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STOMP (Reboot) Returns to Manila Next Week, 6/17-22

STOMP (Reboot) Returns to Manila Next Week, 6/17-22
Filipino-American Stomper Andres Fernandez (Photo: Elissa
Josephsohn)

Co-written by Oliver Oliveros

Main Photo: Farhad Valian

Manila, Philippines--With the people behind STOMP already having a general idea on how Filipino audiences respond to the show's unique theatricality--based on how it had wowed audiences in its first run at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2011--perhaps the biggest surprise that awaits STOMP's impending return to the CCP from Tuesday, June 17, to Sunday, June 22, is how having a Filipino-American cast member Andres Fernandez would draw in a novel kind of enthusiasm from his fellow Pinoys.

According to ABS-CBNNews.com, For Fernandez, a 17-year veteran Stomper, it's a long overdue homecoming, which is "23 years in the making." The last time he was in the Philippines was in 1991 to help his brother Johnny, who released an album.

"I'm just so extremely excited. I can't wait to get back," says Fernandez.

As for those who will be seeing the show for the second (maybe third or even fourth) time around, STOMP Co-Creator Luke Cresswell explains why catching the show in its return to Manila will be a totally different experience compared to their first time: "Most of the choreography has changed; it's gotten more complex, and we got better. When we first started this [12 years ago], it was like a new language that we were all learning. Now, they (the current cast) are really, really good; they're better than we were!"

Cresswell also notes that Filipino audiences can expect a whole different STOMP compared to London's West End production, where BroadwayWorld.com-Philippines, along with other Philippine-based media outlets, was recently invited to watch the show, and interview Cresswell, Rehearsal Director Fraser Morrison, and the cast.

STOMP (Reboot) Returns to Manila Next Week, 6/17-22
STOMP Co-Creator Luke Cresswell and Rehearsal Director Fraser
Morrison (Photo: Rocky Christopher Fajardo)

"It'll be much bigger in Manila; the show will be kind of louder, and will have wider choreography," he says.

On the two new musical numbers, "Frogs" and "Trolleys," and the process on how the creative team and cast develop new numbers and incorporate them into the show, Cresswell shares: "Until you start working on the routine, you don't know if that's the right dynamic to put into the show. So we started on the 'Trolleys' not really sure where it would go; but the dynamic of it felt the same (as with the 'Chairs'), it occupied the same space that 'Chairs' does. So it felt right to take it [Chairs] out and put that one [Trolleys] in.

"'Frogs' was a smaller piece. We wanted to do something just because of the sound, and we put that in a few different places until we settled. Even now we still change it."

Performed in more than 50 countries and before more than 24 million people, STOMP has won the Olivier Award for Best Choreography, an Obie Award, Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a special citation from Best Plays. Its HBO presentation "Stomp Out Loud" received an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy Award nominations, and one Emmy Award. Some of its noteworthy TV appearances include The London 2012 Olympic Games' closing ceremony and the Academy Awards.

STOMP showcases performers who use ordinary objects as musical instruments, i.e. brooms, dust bins, boxes of matches, plumbing fixtures for "Frogs," and supermarket trolleys for "Trolleys," among others, while they show off their dance moves and flair for comedy.

For tickets (PhP800-5,500), call (632)891-9999 or visit ticketworld.com.ph.

Concertus Manila and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, in cooperation with Diamond Hotel, OOCL, and CCP, are presenting STOMP in Manila.

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Rocky Christopher Fajardo For the last five years, Rocky has been performing as lead male vocalist for different showbands in Southeast Asian countries, which led him to grace several magazine spreads in Malaysia in 2012; and paved the way for guest appearances on Cambodian TV in 2013, and a duet with Tony winner Lea Salonga in her major concert in Manila in 2009.

This year, Rocky has traded away the microphone and dancing shoes for the writing pen and whiteboard marker: his love for music and musical theater steered his professional writing debut as a correspondent for BroadwayWorld.com covering the international touring production of WICKED in Manila in January. At the same time, his Master’s Degree in English has prompted a second career as full-time faculty and as Mass Communications Program Head at FEATI University in Manila.


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