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The Grandest Musicale bids Goodbye on March 17

Cindy Maree Liper sings at the center of the demonstrators, a scene in the musical. Photograph by Dale Bacar.

PASIG CITY, Philippines – It was in July of 2011 that Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) first mounted or opened the most successful-ever production, an all-original and Filipino, critically-acclaimed ‘Cory ng EDSA: A Filipino Musicale’, but on March 17, it will be bowing to its final show at Tanghalang Pasigueño at 2pm.

After it had 167 shows from July till March, excluding the 29 out-of-town engagements—producing a total of 196 shows, Atty. Vince M. Tañada’s penned and directed musical will still be considered a life-changing, physically-challenging, and both humbling and inspiring presentation.

Apart from those, it has also earned mixed feedback and reviews; however, it still went home with two major awards in last year’s Aliw Awards: Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical, respectively. It has also garnered eight awards from BroadwayWorld.com in the Philippines as Best Musical and so as Vince Tañada as Best Leading Actor and Best Direction in a Musical; Best Choreography – John San Antonio; Best Costume Design – Emy Tañada; Best Musical Direction – Pipo Cifra; Best Set Design – Jeffrey Ambrosio; and Best Sound Design – Art Grabentina.

It weathered through Challenges.

Perhaps, the theme may seem relevant and plays an important role in history because it depicts the story on how the Philippines has regained its freedom from the dictatorial regime of Marcos—it also became a ‘stigma’ too some as initial reactions or at first glance. Some people—it’s just another Cory Aquino-centered production that glorify the late President of the Republic.

Chris Lim plays Lt. Dalusong. Photograph by Dale Bacar.

Chris Lim, one of the actors and one of those who marketed the musical play admits, “Marketing was giving the team a hard time, but believing in the project gave us the inspiration to work hard… and we did it!

“Despite all the challenges, the production was worth all the risks. It gave us more opportunities to share what the story behind this stage presentation could offer and it touched the many lives across the country.”

To add, Atty. Vince Tañada shares, “The role of Peter will be unforgettable, I guess the play exhausted my artistry acting, directing and writing for it. But it also gave me a lot of honors, with a long list of positive reviews from critics, two awards for acting and an award for directing to boot.”

Lessons Learned in ‘Cory ng EDSA’

Glory Ann Tolentino, the alternate to Cindy Maree Liper as Cory Aquino has this to say, “The sad part of my realization is, I know that I cannot be as selfless and noble as our late President. But I know in my simple ways I can contribute for the betterment of our nation.”

Another actor, who plays a vital character in this longest-running musical, for eight months, even if Jordan Ladra feels that his role is emotionally and physically draining that at times, he would just cry out of being tired. He’s not complaining, but he is still very much in-character even if he’s already worn-out due to four shows in a day on weekends, but still he finds it, “Actually, I didn’t feel that it’s coming to an end. Even if it closes soon, I still can feel that ‘Cory ng EDSA’ will forever live in the hearts of the people who came to see us. It inspired and instilled values to its audience.”

Those who were part of the show have various realizations and one of which that was brave enough to admit was Monique Azerreda who plays Anette, “There is always room for improvement no matter how much you’ve mastered the role and the play; buy playing the guitar while singing was definitely a challenge for me.”

And Kierwin Larena, the ‘balik-bayan’ named Jason who fell in love with Anette’s character also imparts his learning about the production, “The inspiration that I got from the whole production also helped me to be better personally and professionally.”

One Last Glance… One Last Chance

Cindy Maree Liper always treats her role as the late President Cory Aquino or Tita Cory as special. For her, while doing the production and breathing the character was not just a great challenge for her as a professional actor, but it was also she had to go through some personal upheavals.

“Among the characters I’ve portrayed, this one has allowed me to know deeply who the Mother of Philippine Democracy was.

“Every time I stepped onstage, I transformed and humbled down. It was a great chance and privilege to inspire people even just in two hours for entertaining them.”

This once glance of ‘Cory ng EDSA’, Atty. Tañada adds, “Creating and writing about a life lived in sacrifice opened a lot of doors for realization and self-assessment. In doing the role of benevolent Peter under the guise of stiff machismo almost every day, I have realized that we are all but an instrument of God to make other people’s lives better.”

It may be the last chance for all of the actors and the rest who are involved in this nine-long production, but it was one worth of a ride for all of them.

“Ending and goodbyes are part of life. But facing the inevitable would be easy if we believe that something better will soon begin,” Atty. Tañada emphasizes.

Vince Tañada was named Best Actor in 2011 Aliw Awards and Best Actor and Best Director in 2011 BroadwayWorld.com Philippines Awards, respectively. Photograph by Jory Rivera.

Just like what Atty. Tañada have mentioned, that people are now aware of the viability of theater arts in molding the minds of the youth that it can be used not only for entertainment but more importantly, in educating the youth about history, values and the arts.

‘Cory ng EDSA: A Filipino Musicale’ may be nearing its final call, but somewhere, sometime, it will also be bringing more opportunities for them to serve the Filipino people not just here, but perhaps off shores. An Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai tour is in the works this year.

For more details or to reserve a seat for free on March 17 at 2pm, please contact the publicist at this number +639159109015.


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