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December 8, 2012

Camp Rock The Musical - Onstage Theater, Greenbelt

I absolutely love it! Such a pronouncement from me would normally have little bearing on the lives of whoever is in range to hear it, as it is nothing new. I’ve seen Camp Rock so many times, one would think I’d be used to how fantastic it is by now. But no, with every show I seem to establish new national records for the greatest use of the words “WOW,” “Oh, my God,” and “Cool!” and I swear every time I watch feels like the first time.

Camp Rock the Musical is the stage adaptation of the Disney Channel hit movie Camp Rock: The Final Jam, the sequel to Camp Rock that catapulted the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato to Disney superstardom. It is about aspiring musicians honing their skills in the happy and carefree environs of a summer camp, but trouble arises when the state-of-the-art-everything Camp Star opens across the lake, enticing some Camp Rockers and most of the staff to switch over. What follows is the Camp Rockers’ comical undertaking of the responsibilities left behind by the mentors who’d deserted them, all in preparation for the ultimate showdown between the two camps in the Final Jam.

Morissette Amon plays dedicated Camp Rocker Mitchie Torres to perfection. Her voice completely blew me away, and learning that Camp Rock is her first foray into professional theatre just blew me even further. I look forward to seeing her in more productions. She’s incredible.

Markki Stroem is a joy to watch as one-third of Connect Three, Shane Gray. For someone who is a self-proclaimed “frustrated dancer,” he carries himself well and is able to keep up with the rest of cast. Already an amazing singer, the obvious extra effort and dedication he has put into executing the choreography well just adds to his charm. He’s brilliant in the role of Shane, a rock star through and through.

Little girls who come to the shows are most excited to see Stroem, but exit the theatre squealing Nacho Tambunting’s name. He definitely stands out in the role of Nate, who is so charming in his awkwardness. His acting comes so naturally and I could listen to his voice forever. His version of “Introducing Me” is one of my favourite parts in the show.

Jef Flores plays the dorky Jason, my favourite of the three brothers. I thought Flores’ goofy performance was effortless. Each of his quips has got the corners of my mouth slowly creeping and edging toward the sides of my face, and if I smile any more than I already do I would have to physically retrieve them from years.

Stroem, Tambunting, and Flores already look like real brothers, but what I found more impressive is the undeniable musical chemistry that becomes more and more apparent as they drift on the currents of rock ‘n’ roll from song to song, especially in “Heart n Soul”, the show-stopping number which only by sheer force of will (or perhaps an act of God) do I manage to keep to my seat and not run to the stage and join the Camp Rockers and rock out.

Cheska Ortega shines as the diva Tess; her take on the character is so unlike the boring one seen in the movie versions. Ortega’s Tess is a brat, but a very lovable one. Nel Gomez as Luke Williams, Camp Star’s lead performer, has so much swag. Whew. Ortega and Gomez’ “Tear it Down” is another favourite number, and at this point I know I was subjected to divine intervention because there could be no other explanation for my restraint in the face of my massive desire to join in the fun.

Camp Rock has a cast of about thirty-five, many of whom are new to professional theatre and still in their teens. And while I know, dear reader, that you’re on the verge of dismissing Camp Rock as a production more at home in a high school auditorium than the professional stage, I still ask you to come and see for yourself just how wrong you are. The leads are fantastic, but the energy of the supporting characters and the ensemble is what makes the show even more fun to watch. Sure a lot of them are new to the craft, but they are improving with every show. In fact they had already lured me into a state of sentimental attachment, so much so that immediately after they take their bows I’m already looking forward to the next time I can come in to see them. I don’t think I’ll get tired of Camp Rock; the actors remain surprisingly fresh even for someone who, like me, has seen the show many times. You’ll love it.

Camp Rock is a fun, fast-paced, high-energy production with a song every two minutes. There is no room to get bored as you’re too busy bobbing your head and rocking out. Trust me.

On a final note: they say success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. For the cast of Camp Rock, it’s heart and soul in abundance. This young cast is capable of something extraordinary, and I’m glad I get to witness the early stages of their journey.

by Pauline Merilleno

Contact Details:
For tickets, contact Ria Pangilinan at (63 2) 215-0788 or (63 917) 537-8313.
Onstage Theater
Greenbelt 1

2nd Level, Greenbelt 1, Greenbelt
Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Ayala Center
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

Sunday December 16, 2012

1 comment:

  1. camp rock the musical, they were made tonight awesome,
    thanks nice post | songspk


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