Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

VIDEO: After a Three-Year Wait, Gian Magdangal to Play Billy--Finally

Repertory Philippines' CAROUSEL runs November 26 to December 18.

Manila, Philippines--Over three years ago (blame the COVID-19 pandemic), actor-singer Gian Magdangal was announced to play the conflicted leading man, Billy Bigelow, in a reimagined take on a classic, "Carousel."

Gian thought it wasn't meant to happen, for live theater was shut down during the lockdowns. So in between the long wait, he did TV series: "Viral Scandal," "Lyric and Beat," and "The Flower Sisters." Until he got a call from Repertory Philippines, "Are you still interested in playing Billy?"

He said, "Yes." [of course]

And this time, he has never been more ready to play the prominent role, whose signature song, "Soliloquy," is as vocally demanding as "Gethsemane" in "Jesus Christ Superstar."

"Buti na lang, I had the time to learn the song better over the past two years," Gian told BroadwayWorld.com.

"It's been simmering in my system since 2020; it was like a thesis project you've been working on for two years.

"But I had to relearn the song, though, and it's clearer to me now," he said.

"Soliloquy" is only next to the more popular songs from the musical, which include the anthemic "You'll Never Walk Alone," the love duet "If I Loved You," and the lively ensemble number "June is Bustin' Out All Over."

"Carousel," which premiered on Broadway in 1945, was the second outing--the first was "Oklahoma!"--of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

[In] "Oklahoma!, Rodgers often succeeded in making the songs flow naturally from the dialogue and express character. But it was 'Carousel' Rodgers created a thoroughly unified musical score, which also achieved truly effective coordination between music and dramatic action," said music historian Geoffrey Block.

With such a feat, Time Magazine, in 1999, named "Carousel" "Best Musical of the 20th century," setting the gold standard in musicals that ran in that period.

Adapted from the play "Liliom" by Ferenc Molnar, "Carousel" is set in a small New England factory town, where a romance between a carefree carousel barker, Billy Bigelow, and a lady-like millworker, Julie Jordan, who gives up everything for him, becomes volatile and dangerous.

"Carousel" depicts scenes of domestic violence, which theatergoers should take caution of.

REP's bold new staging, probably mainly inspired by stage director Daniel Fish's recent interpretation of "Oklahoma!" Toff De Venecia, a congressman and a champion of Filipino creative professionals, takes on the reins as director.

Gian shares the stage with actress-singer-TV host Karylle Tatlonghari (Julie Jordan), Loy Martinez (Enoch Snow), Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante (Carrie Pipperidge), Mia Bolanos (Nettie Fowler), Noel Rayos, Noel Rayos, Roxy Aldiosa, Red Nuestro, Cara Barredo, Steven Hotchkiss, Paula Paguio, Roby Malubay, Gia Gequinto, Julio Laforteza, Kyla Rivera-Soong, and Czar Decena.

Under the artistic directorship of Liesl Batucan-Del Rosario, REP's "Carousel" premieres this Saturday, November 26, and will run until December 18, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Tanghalang Ignacio Jimenez.

Video: Oliver Oliveros/BroadwayWorld.com



Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordons DADDY LONG LEGS, Feb. 3 Photo
The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts. Directed by Penelop Ong (Vaudeville Theatre Company), the production will run until February 5.

Stars of the International Tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC Visit Manila Ahead Of March Performa Photo
The international tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC, produced by Broadway International Group will arrive in Manila from March 7 to March 26, 2023.

At Best When Theres Singing and Dancing on Screen Photo
Learning music mogul Clive Davis gave the imprimatur to 'Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody,' the biopic of Davis’s former protegee and the late music icon Whitney Houston, promises topnotch musical sequences, which would not disappoint--even the most critical superfans.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY Screens Across Philippine Cinemas Starting Ja Photo
Acclaimed biopic 'Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody' starts its screening across Philippine cinemas on Sunday, January 8. The filmmakers, headed by film director-executive producer Kasi Lemmons, have obtained the original recordings of Houston’s 22 greatest hits and remixed them for today’s state-of-the-art sound of movie theaters.


From This Author - Oliver Oliveros

Oliver is a seasoned organizational communication, public relations, and digital marketing professional who works with CEOs and young professionals to hone their creativity, stakeholders' engag... (read more about this author)


Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS This WeekCebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS This Week
January 31, 2023

The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts.

Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS, Feb. 3Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS, Feb. 3
January 20, 2023

The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts. Directed by Penelop Ong (Vaudeville Theatre Company), the production will run until February 5.

New Year Deal: FROZEN Offers Limited Discounted Tickets at S$18 OffNew Year Deal: FROZEN Offers Limited Discounted Tickets at S$18 Off
January 17, 2023

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Disney’s 'Frozen,' the hit Broadway musical, offers a limited number of discounted tickets at S$18 off until January 25, 2023. Based on the highest-grossing film of 2013, 'Frozen,' the film-to-stage adaptation, sets foot in the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, from February 5 to March 19.

At Best When There's Singing and Dancing on ScreenAt Best When There's Singing and Dancing on Screen
January 12, 2023

Learning music mogul Clive Davis gave the imprimatur to 'Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody,' the biopic of Davis’s former protegee and the late music icon Whitney Houston, promises topnotch musical sequences, which would not disappoint--even the most critical superfans.

Photos: A Peek at WE WILL ROCK YOU Opening Night in SingaporePhotos: A Peek at WE WILL ROCK YOU Opening Night in Singapore
January 9, 2023

Broadway titles’ presenter GMG Productions opened its newly-reimagined production of the hit jukebox musical based on the songs of the rock band Queen, 'We Will Rock You,' at the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay” last January 5. Check out photos from opening night!