The recently concluded production of Trumpets, Asia’s first professional gospel theater—titled ‘The Bluebird of Happiness’, which ran from September 27 till October 20 at the Meralco Theater, and which featured the talented Carla Laforteza-Guevara as the ‘Light’—had quite a successful run.
Broadwayworld.com Philippines spotlights Guevara, who was trained by Philippine theatre legends—the late Ms. Zenaida ‘Bibot’ Amador and Ms. Baby Barredo of Repertory Philippines. She is considered as one of the country’s most versatile and sought-after leading ladies in the musical theater productions.
She started her theater career at the age of 16, and was the understudy for both roles of Kim and Gigi in the London production of ‘Miss Saigon’ in 1995-1997.
As she assumed the role, she took pride of originating the character of ‘Light’. For her, doing the said role resonates her being a mother in real life.
“It’s such a fun role. Being the ‘Light’ is very similar to who I am. Even to my younger co-actors in theater, they call me mommy.”
In ‘Bluebird’—she had a song and half that showcased her singing prowess.
“I watched the original ‘Light’ and got some of the nuances of Shirley Temple,” she shared.
However, her version was an amalgamation of all the characters that she thought best represented the said role, which she based from all the movies she watched, too.
During the interview, Carla also mentioned her ‘weird’ way of warming up for her voice.
“My vocalization is just making myself talk and talk and talk until my voice gets used to it. I sing in different positions, awkward positions.”
The said latest production of Trumpets, was also her comeback after her last stint with the theater group in 2000 via ‘The Little Mermaid’. In fact, she doesn’t mind reprising the role if this will have a re-run.
Her role as the ‘Light’ was an answered for her. As a person, she is the type that if she wants something, she doesn’t easily give up that is why she persistently prayed for it. But apart from the prayers, she also did what really required for someone to getting the said role.
“I did audition for the role.”
At first, she was offered a different role. But eventually, she landed the role she really wanted to assume; when the original actress got pregnant—she was able to clinch it.
Besides being busy with theater projects, she is also part of the popular romantic daytime teleseries via ABS-CBN titled ‘Please be Careful with My Heart’ as Ms. Pacheco, Maya’s flight attendant instructor.
When she is not doing anything, she is a doting mother to her three kids—Basil (12), Sophia (11), and Vittorio (3).
The said brand new, all-Filipino, musical adaptation of the Belgian play by Maurice Maeterlinck, with book and lyrics by Jaime del Mundo and music by Rony Fortich, had an 50-strong cast of children and adults including some of the most seasoned, award winning, and most reliable theater actors who have performed for local and international audiences. It offered a delightful story with colorful characters, beautiful music, fantastic production design, brilliant staging, hearty laughs, touching moments and a valuable lesson.
Due to its success, ‘The Bluebird of Happiness’ will have a re-run next year.
Guevara shared the one thing she hold dear in her heart when doing the said stage presentation, “I’m very blessed to have been part of this magical and beautiful show, and will always treasure the fact that i have been entrusted to do the role of ‘Light’, and was able to bring her to life.”