Globe LIVE! and 9 Works Theatrical brings back Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol The Musical this December. This year’s re-staging features new stage, new cast and a new Tiny Tim among the many other surprises of this production. I’ve seen last year’s production and I must say, like the source material, it has become timeless. It never gets old and like a child who has longed for Christmas for 12 months, I don’t want it to end.
You know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Miguel Faustmann): an old, miserable and selfish man who hates Christmas. He rains on everyone’s parade when everyone else just wants to celebrate and have fun. Then one night, the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley (Noel Rayos) warns him to change his ways before it is too late. He tells Scrooge that three spirits would be visiting him to show how his life was, is and will be at Christmas time. Only then would Scrooge realize the true meaning of the holidays: love and family.
“The world will feel the fire and finally know!” – Newsboys, from the musical Newsies
It might be the season for raincoats and umbrellas, but Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical‘s Philippine staging of Disney’s Newsies still set Philippine theatre ablaze. The Newsies boys were all fired up to let the world know that it’s possible to have all that talent on one stage. The cast spent six months training and rehearsing for a month long production, which was, after watching, definitely not enough.
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 Musicalpresented in a way that’s never been done before.
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 still a promising 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.
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.
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.
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 production, I 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*