VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 3/24/2010
Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Miss ‘Ilang Tulog Pa Ba’ by iPinoy The editorial team of iPinoy.ca was invited by RST Productions to a sneak preview of ‘Ilang Tulog Pa Ba’, a Christmas concert which supposedly features ‘four of the most in-demand Filipino-Canadian singers in GTA’ namely Josie De Leon, Rico Callao, Clarissa Miranda and Leander Mendoza. We frankly but tactfully told the gracious producers, Ricky Tanpoco and Susan De Leon, that we do not want to be biased with reviews. And that we would have to write whatever we feel the audience should anticipate. That truthfully told review could range from ‘boring’ to ‘tolerable’ because Christmas concerts, as ordinary Pinoy concert-goers would know, are almost always just caroling with palabok. But Ricky, in his cordially professional tone tried to convince us with, “Syempre naman, we won’t try to influence you guys on the write-up. You do your thing. Pero kasi, Susan and I both feel you should see this concert in the works.” We tried to beg off, manonood na lang kami ng concert mismo, promise. “No, it’s better if you see the making of the show,” Susan insited. “Para pati yung behind the scene, maisulat realistically. Get to know the artists na rin. Maganda, masaya…iba ito. Did we let you down on APO? ” She has a point there. The APO Experience last April was an impressive debut production by RST. We remember them telling iPinoy that RST would rather be known as quality producers than mass marketers and so this Christmas concert they are excited about must be good enough to stake their mission statement for. We agreed to watch the rehearsal with a lot of pre-conceived notions of the predictability of the concert. It was nasty, but we even had a bet—paramihan ng mahuhulaang Christmas songs na kakantahin sa ‘Ilang Tulog Pa Ba”. So we did watch the rehearsals then later joined the artists on their photo shoot. Indeed, we got to know the artists and the entire production staff and were immersed on the total show concept. One by one, our notions were disproved by RST. Instead of corny predictability, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the attributes of the concert may indeed make it our sure bet superb live entertainment this holiday season for Filipino-Canadians in GTA. If you have to choose one concert this coming holiday season, consider ‘Ilang Tulog Pa Ba’. We’ll give you ten reasons why. One. Just to praise the undeniable blessing given to our race. See, we listened to each one of them at the rehearsal and it blew us to smithereens. Even when not in full-blast performance level yet, the combination of these four singers onstage is a powerhouse showcase of glorious musicality. Proof of why Pinoys always qualify in Idol searches, why Pinoys bring home the coveted trophies in international music festivals, why Pinoys are given the spotlight and command standing ovations from Broadway to West End. Now multiply extraordinary by four. That is what you will be paying for in this show. Two. It does not feature a single singing style. It’s not a night with a balladeer or a Pop superstar. You will not be entertained by pure jazz throughout the show. It’s not about OPM. Neither is it operatic nor gospel inspired. It does not aim to soothe you with classics, but it’s not a ‘stand up and dance’ party either. ‘Ilang Tulog Pa Ba’ has enough variety in its repertoire to defy age, gender and musical tastes. Three. The selection of songs does not seem to be derived from the ‘All Time Pinoy Best- Loved Christmas Songhits’. We must admit, the repertoire has been masterfully put together. According to Ricky, the audience will be in for a pleasant surprise. “We chose the songs based on what the crowd would love to hear… hindi yung what they simply expect to hear. Rico, Josie, Leander and Clarissa were also the inspirations behind the selection. Gusto naming palitawin ng mga kanta ang kanya-kanyang galing nila.” Four. It’s not a get together of egomaniac talents onstage that would have been painful instead of enjoyable to watch. Clarissa, a superb soprano singer whose opera credits include La Traviata and Carmen, summed up the common sentiment of the group when she said masarap manood ng concert when you can feel the real friendship of the performers. Tama. However, it was Rico, often compared to great balladeers like Anthony Castello, Martin Nievera and Marco Sison, who said it best. “The four of us will perform as one—not competing with each other but complementing one another.” Five. The concert is to be watched not just for the four singers alone. Susan was as proud as a mother hen on having Joshua Tamayo as the show’s pianist extraordinaire. “Kay Joshua pa lang, sulit na! Alam niyo, na nag-perform na siya with a choir kay Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II. You heard him play at the APO concert, right? ‘Di ba, he is so gifted, that young man? And he merges well with the chemistry of the group. We’ve had requests from the APO audience to feature him again in another concert and we did.” Six. It’s about time we support our local entertainers in Toronto. Josie, a concert Diva in her own right (…but minus the attitude), was wise enough to point it out. “Local talents in Toronto are pitted versus international stars by our own kababayans. O kaya, rather than watch a show like ours, Pinoys in this city feel like it’s worth waiting na lang for talents from the Philippines to come over. It would be great if Pinoys in Toronto could cheer for their very own na nandito na...kapiling nila.” Seven. There is no cheesy holiday theme. No intent at all to force the audience to feel melancholy for the things they miss most in Pinas. It’s simply a feel good, well produced concert that wants to make you happy to be spending the season where you are. Eight. It’s not based on pretentious script that tries too much to be either funny or witty. Nine. Hindi tinipid, hindi minadali, hindi pinilit. Instead, ginastusan, pinagsipan… “pati nga poster”, according to Ricky who wanted a unique approach for their marketing materials. “We don’t want our poster to look as ordinary as the many Christmas concert announcements na makikita sa GTA. It should stand apart, like the concert itself.” So instead of the usual close-up shots of the artists, RST opted for a layout concept with clean white background that draws attention to the five performers in their pajamas forming a parol. Mukha rin naman nag-enjoy ang lahat to be part of it. I told RST that Josie said in her own words, “I don’t think we could ask for better producers than this tandem. You can see their passion and we couldn’t help but feel confident because we see (Ricky and Susan) try to do what is best for us, their artists.” Rico added that RST is so focused and ‘maalaga’, even the meriendas served are made special! Di ba, ano pa nga ba mahihiling nila? And ten, the venue is as tasteful as the show. It will be held at the RBC Theatre of The Living Arts Centre in Mississauga on December 7. Yun nga lang, it’s an intimate venue that has a comparatively modest seating capacity…kaya best to reserve a ticket! RST producers Ricky or Susan could help answer your ticket and show inquiries at 416.877.8082 or 647.899.1817. Also visit www.iPinoy.ca, your Filipino-Canadian online community, for concert news and updates.
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