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BOSTON PINOY “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR” MUSICAL: A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

By Pinoy Ads News | June 1, 2008

superstar

BOSTON PINOY “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR” MUSICAL: A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

                                          By Herminia P. Festin-Navato

The Malden Chapter of the Boston Filipino Apostolate celebrated the 2008 Easter season with a different theme this year.  They presented  a  Pinoy version of the Jesus Christ Superstar Musical Show on April 13th. It was held at the Social Hall of the St. Joseph Church.

To begin, I’d first like to acknowledge the composer of Jesus Christ Superstar, the genius Andrew Lloyd Webber.  His composition is a true magnum opus.  It is evocative, passionate and timeless.  Although the Resurrection was never presented with the same dramatic impact as the Crucifixion, his Jesus is both human and divine. His Judas is a true tragic hero.  Webber brings up issues that continue to challenge our understanding of the Bible.  Doubtless, Jesus Christ Superstar is a great, modern classic.

I’d like to remind people that this is what our amateur production was up against.

However, what we lacked in professional experience and resources, we made up in passion and enthusiasm. The songs of our shortened production were chosen to highlight the important events of the Holy Week.  Although some of the choices were a little unconventional (did we really need ‘King Herod’s Song’?), others (’Gethsemane’ and ‘Pilate’s Dream’) were inspired.

The casting was excellent.  Michael Andree Purugganan’s  performance in ‘Gethsemane’ would bring anyone to tears.  Few could have done a more touching Jesus.  Judas (John Kutzko) and Mary Magdalene (Rona Monteyro), while their roles were smaller than the original play, were still strong in their supporting roles.  Even the minor characters were well chosen.  I especially like to highlight Caiphas (Joe Kutzko), whose improvisation during ‘The Arrest’ helped keep the anachronistic feeling of the play.

Ramon Raagas effortlessly changed his usual smiling demeanor to realistically play the role of a grim and somber Pilate.  Danny Talaid portrayed a less sarcastic, more comic Herod. The King Herod dancers  gracefully swayed and gyrated to a catchy tune to the delight of the audience. JR Purugganan played an enthusiastic and sophisticated Simon Zealot. The band, led by Rev. Jeremy Halsdorff, carried the show  and swept the audience with its spirited performance.  Thankfully, the band provided our cues to almost everything. Following Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem surrounded by an adoring crowd, the scenes of the whipping of Jesus Christ by the Roman guards, His carrying of the cross prodded by a jeering and mocking public and His crucifixion were distressing.  During these scenes, the audience watched in silence.
 
Not that it was all clear sailing.  As usual, the production was fraught with unforeseen problems.  Fitting in the rehearsals between the choir practice  and the Saturday afternoon Mass at the St. Joseph Church never left us enough time and we were always rushing to get out before the 4 PM Mass.  Rehearsals in other venues were plagued by missing actors, late starts and unfamiliar surroundings.  Extra congratulations should go to our choreographer (Charmaine Panganiban) for her dedication and the fact that she actually managed to get any of us ready for the two dance productions. The stage manager (Christine Talaid) made sure that the props, the stage crew, the lights and the sounds were actually there. She was all over the place. The Pinoy community’s  appreciation goes to  Annie Talaid, the Executive Producer,  who made the effort to get us all together for this presentation.

The placement of Jesus and the Apostles in the last supper scene  followed the  arrangement of  the Da Vinci’s famous painting of the Last Supper. It may not be historically accurate but it was artistic and familiar to the audience. 

On the other hand, I must really express my admiration to the director (Edel Talaid) for balancing the creative process.  She managed to keep us all focused without becoming dictatorial. Yet she also was able to accept suggestions from the rest of us without losing control.  She could sometimes be blunt, but she did it with the best intentions. Without her little director’s notes at the end of each rehearsal, we would not have had nearly as good a production as we did.

The day of the play was hectic.  A few missed cues, some scrambling that might have been avoided.  However, despite the minor fumbling, we managed to get through the play and really show what this celebration means to us. With more adequate costuming, the show would have been spectacular.  All in all, the play was a great success, considering the time constraints and the meager experience of the cast.

Cast Members:
Michael Andree Purugganan…………………….Jesus
John Kutzko………………………………………..Judas
Rona Monteyro……………………………………Mary Magdalene
Ramon Raagas…………………………………….Pilate
Danny Talaid………………………………………King Herod
Joe Kutzko………………………………………… .Caiphas
Jose Valencia………………………………………Annas
Junior Purugganan………………………………..Simon Zealot

Jun Cruz………………………………………… …..Peter
Nard Gutierrez…………………………………….James
Joe Kapusansky…………………………………..John
Other apostles……………………………………..Al Doza, Joe Kutzko, John Kutzko, Alex Miranda,Eric Miranda, Junior Purugganan, Ramon Raagas,Danny Talaid, Peping Valencia
Apostles wives……………………………………Marichu Atos, Cely Cruz, Eleanor Halsdorff, Annie Talaid
King Herod’s girls……………………………….Cely Cruz, Fe Gutierrez, Eleanor Halsdorff, Anna Liza Purugganan, Rona Monteyro, Tess Monteyro, Annie Talaid
Simon Zealot dancers………………………….. Cely Cruz, Jun Cruz, Fe Gutierrez, Nards Gutierrez, Eleanor Halsdorff, Tess Monteyro, Gloria Ramos, Nicole Ramos, Annaliza Purugganan, Annie Talaid
Roman Guards………………………………….Michael Ramos, Joe Monteyro
Crowd/chorus…………………………………..Sarah Talaid, Marichu Atos, Gina Doza, Minnie Festin, Sylvia Navato

The Crew
Artistic Director………………………………..Edel Talaid
Producer………………………………………… ..Annie Talaid       
Stage Manager…………………………………..Christine Talaid
Master Carpenter……………………………….Peping Valencia
Set Construction………………………………..Peping Valencia, Lori Casamiento, Edel Talaid, Christine Talaid, Nick Sutera, Alex Miranda, Annie & Danny Talaid
Stage Crew…………………………………….John Kutzko, Sarah Talaid, Joe Kutzko
Choreographer……………………………….Charmaine Panganiban
Costume Design………………………………Edel Talaid, Annie Talaid, Tess Monteyro
Page Turner……………………………………Danielle Aguinaldo

Musicians
Guitar/Musical Director………………………Jeremy Halsdorff
Piano………………………………………… …..Daniel Freitas
Bass………………………………………… ……Nick Sutera
Trombone………………………………………Joseph Kapusansky
Drums………………………………………… …Adam Talaid

Accomodations and acknowledgements.

Advisers………………………………………… Nards Gutierrez, Peping Valencia
Kitchen Crew…………………………………..Arlene Kutzko, Elena Escosa, Pearl Breault, Angel Sabio
Set up Crew……………………………………..Clifford Gaviola, Josh Gaviola, Daryl Darang, Mark Hortaleza, David Matnog, Paul Villapa
Ushers………………………………………… …..Rosanna Darang, Len Breault, Anisha Darang, Gloria Hortaleza           
Video and Photo………………………..Roland Video and Photo
Graphics…………………………………Ramon Raagas
 


YouTube Direct 

Portions of Boston Pinoy’s Jesus Christ Superstar musical can be viewed at You Tube by typing “Philippine Apostolate of Boston” in the search bar.

Have a great, blessed  day!

Minnie
Boston Filipino Community website: http://www.pinoyadscentral.com

New England Society of Philippine Health Professionals

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