By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman
FROM THE COMEDY of Monty Python to the drama of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, Manila is rich when it comes to musical theater this month.
First there is Upstart Productions’ staging of Monty Python’s Camelot spoof Spamalot, which is ongoing at the RCBC Plaza until Aug. 12.
The Tony-winning Broadway musical is parody of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and a staged adaptation of the hit 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The two-hour musical is a slapstick adventure that follows King Arthur and his knights as they embark on a journey to find the Holy Grail.
Upstart’s production stars singer and actress Rachel Alejandro, TV-turned-theater actress Carla Guevarra-Laforteza, and theater veteran actor Lorenz Martinez, among others. It is directed by Joel Trinidad and Nicky Triviño with musical direction by Onyl Torres and choreography by Martinez Sisters.
The local production has a limited run, with shows on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Aug. 12. Tickets range in price from P1,000 to P2,000.
For those with a more serious bent, there is the beloved musical West Side Story, which is set to open at Solaire Theatre on Aug. 10 for a two-week run.
An update of Romeo and Juliet, set in a gritty urban neighborhood in 1950s New York, this is a global touring production which is making a stop at Manila after shows in London, Paris, Berlin, and Sydney.
West Side Story and its infamous street gang battle has staged multiple times in the past 60 years, including twice in London’s West End, thrice on Broadway, and numerous tours in the US, UK, and other parts of the world. Its movie version, released in 1961, bagged 10 Oscars.
West Side Story tickets range in price from P1,500 to P7,000.