YOU'VE BEEN FACEBOOKED, A New Musical, Returns to Cebu, 2/6-7
New York, February 5, 2014--Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines, is approximately 8,555 miles from where I am now, but social networking websites such as Facebook, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and Soundcloud, an audio sharing platform based in Germany, make it possible for me to get acquainted with new theatrical works, especially those that originate from Cebu City, whose theater scene has been upstaged, most of the time, by the more highly publicized productions in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
In fact my Android music player, containing mostly Original Broadway Cast (OBC) recordings, includes shared songs from two original Filipino musicals so far: A few songs from "Cory Ng EDSA," lyrics by Vincent Tanada, music by Pipo Cifra, and produced by the Manila-based theater company Philippine Stagers Foundation; and a few songs from "You've Been Facebooked," music and lyrics by Jude Gitamondoc, produced by the Cebu City-based theater company Offbeats, whose featured song "Whenever I See You" (What an earworm!) has been my personal favorite.
Sample "Whenever I See You," recorded by stage actors Marlon Tansengco and Therese Villarante, below.
Or better yet catch the special run of "You've Been Facebooked" on Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7 (1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.) at USJR Center for Performing Arts in Cebu City. For tickets, call (63)9153464195.
"You've Been Facebooked" is a romantic musical comedy about how young people's lives are influenced by the world's largest social network, Facebook. The show also underscores pressing issues such as cyberbullying and the responsible use of social media platforms, which encourages Netizens to think first before clicking and playing it safe online.
"There was no dull moment. The music [of 'You've Been Facebooked'] was a delightful surprise--catchy melodies and lyrical solos that were easy on the ear. For non-theater goers, the experience left many asking if this was a Broadway show adapted for a local audience," wrote The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Jude Gitamondoc, the show's creator, has written songs for mainstream recording artists Gary Valenciano, Raki Vega, Nina, Toni Gonzaga, Ariel Rivera, and Piolo Pascual. His other musical, "Siddharta, based on the German novel by Hermann Hesse, recently played in Las Vegas.
In "You've Been Facebooked," Gitamondoc works with creative director Edison "Jingle" Saynes, choreographer Vincent Paul Gaton, vocal coach Antoinette Gorgonio, and costume designer Pami Therese Estalilla, who said, "[In the show] You'll easily identify with at least one stereotypical FB [Faceboook] persona--the boyfriend stalker, the terminal liker, the insufferable know-it-all, the ubiquitous gossip girl, or the big show-off, among others. You'll also recognize situations--getting spammed by game requests, cyberbullying, fake profiles, being sorely tempted to hide that sickly sweet couple from your feed, and random selfies everywhere! Here it is, on stage at last--the story of our generation."