Movie and TV actor JC Santos is going back to his roots and first love, the theater, to play the lead role of Lam-ang in a musical to be staged by Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
JC Santos bagged the title role of the musical after a long process of selection which eventually showcased his skills and characteristics fit for Lam-ang.
Santos is as an “agile mover with a strong singing voice, exceptional dramatic skills, good, hunky physique, and ‘animal appeal'”, said Tanghalang Pilipino’s Fernando “Tata Nanding” Josef .
“Pinoy na Pinoy, hindi mestiso. Pero ang isang importanteng edge ni JC is ang eagerness niya to do Lam-ang.” Josef added.
“Lam-ang An Ethno-Epic Musical” is the Tanghalang Pilipino’s upcoming production written by Eljay Castro Deldoc and Jen Darlene Torres, and based on the Ilocano epic “Biag ni Lam-ang” (Life of Lam-ang).
The epic tale from Northern Luzon tells the story of the journey of Lam-ang, a hero with extraordinary bravery and power since birth.
“Lam-ang will dissect the journey of a conqueror and his journey towards conquering himself, and how he was eventually conquered by love. This staging is very grounded, so it is relatable as it is aspirational. It is a beautiful love story of family, self, and romance,” shared Director Fitz Edward Bitana who will be co-directing the musical with Marco Viaña.
The 31-year-old theater arts major from the University of the Philippines – Diliman expressed his excitement after getting the lead role.
“This is my first time to play a lead role in a musical, and I’m very excited,” JS Santos said in a media interview.
JC Santos has already appeared in TV series such Till I Met You (2016) of ABS-CBN, and starred in movies including Sakaling Hindi Makarating (2015) and 100 Tula Para Kay Stella (2017). Prior to his movie and television appearances, Santos was involved in various UP-based theater productions.
Santos will be joined by theater actress Anna Luna who will play the role of Kannoyan, Lam-ang’s love interest.
Here are the cast members and the creative team of “Lam-ang An Ethno-Epic Musical”:
Lam-ang – JC Santos
Kannoyan – Anna Luna
Tandang Guibuan – Jonathan Tadioan
Namongan – Hazel Maranan
Lakay Lokan – Remus Villanueva
Batang Lam-ang – Alvin Maghanoy
Unnayan – Karenina Ng
Gumakas – Joshua Cabiladas
Ka-ul – Ybes Bagadiong
Taraok – Lance Reblando
Saridaandan – Raflesia Bravo
Sumarang – Paw Castillo
New Book and Lyrics – Eljay Castro Deldoc
Music and Lyrics – Jen Darlene Torres
Direction – Fitz Edward Bitana
Direction and Set Design – Marco Viaña
Musical Direction and Sound Design – TJ Ramos
Choreography – JM Cabling
Costume Design – Bonsai Cielo
Lighting Design – Meliton Roxas, Jr.
This 2019, three Filipino musicals were also re-staged.
Full House Theater Company of Resorts World Manila restaged the musical theater production of the 90’s iconic band Eraserheads “Ang Huling El Bimbo” with lead stars Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Gian Magdangal due to the insistent public demand.
AHEB was first launched in 2018, restaged in February up to May of 2019, and was extended until August.
Another successful local musical theater restaged this year from July to September 2019 is the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s “Rak of Aegis” (RAK), the longest-running hit jukebox Filipino musical.
Original Pilipino Music (OPM) legends Noel Cabangon and Bayang Barrios joined the original cast in RAK’s 7th season together with international musical theater star Aicelle Santos and composer, director, and actor Myke Salomon.
The hit musical based on the story and songs of OPM icons Apo Hiking Society, “Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!” was also staged this year for a limited run, including a benefit show on April 5, 2019.
Catch movie, TV, and theater actor JC Santos and the cast of “Lam-ang An Entho-Epic Musical” from December 6 to 15 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
WATCH JC Santos’ audition tape for the lead of Lam-Ang and SEND cheers in the comments below to Filipino actors and artists for enriching Filipino arts and heritage through theatrical works!
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