The Roces Family Around the World

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Roses and Thorns: New York on my mind

Currently showing (June 21 to 24) at the legendary off-Broadway La MaMa Experimental Theater in New York City is the first original Filipino zarzuela in English, Something to Crow About. It will also be shown at the Alex Theater in Los Angeles, California on June 28. The collection of short stories with the same title on which the play was based has certainly come a long way from its origins in the laboratory of my creative mind.
The Philippine Star

It is interesting to note the history of theater in New York City. Although its history dates as far back as the 1800s, it was the beginning of the 20th century that saw the establishment of Broadway as we know it today. Theaters then were not taken seriously and attracted middle class people in search of music, excitement and romance. The 1940s was the era of Tennessee Williams and Rodgers and Hammerstein, who combined the elements of song, dance, comedy and drama in the 1943 smash hit Oklahoma. In 1949, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific became a hit and won the Pulitzer Prize for Best Musical. In 1957, Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story, with music by Leonard Bernstein, so captivated audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre. More recent musicals include Pulitzer Prize-winning A Chorus Line, then Cats, known to be the longest running show in Broadway history, Tim Rice and Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, which later moved to theaters across the globe.

Off Broadway theaters in New York serve as launching stage for promising artistic productions. Some shows staged off Broadway that were successfully run later on the more prestigious Broadway were Godspell, Sunday in the Park with George and Hair. Approximately 1,500 off Broadway productions are staged each year, selling an estimated 7 million tickets annually.

The US roadshow presentation of Something to Crow About was made possible through the invitation of US theater doyenne Ellen Stewart, founder of La Mama Experimental Theater Club, the launching stage of many world-renowned artists; and Aliw Awardee Cecil Guidote-Alvarez, the show’s musical director, whose amazing perseverance and creative genius made possible this Filipino zarzuela to be performed Off Broadway. Music was composed by Ferdinand Dimadura, orchestration by Nonoy Diestro and choreography by Joji Felix-Velarde and Enrico Labayen. A reprise of the cockfighting dance was by National Artist for Dance Leonor Orosa-Goquingco.

An original Filipino musical with an all Filipino cast shown Off Broadway will certainly make our kababayans in America proud, being another achievement on top of an all Filipino group who conquered Mt. Everest, a Filipino fighter who put Philippine boxing in the limelight, award-winning Filipino singer and actress Lea Salonga who is best known for her portrayal of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon and in many different fields of endeavor from hip hop to aeronautics.

These only show that Filipinos are indeed world class.

June 21 - 24, 2007
La Mama Theatre
The Annex
67 East 4 St.
New York, NY USA
Purchase tickets

June 28, 2007
Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA - United States

Purchase Tickets or call the Alex Theatre box office at 818-243-ALEX (2539).

July 1, 2007
Louis B. Mayer Theatre - Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053 US
Purchase Tickets

Friday, June 22, 2007

Something to Crow About In LA June 28!!!

Los Angeles Performaces of SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT, June 28, 2007

TDRZ Production presents the Los Angeles premiere of “Something to Crow About” an award winning full length modern zarzuela direct from its first ever off-Broadway performances in New York and from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in its exclusive U.S. premiere. Based on National Artist for Literature Dr. Alejandro R. Roces’s eponymous prize-winning book of short stories, the musical is about the uniquely Pinoy’s fascination with game cocks.

It won the 2006 Aliw Awards for Best Musical (zarzuela) and Best Musical Direction under the direction of NCCA Executive Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez. The musical consists of a talented cast of 40 and bears the hallmark of some of the most fascinating scenes from Dr. Roces’s book marked with wit, humor and satire highlighting the traditional sport of cockfighting as a vehicle to unfold the colorful panorama of customs, heritage, values, religions and even relationships on the social, political and economic life of a typical Filipino town.

Presented in association with the Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI), the Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles and the Philippine Department of Tourism.

The musical will be performed in English. Running time is one hour and thirty minutes with one intermission, and the performance is suitable for mature audiences. Photo/video recording by patrons is not allowed.

Reserve Seat Tickets:

Orchestra - VIP $55, $35, $25
Terrace - $35, $25
Balcony - $25

Purchase Tickets online or call the Alex Theatre box office at 818-243-ALEX (2539).

Special Discounts:

Seniors (age 65+) - May purchase discounted tickets in person at the Box Office Window only; must show I.D. with date of birth at time of purchase; maximum of 2 tickets per I.D.

Students - May purchase discounted tickets in person at the Box Office Window only; must show valid current full-time student I.D. at time of purchase; maximum of 2 tickets per I.D.

Glendale Residents - May purchase discounted tickets in person at the Box Office Window only; must show valid current Driver's License or other I.D. showing one of the following Zip Codes at time of purchase: 91201-91208, 91210, 91020, 91214; maximum of 2 tickets per I.D.

Groups (15 or more) - Discounted pricing available through Alex Theatre Group Sales Department. Call 818.243.7700 ext. 216 for information and purchase.

Friends of the Alex [FOTA] - May purchase 2-for-1 tickets via the Box Office Window or Phone; must buy even number of tickets based on the higher ticket price; Box Office Staff must verify patron is on FOTA membership list at time of purchase.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There is Something to Crow About!!!

I just got back from the premiere of Something to Crow About with my wife. It was an interesting and exciting performace. The show ran approximately one and a half hours. There was a lot of Philippine culture crammed into the time and space.

One of the most amazing things was a blind woman dancing the tinikling.

The above is a photo of Dr. Alejandro “Anding” Roces Jr. and the director, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez. Notice the hand painted barong of Dr. Roces.

I met many Roces family members from the Iloilo side. I also met some of the Roces-Sotelo family.

There are performances until Sunday.
LaMama Theater
Box Office
74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue & The Bowery
Hours: Monday - Sunday 12:00pm - 10:00pm
Annex Theater:
Th-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm
(212) 475-7710
Purchase tickets online