Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rivalry: Ateneo-La Salle The Musical: The 2nd Round (4th Wall Theater Company)

January 24, 2013

"RIVALRY" had been a much buzzed-about show last year during its first run.  However, for some reason I did not have the interest to see it despite the good reviews.  Maybe it was the main topic of the musical, which was about the fabled Ateneo-La Salle rivalry in the college basketball league.  I was afraid I could not relate to the story because I am neither from Ateneo nor La Salle.

The original Filipino musical, with music by Ed Gatchalian, lyrics by Joel Trinidad (both Ateneans) and directed by Jaime del Mundo (a La Sallite), went on to win year-end accolades including Best Music for a Filipino Musical for Mr. Ed Gatchalian from the Broadway World PH Awards.    It must be so successful, that there is now a re-staging of this show this month!  Therefore when the opportunity came up for me to watch it, I grabbed the chance this time.

There was no big mystery what the main story is about. The setting is Manila in 1968.  The Valencias are hard-core Ateneans.  The Basilios are hard-core La Sallites.  The moms are sisters, but their husbands are both bitter rivals on and off the basketball court.  Their sons continue this rivalry.  Paco Valencia (OJ Mariano) is the current star player of Ateneo, while Tommy Basilio (Mako Alonso, who is ironically an Atenean) is the star of the La Salle varsity.  Both teams were still members of the NCAA back then, with Mapua and San Beda.

Paco's brother Quito (Red Concepcion) has a crush on a certain Maryknoll girl Rina (Athena Tibi) and asks his cousin Tommy to help introduce him.  As fate would have it, Tommy finds himself falling for the charming Rina. How will this love triangle play out as the college basketball season reaches its heated finale?

The script reminds me of one-act Filipino plays in English that we used to see high school students stage back in the day.  I find the play very amusing when it comes to conversations -- the way they speak with all its "burgis" styling, English with distinct "Filipinisms."   While there were also a number of witty one-liners, but I guess I was expecting more school jokes. The staging and choreography reminded me a lot of "West Side Story" with the rival gangs dancing.  Well to be frank, the story concept is somehow reminiscent of that musical classic too because of its romance in the context of rivalry.

There were two song numbers that really stood out for me.  From Act One, it was the very cute "Boy from La Salle" coquettishly sung by the Maryknoll colegialas.  From Act Two, it was the dramatic "What If" sung by the three corners of the love triangle, Quito, Tommy and Rina.  The songs of Act Two were basically reprises or mash-ups of the songs from the first act.  The director said that this "Second Round" was already streamlined from the first run in terms of its content.  But I feel, some more streamlining could be done to make it a tighter show.  There were certain moments where the momentum would lag.

Mako Alonso, whom I have not seen before, was actually very good as Tommy.  He has a good voice, and he has his "crush ng bayan" character down pat.  He can also do the physically strenuous sit-ups and clap push-ups that Tommy had to do.  OJ Mariano is unfortunately limited by the dour way his serious character had been written.  I am sure there is a way to make his Paco more interesting in future stagings.  As for Red Concepcion, he has this look that does not exactly make him convincing as a romantic lead.  He is quite earnest though and he sings well, but he was not realistic as a boy in love with a girl.

The star of the show for me though was the very pretty Athena Tibi, whom I have also not seen on stage before.  She sings very well, and her stage presence was electric, making her rise above the other Maryknollers on stage with her (which includes known actresses like Cara Barredo and Caisa Borromeo).  I found it interesting when it was revealed that Ms. Tibi actually has an active career in Japan as a pop star, from which she took a break to join this show.  She could make it as well in the local scene, I think.

Overall, whatever they say, I still think you would have to be an Atenean or a La Sallite to get into the groove fully with this musical.  There was still some "inside joke" territory that alumni of other schools cannot completely get.  I personally could not help but burst into applause and cheer when my own alma mater was suddenly mentioned.  So Maroons, there is something for you in this show!  It was not a completely perfect show yet, especially the final resolution, which I found was not too clearly expressed.  I think it could still be improved further because I think this musical will live on as long as there are Ateneans and La Sallites.  But as it is now, it is already a fun, amusing and entertaining show!


"Rivalry: The Second Round" runs from January 25 to February 17, 2013, weekends at the Meralco Theater.  Ticket Prices: P1,699.50/ P1,339/ P1,030/ P978.50/ P824/ P618. For ticket reservations, call TicketWorld at 891-9999.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Billboard Top Hot 100 Songs of 2012

January 13, 2013

1 Gotye feat. Kimbra Somebody That I Used To Know

           It debuted at number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 14 January 2012. In its fifteenth week on the chart – after it was performed on Glee, American Idol and SNL  – the song rose to No. 1. The song had the fourth highest-selling single week ever with 542,000 digital downloads sold, and was the first Australian single to top the Hot 100 since Savage Garden's "I Knew I Loved You" in 2000. As of 6 June 2012, it has remained at No. 1 for eight consecutive weeks. 

2 Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe

          It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week of 10 March 2012, at number 38. The song reached number one on the week ending 23 June 2012 and spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. She is the first Canadian female artist to have a number one on Billboard Hot 100 since Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" in 2007. The song is only the fourth song to log seven weeks at number one by an artist from Canada, tied with "Sh-Boom" by The Crew-Cuts, "Informer" by Snow featuring MC Shan, and "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams. The song is Jepsen's first entry on the Billboard charts in the country, which made her the first lead woman since Kesha with her single "Tik Tok" to have her debut single peak at such position. 

3 fun. feat. Janelle Monae We Are Young

          "We Are Young" entered the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2011 at number 53 but quickly fell off. It wasn't until the song appeared in the Super Bowl spot that it took off, exploding at radio and at retail.  In the week following the Super Bowl, it rose 26 spots to number 63 on the Hot 100. On March 7, 2012, "We Are Young" ascended to the top position on the Billboard Hot 100. It remained at the number one position for six consecutive weeks.

4 Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa Payphone

          The song debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It failed to reach number one, peaking at number 2 on that chart for six non-consecutive weeks, being blocked from the top spot by Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe". On its 18th week in the top ten, "Payphone" dropped to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first time the song was not a part of the top five.

5 Ellie Goulding Lights

          On the issue dated 20 August 2011, "Lights" debuted at number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 99 for the week of 14 January 2012.] When "Lights" reached number 40 in its 19th week, on the issue dated 12 May, the song represented the third slowest climb to the top 40 by a female artist, after Norah Jones's "Don't Know Why" and KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See". In its 29th week, the song made Hot 100 history by achieving the longest climb to the chart's top five not aided by country-to-pop crossover success or multiple releases. In its 33rd chart week, the single reached number 2 on the chart dated 18 August 2012, and held that position for two weeks, behind "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen and "Whistle" by Flo Rida, respectively.

6 The Wanted          Glad You Came

           In the United States, the song became their first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three for four non-consecutive weeks after it was covered on the television series Glee, and becoming the highest American chart entry by a British boy band, surpassing Take That who peaked at number seven with "Back for Good" in November 1995.

7 Kelly Clarkson Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)

          The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 64 on the week ending October 30, 2011. Three weeks later, the song re-entered Billboard Hot 100 at number 99. Following its release as a single, the song once again returned to the Hot 100 at number 58 after Clarkson performed the song at Saturday Night Live on January 7, 2012. On its 4th week, the song climbed to number 21. The following week, the song ascended to number eight at the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became her tenth top-ten hit. With "Mr. Know It All" having peaked at number ten, the song's ascent marked the first time Clarkson has had back-to-back top-ten hits since 2004–2005, when she had four consecutive top-ten hits from her sophomore album, Breakaway. On its 6th week, it went from number 8 to number 2 and then went to number 1, becoming Clarkson's third number one hit, after "A Moment Like This" and "My Life Would Suck Without You". On the week ending March 3, 2012, the song descends to number four after spending two consecutive weeks at number 1. The same week, "Stronger" became Clarkson's first song to top Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. This makes Clarkson as the first artist ever to have topped the Hot 100 and each of Billboard's Dance/Club Play Songs, Country Songs, Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop Songs charts. On its 9th week, the song returned to top Billboard Hot 100 for the third week and becomes the longest-reigning single by an American Idol contestant.

8 Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris We Found Love

          The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 28, 2011, at number 16. "We Found Love" became the singer's second highest debut on the chart out of her 31 Hot 100 chart entries, with the highest being Rihanna's collaboration with Eminem, "Love the Way You Lie", which debuted at number 2 in July 2010. The following week, it rose to number 9, giving Rihanna the record for a solo artist to have amassed twenty top-ten singles in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the shortest amount of time. Rihanna achieved the feat in a time span of 6 years and 4 months, surpassing the record previously held by Madonna who managed the achievement in a time span of 5 years and 9 months. In its 6th week on the chart, the song reached number 1, giving Rihanna her eleventh number-one single thus making her only the seventh artist in the 53-year history of the chart to amass at least 11 number-one singles, behind The Beatles (20), Mariah Carey (18), Michael Jackson (13), Madonna (12), The Supremes (12) and tying with Whitney Houston. Additionally, Rihanna moved into 3rd place, tied with Houston, for the female artist with the most number-one singles, behind Carey and Madonna. "We Found Love" spent 8 consecutive weeks and 2 additional weeks (after 3 weeks at number two) at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing "Umbrella" as Rihanna's longest number-one single in the country, and was the longest-running number one of 2011.

9 Nicki Minaj Starships

          "Starships" debuted at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, marking her second solo arrival in the top ten after "Super Bass", which reached number 3. The song eventually peaked at number 5 and was certified triple platinum in the US on August 16, 2012.

10 One Direction What Makes You Beautiful

          "What Makes You Beautiful" became the highest Billboard Hot 100 debut for an UK act since 1998. On 22 February 2012, the single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 28. On the week ending 14 April 2012, it peaked at number 4. As of 30 June 2012, the single had spent thirteen consecutive weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 top ten.

11 Flo Rida feat. Sia Wild Ones
12 Adele Set Fire To The Rain
13 LMFAO Sexy And I Know It
14 fun. Some Nights
15 Katy Perry Wide Awake
16 Flo Rida Good Feeling
17 Flo Rida Whistle
18 Maroon 5 One More Night
19 Train Drive By
20 Drake feat. Lil Wayne The Motto

21 Rihanna Where Have You Been
22 Neon Trees Everybody Talks
23 Drake feat. Rihanna Take Care
24 David Guetta feat. Sia Titanium
25 Jason Mraz I Won't Give Up
26 Bruno Mars It Will Rain
27 Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz Mercy
28 Justin Bieber Boyfriend
29 LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock Party Rock Anthem
30 Alex Clare Too Close

31 Katy Perry Part Of Me
32 Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa feat. Bruno Mars Young, Wild & Free
33 Taylor Swift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
34 Justin Bieber feat. Big Sean As Long as You Love Me
35 David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj Turn Me On
36 Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera Moves Like Jagger
37 P!nk Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
38 Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen Good Time
39 Demi Lovato Give Your Heart A Break
40 Jay Z and Kanye West Ni**As In Paris

41 Katy Perry The One That Got Away
42 Calvin Harris Feel So Close
43 Adele Someone Like You
44 Usher Scream
45 Tyga Rack City
46 Jessie J Domino
47 PSY Gangnam Style
48 Pitbull feat. Chris Brown International Love
49 Phillip Phillips Home
50 David Guetta feat. Usher Without You

51 Gym Class Heroes feat. Neon Hitch Ass Back Home
52 Hunter Hayes Wanted
53 Luke Bryan Drunk On You
54 2 Chainz feat. Drake No Lie
55 Cher Lloyd Want U Back
56 Chris Brown Don't Wake Me Up
57 Big Sean feat. Nicki Minaj Dance (A$$)
58 Eric Church Springsteen
59 Karmin Brokenhearted
60 Gavin DeGraw Not Over You

61 Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine Stereo Hearts
62 Pitbull Back In Time
63 J. Cole Work Out
64 Adele Rumour Has It
65 Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo Let's Go
66 Carrie Underwood Good Girl
67 Little Big Town Pontoon
68 The Lumineers Ho Hey
69 Coldplay Paradise
70 Carrie Underwood Blown Away

71 Adele Rolling In The Deep
72 Usher Climax
73 Wiz Khalifa Work Hard, Play Hard
74 Ne-Yo Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)
75 Nicki Minaj Pound The Alarm
76 Kenny Chesney Come Over
77 Trey Songz Heart Attack
78 Kirko Bangz Drank In My Cup
79 Rihanna feat. Chris Brown Birthday Cake
80 B.o.B So Good

81 Train 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
82 Toby Keith Red Solo Cup
83 Selena Gomez and The Scene Love You Like A Love Song
84 Chris Brown Turn Up The Music
85 Ke$ha Die Young
86 T-Pain feat. Wiz Khalifa and Lily Allen 5 O'Clock
87 Christina Perri A Thousand Years
88 Jason Aldean Take A Little Ride
89 Rihanna You Da One
90 Havana Brown feat. Pitbull We Run The Night

91 Imagine Dragons It's Time
92 Ca$h Out Cashin' Out
93 Luke Bryan I Don't Want This Night To End
94 Rihanna Diamonds
95 Lee Brice Hard To Love
96 Kip Moore Somethin' 'Bout A Truck
97 Miguel Adorn
98 Jason Aldean Fly Over States
99 Eli Young Band Even If It Breaks Your Heart
100 Linkin Park Burn It Down