Photo Flash: McNally Meets Gil of MASTER CLASS Philippines

October 25
8:25 AM 2010

Four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally ("Master Class", "Kiss of the Spiderwoman") was formally introduced to revered Filipino film and television actress Cherie Gil at the writer's home in Brooklyn, New York.  Ms. Gil recently received rave reviews from both media critics and theatre-goers when she essayed the larger-than-life role of "La Divina" Maria Callas thrice (two seasons in Manila and a touring production in Dumaguete City, Southern Philippines) in Mr. McNally's 1996 Tony Award-winning play "Master Class". 

"Mr. McNally is a humble but great man.  It was an honor to have met him and his longtime partner and Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy," Ms. Gil said.   

The Philippine Opera Company (POC) and veteran theatre director and actor Michael Williams ("Sweeney Todd", "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum") convinced Ms. Gil to consider the role of the legendary opera diva when she was doing weekend performances as Baroness Elsa Schrader opposite Mr. Williams' Captain Von Trapp in Repertory Philippines' "The Sound of Music" in 2006. 

POC premiered its first ten performances of "Master Class" with Ms. Gil as Callas and Mr. Williams as director at the Carlos P. Romulo Theatre in October 2008.  A public clamor to bring back the show prompted the opera company to do another ten performances of "Master Class" at the same theatre, and two more performances at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium, Silliman University in Dumaguete City several months ago. 

Mr. McNally had approved the publication of these photographs for readers.

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