New cast members join Sound of Music
Three months have passed since the opening of The Sound of Music but the hills are still very much alive. In fact, its run has been extended twice, making it the longest running Filipino production of a big-scale Broadway musical.
Adding star power to an already electrifying cast, Ariel Rivera will play Captain Georg von Trapps, playing the role alongside Audie Gemora and Jon Joven. Known to the public as a comedian but is also a celebrated stage actor, Leo Martinez will portray the role of Max Detweiler with Miguel Faustmann and Robbie Guevarra.
Ariel and Leo, together with 8 other new cast members were introduced in a press conference at Passion, Maxims Tower last January 5, 2012. The play's extension to February 12, 2012 was also formally announced.
Mikaela Bradshaw and Fred Lo, as sweethearts Liesl von Trapp and Rolf,
gave the members of the media a sample during the presscon
Other actors who will be giving the three month-old play a fresh take are Jenny Villegas (Rent, Noli Me Tangere) as Mother Abbess, Fred Lo (Rent, N.O.A.H) as Rolf, and Shiela Valderrama (Cinderella) as Barroness Elsa Schraeder. Three new nuns will also be gracing the stage. They are Arya Herrera (Ateneo Blue Repertory's "Stage of Love") as Sophia, Philippine Idol Finalist Apple Chiu as Berthe, and World Championships for the Performing Arts (WCOPA) 2010 Grand Champion Mariel Mamaclay as Margareta. Sisters Mikaela (Liesl von Trapp) and Katie Bradshaw (Gretl von Trapp) complete the new cast.
As a way of continuously improving the show, some cast members were moved to new roles. Rachel Coates, previously Liesl von Trapp, will now perform as Louisa von Trapp while Shanti Gleason will take on her new role as Marta von Trapp after playing Gretl von Trapp for three months.
In an interview, Ariel has expressed his excitement on his return to stage plays. Rivera's most popular stage credit, "Rama at Sita," was staged in 1995. Rivera further shared that being Georg von Trapp is actually his dream role. Here is the rest of the highlights of that interview:
The three Georg von Trapps react to a question from the media during the presscon.
Left to right: Ariel Rivera, Audie Gemora, and Jon Joven
What did you feel when you were handed down the role as Captain Georg von Trapp?
I was really excited! If I will be asked of a dream theater role, it would be as Captain Georg von Trapp. I watch it every year. I love the movie. I grew up watching it. It’s almost like the Ten Commandments kind of thing (for me). When I found out that they want me to do the role, I was really excited and very happy to say the least.
You’ve done a lot of TV series and movies, how different are your preparations for a stage play like this?
It’s very different when you’re in theater. There is a different kind of discipline. You need to rest, for your voice, you have to know your lines, know your songs because obviously there are no take twos, take threes, take fours. You have to give energy, a certain amount of energy that the people could feel. It takes a certain kind of discipline to be in theater.
Have you watched The Sound of Music in Newport Performing Arts Theater already?
Yes I have - with Audie and Joanna.
So you’ve already seen how big the theater is...
Huge! I was kind of, wow man, this is probably the biggest stage I’ll ever be on. It’s really quite intimidating... you have to know how to make yourself so big to fill that stage.
Ariel Rivera was very serious moments before he burst to laughter when asked if he's
comparing notes with the two other Capt Georg von Trapps. Ariel said "They gave me a
DVD (to watch their performances) but I should be able to come up with my own interpretation".
Captain Georg von Trapp is a strict, stern role plus you are asked to do a little bit of a British accent- what are your preparations for these requirements?
It’s my biggest challenge actually - the accent (laughs). The songs are popular but the accent is something that I need to work with. As Filipinos, we don’t really have the British accent and this something that I have to practice.
How does it feel to be working with stage actors like Joanna Ampil and the others?
I am very overwhelmed. I am nervous to start this project. I know I can do it. It’s just overwhelming to do a stage play with these veteran actors like Audie, Joanna, and Leo Martinez. I will just do my best.
Which part of the play are you excited to perform as Captain Georg von Trapp?
I think it’s the revelation of the Captain’s love for Maria. I am very excited to do that because it’s where the changes and the color of the story is.
And your favorite song would be...
The old and the new. Left to right, standing: Fred Lo (Rolf), Ariel Rivera
(Capt. Georg von Trapp), Leo Martinez (Max Detweiler), Audie Gemora (Capt Georg
von Trapp), Jon Joven (Capt Georg von Trapp), Jeremy Domingo (Herr Zeller).
Left to right, sitting: Shiela Valderrama (Baronness Elsa Schraeder), Cris Villonco (Maria
Reiner), Joanna Ampil (Maria Reiner), Mikaela Bradshaw (Liesl von Trapp), and Katie
Bradshaw (Gretl von Trapp).
What can you say about Resorts World Manila staging The Sound of Music with an all-Filipino cast and crew?
Beautiful! The first time that I visited Resorts World Manila was to watch this play. I was really shocked on how beautiful this place is, on how big this place is, not just the theater but everything. World-class talaga ‘tong place na ‘to.
I am thankful. I’ve always said that as a Filipino, we are so talented in general and I’m thankful that they used us exclusively for this play.
What do you think is the greatest message/ value that The Sound of Music can impart to the audience?
For me, family eh. Unity, love for each other, whatever comes your way, you stick together.
Catch The Sound of Music at the Newport Performing Arts Theater every Friday (7PM), Saturday (2PM and 7PM) and Sunday (2PM) until February 12, 2012.
Call the Resorts World Manila Tourist/ Visitor Hotline at 836-6333, 908-8833 or TicketWorld at 811-9999 for more information. You can also click here for ticket prices.