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Jef Flores, Tanya Manalang and Ariel Reonal demonstrate how blending is done.

Tick, Tick…Boom! tells the story of an aspiring musical composer, Jon. Like most artists, Jon finds himself at a crossroads: Should he pursue his chosen passion or give in to the comforts of a stable corporate job? Pressured from (and dreading) turning 30, his girlfriend and best friend make him consider giving up his dream of writing his musical.

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Jef Flores is the “struggling artist”, Jon.

Taking the lead role as Jon is Jef Flores who continually makes his mark in the local theater industry. After winning Best Actor (Gawad Buhay for This Is Our Youth), this guy shows no signs of stopping. I first saw Jef as Bazooka Man in Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady. And, while working as an “intern” for the productionI also got to hear him sing different songs from boyband tunes to the Pokémon jingle during sound check (best version ever!). At that point, I wanted to see more of him. And I did. In his stint as Jesus in Godspell, Jef proved that he is a literal gift from the heavens, having demonstrated his many talents and wit. The guy plays the violin, for crying out loud! So…I am one with the people rejoicing that Jef is in Tick, Tick…Boom!. *cries*

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MVNDO Magazine Brings Theater Back in Print+

I got my very first copy of MVNDO Magazine when I watched PETA‘s Rak of Aegis two weeks ago. I went out during the intermission to get some siomai but my short attention span brought me to the MVNDO booth. The magazines were hung on a sampayan, complete with sipits and all. I loved it! At first, I thought the magazines were for sale and looked pretty expensive too. To my surprise, though, the MVNDO magazines were being given away to theatergoers for FREE! Each page is in full color. (Even the ads!) And the paper is of high quality! It’s not too light that it’ll ruin your bag and not too heavy that you’ll regret getting a copy. Sorry, I’m slightly obsessed with paper, stationary and stuff.  😛

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Suicide, Incorporated: A Play that Speaks to All+

Every 40 seconds, someone in the world takes his/her own life.

Twin Bill Theater brings another thought-provoking production with the Asian premiere of Suicide, Incorporated, a dark comedy that tackles the taboo topic of suicide. Writer Andrew Hinderaker (Penny Dreadful) pens an unusual and almost not-impossible take on the bizarre world of outsourced services. The “incorporation” in focus is Legacy Letters, an OSP (outsourced service provider—as the corporate world calls it) that assists clients in crafting suicide notes.


The beginning’s s’posed to grab ya.

Scott (Jeremy Domingo), the owner, means business and even wants to tap the sleeping market of male suicides. Scott has two employees, Perry (Chino Veguillas), the bibo ass-kisser, and Jason (Hans Eckstein), the new-hire who struggles in handling his first suicidal client, Norm (Mako Alonso). When Jason’s not in the office, he’s at home talking to his brother Tommy (Bibo Reyes), a college student with problems of his own.

Jason (Hans Eckstein) and Tommy (Bibo Reyes) on one side; Scott (Jeremy Domingo) and the detective (Chino Veguillas) on the other. In Twin Bill Theater's staging of Andrew Hinderaker's "Suicide, Incorporated"

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