Exclusive: Tom Rodriguez Reacts to BroadwayWorld Awards Nomination
New York, December 14, 2013--On his way out of the Amazura Concert Hall in Jamaica, Queens, where the cast of GMA Pinoy TV's hit TV series "My Husband's Lover" had a well-attended thanksgiving concert for fans, model-singer turned actor Tom Rodriguez had a quick interview with BroadwayWorld.com, whose readers from the Philippines have earlier nominated him for Best Actor (Musical) and Best Crossover Artist (Mainstream to Theater) at the 2013 BroadwayWorld Awards-Philippines.
Rodriguez has been nominated for his professional theater debut playing the street urchin Aladdin in the Asian premiere of Disney's "Aladdin," which was staged by Atlantis Productions in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"It's such an honor because I never even expected that I would be part of a musical. I only took a chance when I auditioned. With all of these, it's pretty amazing because I have high respect for everyone who works in the theater. I don't even know if I deserve it," a bedimpled Rodriguez tells BroadwayWorld.com.
Originally a digital animator from San Francisco, he naturally fancies animated feature films. No wonder that playing Aladdin, the titular character in the 1992 Disney film, has won over the hearts of Atlantis Productions' directors Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga, Manila's theatergoers and the critics as well.
Vladimir Bunoan, Manila-based theater critic, even wrote in his review that "Rodriguez showed off a strong stage presence and, surprisingly, a pleasing singing voice with just the right amount of technique to bring to life the cartoon hero of the hit 1992 Disney film. He also exhibited a natural flair for the stage, interacting with his more seasoned co-stars with ease and even confidence." He added, "Rodriguez is big surprise in 'Aladdin'."
"I'm a big fan of Aladdin. He's my childhood favorite cartoon character. It really helped me a lot. And it was fun!" says Rodriguez.
In a previous interview with Kapuso Abroad, Rodriguez mentioned that, "I would one day like to be a professional illustrator just to be able to fulfill my artistic side. Kasi 'yun talaga 'yung naging dream ko before, eh. Lahat ito. 'yung showbusiness, aksidente lang. 'Yung passion ko talaga is the arts. Kahit ma-fulfill ko man lang 'yun , maramdaman ko lang na hindi lang s'ya hobby."
In "Aladdin," Rodriguez's character's love interest is--of course--Princess Jasmine, who was played by Rodriguez's real-life friend K-La Rivera, who is also nominated for Best Actress (Musical) at the 2013 BroadwayWorld Awards-Philippines. Rivera was a last-minute replacement for fellow stage actress Mikkie Bradshaw, who got sick while playing Carrie White in the Asian premiere of the cult musical "Carrie," which was recently staged by Atlantis Productions.
Under the able guidance of director Garcia, Rivera had to learn the role of Carrie in six days only.
Rodriguez says, "It was a tough thing for any actor or actress to go through such. Big props to her. She's really good."
Off stage, Rodriguez most recently played the role of Vincent, the closeted husband of Lally, played by TV actress Carla Abellana, in the top-rated soap opera "My Husband's Lover." The TV show, touted as the first-ever gay theme soap on Philippine TV, has been hugely popular, which made Rodriguez a household name in the Philippines and among GMA Pinoy TV subscribers.
The cast of "My Husband's Lover's" thanksgiving concert for fans, whose program follows the plot of the TV series, top billing Rodriguez, Abellana, Dennis Trillo, Kuh Ledesma, Jonalyn Viray, Victor Basa and Pancho Magno, premiered at San Mateo Performing Arts in San Mateo, California on November 22 and culminated at Centinella Performing Arts, Lawndale California on December 7.