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My Chinoylife co-founder Mike Lu and I were invited to do a talk about Binondo during the 70s to the 90s in Lyceum of the Philippines then for the cast and production of Binondo, a Tsinoy Musical last June. This was to give an insight about the lives of Chinoys during pre-Martial Law era in Manila and how it was during the Cultural Revolution in China.
June 29, 2018.
We were able to watch the gala performance in The Theater at Solaire. To be honest, we really didn’t know what to expect. This is the first Chinoy musical, an original story of that revolves around the Filipinos, Chinoys and the mainlanders in a love triangle in pre-martial law and Cultural Revolution era.
Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical tells the story of how Lily, a Filipina night club singer in pre-Martial Law Manila, and Ah Tiong, a mainland Chinese scholar returning to Cultural Revolution-era Beijing, embark on a journey of great love and heartbreak that begins one fated, moon-lit night during the Mid-Autumn Festival of 1972 in the heart of Manila’s Chinatown.
The musical was a portrayal of immigration, migration, identity, cultural and family values. It mirrors how both Filipinos and Chinoys see each other in Philippine society.
The story has a typical Filipino plot, It wasn’t just written for you to reminisce your old heartbreak, there was comedy as well. The Chorus who narrate the goings-on between scenes. They also served as conscience to various characters- goading them, teasing them.
A musical about unrequited love, broken promises, missed opportunities, heavy decision-making, and consequences faced… I guarantee you’ll resonate with the characters at some point. I identified with Carlos’ character almost immediately. And it sure did made me feel his pain.
The actors in the Chorus are Jim Pebanco, Lorenz Martinez, Khalil Kaimo, Ellrica Laguardia, Rhapsody Li (I love the scene where she tries to seduce Ah Tiong in the club when he was looking for Lili) and Tuesday Vargas! OMG! I LOVE Tuesday Vargas in this musical!! Her scene-stealing antics were awesome!!!
That night, It was Shiela Valderama Martinez, Arman Ferrer, Noel Rayos and Mariella Laurel who played Lili, Ah Tiong, Carlos and Jasmine. Both female and male leads impressed by singing and dancing operatic pop songs all the while fueled with emotion.
The musical prides in featuring the country’s multi-talented artists from film, television, and theater namely Shiela Valderrama Martinez and Carla Guevara Laforteza (Lily); Arman Ferrer and David Ezra (Ah Tiong); Floyd Tena and Noel Rayos (Carlos); Mariella Laurel (Jasmine); Ashlee Factor (Ruby); Ima Castro (Mrs. Dela Rosa); Jennifer Villegas dela Cruz (Lourdes); Kay Balajadia Liggayu (Mrs. Chua); Dondi Ong (Mr. Chua); Russell Magno (Mr. Zhang); Elizabeth Chua (Mrs. Zhang); Jim Pebanco, Lorenz Martinez.
Synergy 88, Rebecca Chuaunsu Film Production (RCFP) and Fullhouse Asia Production Studios, Inc. proudly present Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical, an all-original musical Joel Lamangan and written by the award-winning Ricky Lee with Gershom Chua and Eljay Deldoc, music by Von De Guzman, and choreography by Douglas Nierras.
Catch it while you still can.
SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES:
July 7 (Sat) – 3pm and 8pm
July 8 (Sun) – 3pm and 8pm
Tickets available at Ticketworld and at the entrance of SOLAIRE Theater.