MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ first one-stop, non-stop entertainment and tourism destination opened its production of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ in May and is soon to close its run tomorrow, Sunday, July 13. The musical is an adaptation of Australian film director-writer Stephan Elliott and screenwriter-playwright Allan Scott’s 1994 film—‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’. The said play tells the story of two drag queens and a transsexual, who are contracted to perform a drag show at a resort in Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian desert. Along with the spectacular costumes and set designs; the musical features men who dressed in drag queen costumes and part of the ensemble.
Indeed, with its first musical song number that opens the show ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘Priscilla’ takes pride in bringing together straight actors playing gay roles or be identified in a show that is dominated by gay-inclined characters.
Noel Rayos as Jimmy. Rayos is an accomplished performer for stage and radio, with experience in television and film, drama instruction/ education, all over the Asia- Pacific region. He has been part of HARANA Vocal Octet under the Philippine Opera Company, 2008-10, and 2012 onwards. Recently, he was with Repertory Philippines’ ‘August Osage County’ as Little Charles and did a gay role in the same company in ‘The Producers’ as Carmen Ghia.
Then Mako Alonzo plays Frank. His first professional production was the first staging of ‘Rivalry: The Ateneo-La Salle Musical’ as lead Tommy Basilio, which had a re-run in January 2013. He also joined Atlantis Productions’ ‘Carrie the Musical’ as Billy Nolan, in ‘Piaf’ as Yves Montand/Raymond Asso/German Soldier/Jean, in ‘Tarzan the Musical’, he played the Ape and the Lizard, while he was part of the ensemble in ‘Aladdin the Musical’ and the ‘Addams Family’, respectively. Alonzo is also an understudy for the role of Mitzi.
OJ Mariano on the other hand, is Farrah. He is an Awit Awards’ (The Philippines’ version of The Grammy’s) Best New Male Recording Artist. He has appeared in various television programs and performed for shows and events both in the Philippines and overseas. He also has several albums under his name with Star Records and recorded tracks for a number of collaborative records. He recorded several theme songs of ABS-CBN Channel 2’s soaps. He was also a regular house singer for the hit-game show ‘The Singing Bee’ prior to venturing into theater. He portrayed the role of Tom Collins for 9works Theatrical’s three-run for the musical ‘RENT’ for which he won a Philippine Broadwayworld.com Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He was also Rama in Ballet Philippines’ critically-acclaimed hit season ender ‘Rama Hari’ opposite Kalila Aguilos as Sita, and will be part of another musical from Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) re-run as Kiel in ‘Rak of Aegis’. He was also Kuya Boy in BitByBit’s hit production ‘Maxie the Musicale’.
Part of the ensemble is Victor Bernardino Sy. He is a former member of the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe where he performed in several dance concerts and competed in the UAAP Cheering Competitions. He’s trained under Douglas Nierras Powerdance contemporary jazz group in 2002, became a member of Airdance and had contemporary dance and aerial silk training in 2006-2008 where he performed for their contemporary dance season, Body Politics, with shows such as Malakas at Maganda, Vital Statistics, Deus Ex Machina, and Carmen de la Cruz. Worked with Hong Kong Disneyland as a parade dancer from 2008-2009, he then went on to perform for Universal Studios Singapore doing power skips and parade from 2009-2012 along with Rayos. After moving back to the Philippines, Sy became one of the 69 Cosmo Bachelors in 2013. In 2013, he became an ensemble for Cinderella Manila 2013 and Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story 2014. Like Rayos, Sy was also in ‘Miss Saigon’ final list when it had its auditions in 2012.
Lastly, there’s Jeffrey Flores, who is new to the scene but appeared in ‘Cinderella’ and as well as Repertory Philippines’ ‘Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical’ as one of the Gray brothers, Jason. When he is not doing theater, Flores is also a voice and commercial actor.
So apart from the powerhouse cast led by Leo Tavarro Valdez as Tick/Mitzi; Jon Santos as Bernadette; Red Concepcion as Adam/Felicia; Michael Williams as Miss Understanding; the Divas Bituin Escalante, Lani Ligot, and Timmy Canlas; Pinky Marquez as Shirley; and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Marion—these men have the ‘force’ to attract theater and non-theater followers.
‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ is directed by Jaime del Mundo. For more information and ticket purchases, visit it site or call (632) 908-8833.