Review: The Full Monty

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Atlantis’s Productions presents The Full Monty! Get ready to laugh and enjoy great music.

Before watching the play, I tried to watch the movie and I lasted for about 15mins before I decided that the movie wasn’t worth my time. The movie made me skeptical about the play and I was so happy to be proven wrong.

Rhoda and I rushed to Carlos P. Romulo Theater to watch the play after our yoga class. We knew that we’d be late but decided not to get all stressed out over it, applying what we learned in class: “Let it go. Let it be.” We got in and presented our tickets 25 mins later after the show started. Guess what? We got free upgrades! See what you get when you don’t stress over things and just let them be? ^__^

Anyway, when we found our upgraded seats, I was surprised to see that the scene was just right where I stopped watching the movie. Tthe scene in front me was a lot more funnier and entertaining which is the complete opposite of the movie when I decided to stop watching and sleep instead. Am I lucky or what? 😀 I felt that I didn’t miss so much from the play and even got upgraded seats!

The Full Monty is about six recently unemployed men. Jerry Lukowski (Mark Baustista) was just kicked out by his wife for not being able to support his son and being out of a job for a while. Trying to find a quick way to earn cash to be able to continue seeing his son, Jerry convinces his best friend, Dave Bukatinsky (Jaime Wilson) to put up a strip act and go up against the famous Chippendales when he learned that their wives pay up a good deal of cash to see men down to their underwear.

Dave and Jerry recruited four more men to complete the act: Malcolm MacGregor (OJ Mariano) a suicidal bodyguard living and taking care of his mother, Harold Nichols (Arnel Ignacio) as their supervisor from work and a dance instructor. The four of them found Noah “Horse” Simmons (Marco Sison) and Ethan Girard (Nino Alejandro) during auditions.

The rest of the cast are Ima Castro, Jay Valencia-Glorioso, Sitti Navarro, Ciara Sotto, Steven Conde, Ralion Alonso, Altair Alonso, and Hans Eckstein.

The story revolves about the insecurities of these six men; one tries to be prove himself to his son and wife, another is dealing with his weight, he believes that his wife won’t love him anymore if she finds out he doesn’t have a job, one  struggles with his age and another with his sexuality. It was heartwarming to see these men help each other with whatever they were going through and help them get over with insecurities.

The highlight of the show was during the performance of Jerry’s group when they decided to bare it all and go Full Monty to increase the level of competition against the Chippendales. Like the end of the movie (as I have heard from Rhoda) Jerry’s group takes their underwear off and the lights go out, Atlantis Productions stayed true until the end. Jerry and the gang ripped their briefs out the exact moment the lights go out and the only thing you could see were their silhouettes. Haha. In case you’re wondering, the strippers came out for the final bow wearing robes ( I don’t think they’re wearing anything underneath).

I truly enjoyed the play and was determined to not watch the movie and keep the memory of the play with me instead. Even Rhoda agreed that the play was way better than the movie. Did I get my money’s worth? Yes, and not just because of the free upgrade. The show was entertaining and everyone of the cast did great. I even searched for the soundtrack of the play and is playing as I write. Yey!

Atlantis’ Aladdin

Being a fan of theater and musical shows, my brother and I have been waiting for this play for sometime now. We got side balcony seats and it was good enough for both of us. Before we went to see the show, we heard good reviews for the show and a lot of praise for Aiza Seguerra’s interpretation as Genie. And we were lucky to catch her when we watched the show.

More on that later, for now… here’s my take on the show.

Aiza Seguerra (as Genie), Tom Rodriguez (as Aladdin), K-la Rivera (as Princess Jasmine) and Calvin Millado (as alternate Genie)

Atlantis Production launched its newest full-length show based on Disney’s Aladdin. The show was directed by Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga, set design by Lex Marcos and Lawyn Cruz, lighting design by Jay Aranda, choreography by Ceicle Martinez, costume design by Twinkle Zamora, musical direction by Ceejay Javier and vocal direction by ManMan Angsico.

Aside from our beloved characters, three hilarious narrators namely Babkak (Bibo Reyes), Omar (Johann Dela Fuente) and Kassim (Jamie Wilson) were introduced riding three mutated camels while singing Arabian Nights. There were clearly something wrong and disturbing with one of  the camels, and I learned that they used recycled materials for their props. So, that explains it. Hahaha. Aside from the camels, the rest of the props were wonderful.

Tom Rodriguez did surprise me during the first part of the show. Wow. He can sing! He did sound like the real Aladdin. But after the first song, his voice kinda changed. It sounded different but still good. I even heard a comment from the person sitting beside me who thinks Tom’s first song was dubbed because his succeeding songs really sounded different. There were a few moments that he still sounded like Aladdin again but it changes so fast. Well, he is new in theater… but he was good as a first timer.

K-la Rivera (Nina of In The Heights) was a charming. It was my first time to watch her perform and I enjoyed hearing her sing.

And our favorite character of this show, Aiza Seguerra‘s Genie. Whenever she appears, all eyes are on her. She was the without a doubt, smallest one on stage but she owned it. In one part of the show, she entered the stage from the audience and people leaned closer just to see her while she was down the stage having a conversation with Aladdin. Even after the show, we were still talking about her. I think the show must have been titled Genie instead of Aladdin. Haha. We were really happy to catch her. I couldn’t imagine how Calvin Millado would take on the role, but I’m sure he’ll be great too. He did a lot of shows to back up his credentials, too bad I haven’t seen him perform yet. Maybe next time?

Raul Montesa who is a theater veteran and Miss Saigon alumnus, plays Jafar. I did some research to help me with this blog entry and I wasn’t surprised to know that he was a part of Miss Saigon. He has such a powerful voice. It was just amazing to hear him. I would love to watch another show with him as the lead. Of course Jafar will not be complete without Iago who is portrayed by Jimmy Marquez – concert performer turned theater actor. The Sultan was played by Jun Ofrasio who is also a Miss Saigon alumnus. Wow! Two Miss Saigon alumni in one show! You just can’t miss this. The standing ovation was well earned. Good job guys!

Grab your tickets here while you still can. Aladdin will be  playing until December 9, 2012. Enjoy the show! For tickets and inquiries please call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078.
Reference for the show’s cast was taken here.