Dec 04
BROADWAY IS MUSICAL by Corie Henson  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Dec 4, 2012

Broadway is musical and musical is broadway. The most durable shows in Broadway are musicals and not plays.

But lately the sales are plummeting perhaps due to the mixed reviews of the previous year. And early next year, it is predicted that productions struggling with the tickets would close shop.

Despite the doldrums, some musicals are still at it. Sister Act, popularized by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1992 movie version, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Godspell are just some of the ageless productions still earning in Broadway.

Theater owners have the propensity to give considerations to some productions, lalo na kung naging hit ito sa Broadway for a long time. Ordinarily, maraming theater productions ang nagbibigay ng discounts para sa mga tickets.

Sometimes a producer goes against the tide. Kahit nilalangaw ang musical nila, so to speak, ay pilit nilang pinatatagal ang kanilang show. At isa sa survival kits ay ang discounted tickets at group discounts (na mas mura talaga).

Hindi alintana ng producer ang paghihikahos during the winter dahil umaasa sila na mag-iiba ang trend pagdating ng summer, sabi ni Emanuel Azenberg, isang award-winning producer ng musical.

Earning $550,000 per week, Sister Act is losing money. But Joop van den Ende, the Dutch producer of Sister Act who is a billionaire, is willing to advance the money. May plano kasi siyang dalhin sa Europe, Australia at Asia ang kanilang musical.

Ende is also the owner of Stage Entertainment, a company handling international marketing for productions like Sister Act. Inaasahan ni Ende na makakabawi ang kanyang musical production kapag ito ay nagkaroon na ng international run.

And to spice up their show, Sister Act is taking in a new star in the person of Raven-Symoné. Bukod dyan ay naglalagay na rin sila ng TV ads to attract more audience. At para mapunuan ang gastos ay may profit cut ang mga shareholders.

Ang isa pang naluluging musical ay ang Godspell. An original 1971 hit musical na nagkaroon din ng version dito sa Pilipinas. Isang high school drama ang Godspell na nag-click sa mga schools.

Regarding low revenues, nakakatiis ang Godspell dahil maliit lang ang capital outlay nito compared sa ibang musical shows. Ang $315,000 gross per week ay sapat na sa survival ng Godspell production sa Circle in the Square.

Kung ang Sister Act ay naglabas ng mga TV ads, ang Godspell ay umaasa lamang sa internet particularly sa Twitter at Facebook. Naniniwala sila na ang mga nasabing social media ay katumbas na rin sa naaabot na mga tao ng TV networks.

Ang isa pang dagdag puntos sa Godspell ay ang lead star na si Hunter Parrish na malapit nang mag-shooting ng Weeds, isang sikat na TV series. Ang problema lang ay kailangang may kapalit si Mr. Parrish sa musical na iiwanan niya.

Incidentally, the debut of Godspell in Broadway saw the talent of Anna Maria Perez de Tagle. Siya ay anak ni Archie Perez de Tagle at Evelyn Enriquez. Namana ni Anna ang husay sa pagkanta mula sa kanyang lola na si Sylvia La Torre.


Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, granddaughter of Sylvia La Torre, who played the lead in Broadway’s Godspell

Ang Priscilla ay isa ring naluluging Broadway musical. Pero nagtatagal ito sa dahilang ang Palace theater owner na si James L. Nederlander ay isa sa mga producers ng Priscilla. Katulad ng ibang musicals na hindi kumikita, payag ang mga shareholders sa cutback.

One thing going for Priscilla is Bette Midler who is one of the producers. Hindi lang sikat kundi icon na si Ms. Middler sa entertainment kaya siguradong malaki ang naitutulong sa production ng kanyang influence.

With a $600,000 weekly revenue, maituturing na struggling ang Priscilla dahil sa malaking production costs, mula sa talent fee ng actors hanggang sa costumes and props. Umaasa ang production team na magtatagal pa ang Priscilla sa Broadway.

Advance ticket sales ang sinasandalan ng Priscilla. May plano rin ang producers na ilibot sa Amerika ang Priscilla musical. Maganda naman raw ang feedback mula sa mga local promoters at nabigyan na sila ng slot sa calendar of shows.

In the local scene, very much appreciated ang Sound of Music sa Resorts World (Newport near the NAIA terminal 3 airport) early this year of 2012.

Joanna Ampil and Cris Villonco alternated for the lead role of Maria. Ampil had essayed the role of Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar and she was also a Kim of Miss Saigon while Cris Villoco is a mainstay of Repertory Philippines particularly Hamlet.

Captain Von Trapp was played by Audie Gemora. He was alternated by Ed Feist. Si Audie ay isang theater veteran actor, director and guru. Ang theater experience naman ni Ed ay sa Cleopatra at Cyrano De Bergerac.

Ang isang naging attraction sa local Sound of Music version ay ang inclusion ni Atasha Muhlach as one of the Von Trapp kids. Si Atasha ay anak ni Aga Muhlach at Charlene Gonzales.

The latest musical to hit town ay ang The King and I na pinangunahan ni Leo Valdez at Monique Wilson. Ang 2 lead stars ay mga veterans ng Miss Saigon sa Broadway.

Hopefully, Broadway musicals will stay. And like in the movies, international exposures will surely enhance the survival of their theater run.

Para sa mga komento, puwede kayong mag-email sa corzhens@yahoo.com


Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/