Vilma, Angel and ‘Miss Saigon’

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In Photo: Xian Lim, Angel Locsin and Vilma Santos

column-gab fab-jet valleI have a friend whom I will call Lino. He is gay, and he is no spring chicken.

Lino is a smart, funny, middle-aged gay guy who would love to be in a committed relationship. To do this, he makes it an effort to look young, since men his age are not his type. “Matanda na ako; bakit pa ako sa kasing tanda ko?” he would say.

His taste in men extends to the type of actors he likes. He always goes for the young, nubile starlets—preferably contestants of reality talent shows, like Pinoy Big Brother Teens or StarStruck. The “Mr. Pogi” segment on Eat Bulaga? He would watch it like a vulture, thinking that one of them could be his Mr. Right.  Those Hashtag boys on It’s Showtime? He knows their names, birthdays and shoe sizes by heart, fervently wishing he could meet one of them and they would  celebrate Valentine’s Day together.

Even with women, Lino’s “idols” are the young ones.  He would choose Arianna Grande over Madonna.  Because of his odd choices, we would sometimes not talk for weeks because for me, no one is better than Madonna.

That’s how big an ageist Lino is.  And that’s how loyal I am to Madonna, despite her lola status in the music industry.

So imagine my surprise to find him raving over Star Cinema’s Everything About Her.  It stars veteran actor Vilma Santos, who Lino said was very good in her role. “Natawa ako at naiyak ako sa movie! Ang galing ni Ate Vi!” he said.

“Uh, Lino, you do realize you are older than your Ate Vi?” I pointed out.  He ignored me and went on to say that Vilma was perfect in her role, a no-nonsense careerwoman who is diagnosed with cancer.  He added that Angel’s role as Vilma’s private nurse was also perfect for Angel, and that they had chemistry as a pair. “Pero given na ’yun kasi marunong naman talaga sila umarte!” Lino said.  “The biggest revelation was Xian Lim. He really portrayed his role well.  But most important, he looked good! As in hooot! Ang guwapo-guwapo! Parang bagong ligo lagi! Fresh na fresh na bagets!”

Eh ’yun naman pala, eh!

****

Young or old, you will really be in awe of the musicale Miss Saigon.

So if you want to be part of this record-breaking production that is again taking the theater world by storm, heed Cameron Macintosh’s open-call auditions in Manila for various upcoming global productions of Olivier- and Tony-winning musical. Auditions will be represented and facilitated in Manila by Bobby Garcia and Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group, and held at the Opera Haus (3657 Bautista Street, Makati City) in March.

“Miss Saigon’s producing and creative team will be flying in from London to hold auditions for various upcoming global productions of the hit musicale. I look forward to working with them in discovering a new generation of Filipino talent to shine on the international stage in Miss Saigon the way Lea Salonga, Joanna Ampil, JonJon Briones and Rachelle Ann Go, among many others, have in the past,” Garcia says, who was also an associate director for Miss Saigon in its original run.

“We are searching for Kim, The Engineer, Thuy, Gigi and all the Asian roles in the musicale. From leads to ensemble, from singers to acrobatic dancers, we encourage performers throughout the Asian region to come to Manila and audition for Miss Saigon,” Garcia adds.

Trevor Jackson, head of casting for Mackintosh, said, “Since casting for Miss Saigon began in the mid-1980s, the Philippines has been integral to the show as a place to find exceptional Asian performers of world-class ability. Our teams have been returning regularly ever since. Filipino artists are the heart and soul of this show.”

Miss Saigon, a sung-through musicale, features music by Les Misérables collaborators Claude-Michel Schoberg and Alain Boubill, and lyrics by Boublil and Closer Than Ever’s Richard Maltby Jr., with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. It is based on Giacomo Puccini’s popular opera Madame Butterfly.

Audition requirements will be announced soon. For more information, contact (0995) 534-8371, or “Like” the Miss Saigon 2016 Auditions page on Facebook.

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Jet is our weekly columnist for Show section under Life. When not hobnobbing with stars and starlets (or crashing their events for fun), he loves filling his head with pop culture trivia (which comes in useful sometimes when he answers a Facebook personality test or two). He loves listening to music but is tone-deaf, watching volleyball but is a klutz and shopping but is always broke. Previously, he was a publicist, talent handler and script writer for various TV shows, concerts and events. He is, next to Gerard Ramos, Madonna's most die-hard fan.