Rent the Musical at Carlos P Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza from 9 Works Theatrical Philippines

Rent The Musical’s 3rd run in the Philippines

What: 3rd Run of Rent the Musical

When: February 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and March 4, 5, 6 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays)

  • Friday at 8:00pm
  • Saturdays at 3:30pm and 8:00pm
  • Sundays at 4:30pm and 8:00pm

Where: Carlos P. Garcia Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Corner Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues, Makati City

I was talking with a friend the other day…

Me, “Hey, have you seen RENT?”

Friend, “What’s that?”

Me, “You know, the really famous Broadway musical”

Friend, “Not familiar with it.”

Me, “You know…. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…”

Friend, “Oh! Yeah! I love that!”

Rent the Musical has been around for more than 10 years and I honestly have not seen any of its renditions until a few days ago! I have always wanted to watch it but never did, and so I also had no idea what the play was about. Watching it the other day made me realize how deep and intense the story actually was.  The musical tackles issues in society that have been around for a long time, issues that some people refuse to talk about, issues that some people despise, issues that destroy some people’s lives.

The musical talks about sex, drugs, bums and beggars! It talks about money, selfishness and pride! It talks about drag queens, sexy dancers and homosexuals. It talks about our never ending and still rising cases of aids and HIV. Just thinking about all these issues gives me a heavy feeling in my chest. But above all these, Rent the musical talks about concern for friends and family; it talks about forgiveness for difficult times; it talks about dealing with loneliness and fear; it talks about friendship and trust; it talks about dreams that seem impossible to reach; it talks about love…and finding love despite sex and gender, status or health. It talks about measuring each and every moment of our lives not with the money we make or the money we owe; not with the pain we suffer or the problem we face, but with the love we give and by the love we receive. And most of all, it talks about hope. Regardless of pain, disease or suffering; Rent the musical talks about hope.

Rent the musical would surely leave a heavy feeling in your heart for all those people going through times like these day in and day out; for people with no home and money, for people with sickness and diseases. Though I’ve never seen any of the other versions of this musical, I still believe that director, Robbie Guevara and the rest of the cast did a superb job! One thing to look forward to in this 3rd run would be the pole dancing. I am told this was the first time they were incorporating it, so that’s definitely a must see! Hands down by the way to Ciara Sotto and Job Bautista on that one!

The Cast

Gian Magdangal as Roger Davis, the songwriter. I always love Gian when he performs. He always brings justice to his character’s role. I especially love how his voice blends well with Fred’s. It also didn’t matter if he was acting with real-life girlfriend Sheree or actress Ciara Sotto. He was able to act well as Roger with both.

Ciara Sotto and Sheree Bautista have alternating roles playing Mimi Marquez, the AIDS-afflicted dancer from the Cat Scratch Club.

I do not urge any of you to choose between the two because they were both equally good. They both had their own strengths and weaknesses. For one, Ciara was definitely more skilled in the pole dancing portion. After all, she had already been practicing for more than a year under a well known international pole dancer. Sheree on the other hand shared that she only had 3 classes prior to the show. Nonetheless, she made up for it and sure did a great job working that pole with her sexy dancing and grinding skills. When it comes to acting the daring role of Mimi, Sheree was definitely more comfortable. She worked the role perfectly. Ciara on the other hand really surprised me. It was such a daring role and I never imagined her to play it. Still, she played it wonderfully! Though she did not seem as comfortable as Sheree, she was able to deliver her singing and acting parts really well. I especially love the way she sang “Goodbye Love”. As she sings the last few lines, her voice starts shaking. It really felt real, as if she were really feeling the pain of saying goodbye to someone she loved most.

Fredison Lo as Mark Cohen, the nerdy film maker.

I actually know Fred from La Salle. We shared an office as he was in the singing group Innersoul, while I was in the theater group Harlequin. We never really formally met, but we are acquainted. He’s a good singer but I never thought he could pull off acting as well. Congratulations Fred. I think he did a good job though I feel there’s still room for improvement. One thing I noticed was that though he and Gian sang and acted really well together, it still felt as if they weren’t really close off set.

OJ Mariano as Tom Collins, the computer genius, Job Bautista as Angel Dummot Schunard; the drag queen street musician

Hands down to you both. I don’t think OJ is really gay in real life, but he portrayed the role really well. I really felt that he was so in love and so moved by Angel.  Job on the other hand was magnificent! He was really multi-talented! He could sing, dance, act and work the pole! Wow! He could act great either as man, woman or homosexual!

Jenny Villegas as Joanne Jefferson; the public interest lawyer, Lorenz Martinez as Benjamin Coffin III; the ex-room mate and now greedy landlord.

I’m not sure how Jenny is personally, but on stage, she portrayed the role of Joanne as uptight, serious and the down to business type of girl. It was really good. Lorenz on the other hand, played the greedy landlord so well that the audience wanted to join Maureen’s protest against him! I’ve watch Lorenz play a different role in the Wedding Singer as well.

Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Mian Dimacali also have alternating roles as Maureen Johnson; the performance artist.

I’m not sure how to compare the two because they were both really good. I loved how they both played the same role but their characterization of the role was not exactly identical. Maureen’s role is a funny one. It was one that kept the audience alive and laughing. Carla delivered this well by using her body and face. Her movements and facial expressions really worked well for her. Mian on the other hand used her words and funny punch lines to play the part. One of the most memorable part for me was when they performed “Over the Moon”. There was one part in the song where in Maureen pretends to be drinking milk from the cow’s otter. Carla knelt down; faced the audience; pretended to be holding otters and starting sucking. Her facial expression was hilarious. Mian on the other hand knelt down, turned her back on the audience; held her hand higher than her head pretending to be gripping otters but purposely made it seem as if she was gripping something else; and started sucking by moving her hand up and down and her head left and right. Hmm… I’ll let you guys imagine that on your own.

The rest of the ensemble is composed of Peach Atilano, Harold Cruz, Johann dela Fuenta, Pam Imperial, Gary Junsay, Anna Santamaria, Alys Serdenia, and Mark Tayag. Their voices were to die for! Al Gatmaitan also joins the ensemble and will play Roger in certain performances.

I was blessed to be given the chance to watch both versions of Rent’s 3rd run. By versions, I simply mean the change of casts. As I mentioned earlier, there were alternating roles and so I wanted to see how each of them with portray the roles. Regardless of who plays which role, both versions proved to be wonderful and well rehearsed! I strongly urge each of you to go watch RENT before time runs out. This might be their final run! So go get your tickets now! … No day but today…

For tickets: call 557.5860, 586.7105, or 0917-5545560, or visit, or call TicketWorld at 891.9999.

PS. After watching the show, there was a Q&A portion wherein they also raffled some items. And guess what? My fiance just won an hour of strip teasing classes at PoleCats! I on the other hand, won an hour of pole dancing classes also from PoleCats! Talk about destiny! ha!

Rent the Musical at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Tower from 9 Works Theatrical Philippines

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