Wicked hasn’t even finished its first week, and it was already announced that West Side Story and The Sound of Music are coming to Manila, all in the same year! West Side Story will open on August 10, while The Sound of Music will open on October 3, both at the Theatre at Solaire.
This is great news, because it shows how the market for theater is maturing in the Philippines. When Wicked was first staged in Manila in 2014, the shows were sold out, and 500 people waited outside the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to serenade the cast on their last performance. Singin’ in the Rain, Chicago, and Les Miserables were brought here soon after, enjoying sold-out shows and extra performances (eight shows have been added to this year’s run of Wicked). Locally, we have the successful Rak of Aegis, the ongoing Caredivas, the upcoming local production of Matilda, and the sold-out run of Fun Home, featuring Lea Salonga and Eric Kunze, who played Marius in Les Miserables during her run as Eponine on Broadway.
I’m only about to see Wicked tonight, but I’m incredibly excited to see both West Side Story and The Sound of Music in Manila!
West Side Story is a modern interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s set in 1950’s New York, and follows two rival gangs of different ethnicities. Tony, a former member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of rival gang Sharks. Its commentary on social issues, soaring score, and elaborate choreography was nominated for six Tony Awards in 1957, winning Best Choreography and Best Scenic Design.
Here’s a trailer of the UK tour in 2014:
In 1961, a film adaptation was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins (who conceptualized and choreographed the original musical) and starred Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. Rotten Tomatoes calls it one of “the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screen.” The same year, it won 10 out of the 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
Here’s a trailer of the film adaptation:
The Sound of Music is less gritty, but makes up for it in charm. It’s a story that most of us know, thanks to the film adaptation starring the beautiful Julie Andrews. The musical is based on The Story of the Trapp Family, a memoir written by Maria von Trapp, where she recounts her experiences as a governess for a large family. When it premiered on Broadway in 1959, it won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Here’s a montage of the touring production in 2014:
The film adaptation starring Andrews was equally well-received, also winning five Oscars in 1965 like Best Picture and Best Director for Wise. Who can forget Andrews singing “The Sound of Music” and “Do-Re-Mi”?
Here’s the trailer for the film adaptation:
West Side Story and The Sound of Music will be brought to Manila by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Concertus Manila. Together, they have brought some of the world’s most famous productions to Manila, like The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, Wicked, Cats, Singin’ in the Rain, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stomp, Potted Potter, Beyond the Barricade, and Blue Man Group.