Author: Marian Bartolome

Q&A with Calvyn Grandling and Noxolo Dlamini + Musical Review: THE LION KING in Manila

The Lion King is part of my childhood soundtrack, and its stage adaptation has long been on my list of must-see Broadway musicals. So when I heard that Manila would be their first stop in this year’s international tour, there was no way I could miss it. Luckily, I didn’t just get to see the show, I was also invited to an exclusive lunch with Calvyn Grandling and Noxolo Dlamini, otherwise known as Simba and Nala.

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Musical Review: HIMALA by The Sandbox Collective x 9 Works Theatrical

Everyone said it was an experience that would stay with you, but I didn’t want to pin my hopes on other people’s opinions. After watching the play for myself, I can say that it was a musical experience unlike any I’ve witnessed before. It was disturbing and painful and beautifully made, and I hope more people get to enjoy it. 

Journeying in Winter

I often travel in spring. At first I did it out of necessity, because the break between March and June was the longest we had as students. Then, as I fell deeper in wanderlust, I learned that those months were the best time to travel around Europe. The air still carried with it a certain chill, yet the sun burned bright into the night, allowing me to walk around even after closing hours. By then, nature would have shaken off the last of the winter frost and would bloom with color and life. I got the longer days without the mega crowds and price hikes of summer. Perfect. The closest to winter I’ve experienced was when I was sent to Germany for training in November. I remember borrowing coats, thermals, and gloves—anything that could keep me warm in temperatures that we didn’t get in Manila with air conditioning. My colleague and I walked around all bundled up, ducking into cafes when it got too cold. I got sick after that first day. I woke up …

Musical Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Globe Live x 9 Works Theatrical

With the Christmas rush in full swing, I avoid going to Makati and BGC, especially on a Friday night. Yet last week, we braved the TGIF traffic to watch Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I missed it last year—I couldn’t miss it again. Luckily, the roads cleared enough that we arrived at Bonifacio High Street with enough time for a quick dinner. In the Globe Iconic Store amphitheater, we stared at the lopsided brick buildings onstage and the oversized clock crowning them. People filed in, many of them families with kids buzzing with anticipation. I was excited—excited to see how they would top their production of Disney’s Newsies and to experience some snow. Soon, the stage lit up and music swelled. Time for some holiday magic. A Christmas Carol opens with an English town caught in the flurries of the holidays. Everyone’s merry and giving, except rich old Ebenezer Scrooge (Miguel Faustmann). He scolds kids, turns away pleas for donations, and rejects his nephew’s invitation to their Christmas dinner. As he …