Taste of Broadway redux a resounding success

Community News & Features Jan 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm
Alvin Alba and Joshua Hernandez in “Lion King”

Alvin Alba and Joshua Hernandez in “Lion King”

TORONTO–The audience gave them a standing ovation. And rightly so.  All those who made Taste of Broadway Curtain Call a success deserve it.

It was after all an immensely entertaining show for all ages, aside from the fact that this encore presentation was for a worthy cause: the benefit of the Philippine Disaster Relief.  Presented by the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC), musical extravagnnza was shown last year to a full house audience, and those who missed it clamored for a repeat.  It was still a full house when it happened the second time last Saturday, Jan.4, at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

It was an inter-generational delight – from the opening song, “Be Our Guest” of Beauty and the Beast, and the final segment featuring The Lion King favorites – which brought squeals of awe from the kids — to the boomers (now seniors) fancy: Chicago jazz hits, and the Jersey Boys pop songs.  For all young and old adults, there was the beautiful rendition of Wicked favorites, and the vocal and skillfully choreographed numbers from Hairspray.

Jersey Boys: Emilio Zarris, Jason Nuñez, Michael Masangkay and Alvin Alba

Jersey Boys: Emilio Zarris, Jason Nuñez, Michael Masangkay and Alvin Alba

Enthralling was the special performance of featured guest, Ma-Anne Dionisio, who flawlessly delivered three songs from three Broadway roles she essayed: “On My Own” from Les Miserables; “I’d Give My Life for You” from Miss Saigon; and “Memories,” from CATS.

Bravo to the amazing performance of the Youth Performing Arts Group, who displayed a lot of punk and gusto as they skillfully sang and danced their way through the various segments of the show.  The glowing smile on their faces as they went through the meticulously-executed numbers was infectious to the appreciative audience.

Candace Santos and Jasmine Ragual in “Wicked”

Candace Santos and Jasmine Ragual in “Wicked”

Kudos to Karen Tan. lead performer and director; leads and special guests, Alvin Alba; Anna Estrada Rejante; Candace Santos; Emil Zarris, Jasmine Elaine Ragual; Jason Nunez; Michael Masangkay; and the youth group and parents performers.

A huge applause to the Youth Group Mentors: Randy Muere; Michelle Ombao; Nicholai Cusi; Michael Ombao; Monika Dalmacio; Katherine Galang; Ryan Muere; and Russel Ombao; the musicians/band Aaron Abanador; Renato Buzon; Michael Ombao; Wayne Alphonso; and Mack Alphonso;  the props and costumes team: Marian Cusi; Edgardo Cusi; Anna Torres; and Nilo Santos; and the entire production crew.  Special mention towards the every supportive parents who provided food to the entire production crew during the rehearsals.

Anna Estrada Rejante and male dancers in a scene of “Chicago”

Anna Estrada Rejante and male dancers in a scene of “Chicago”

The event was made possible with the generous sponsorship of the Alex Chiu Golf Tournament and the Mayor Frank Scarpiti Annual Chinese New Year Dinner, and the numerous other sponsors, donors, and advertisers — businesses, institutions, organizations and individuals — who stepped up to the plate.

Philippine Consul General Junever Mahilum-West delivered the encouraging and appreciative greetings.  Official emcee role was rendered by Alice Chiu.

Altogether, the show was not only a display of the outstanding skills and talents of this group of Filipino-Canadian performers, but a manifestation of the generosity of all those involved to the very worthy cause they had worked hard for: to help the Typhoon Haiyan survivors of their country of origin.  (MAG)

Karen Tan in “Chicago”

Karen Tan in “Chicago”

Michael Masangkay in “Hairspray”

Michael Masangkay in “Hairspray”

Ma-Anne Dionisio as Special Guest Performer in A Taste of Broadway (Photo taken from the concert poster.)

Ma-Anne Dionisio as Special Guest Performer in A Taste of Broadway (Photo taken from the concert poster.)

Alice Chiu introducing musical numbers and guest speakers

Alice Chiu introducing musical numbers and guest speakers

Consul General Junever Mahilum-West thanks Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, the performers, Councillor Alex Chiu and Alice Chiu for the Taste of Broadway show in support of the Yolanda survivors.

Consul General Junever Mahilum-West thanks Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, the performers, Councillor Alex Chiu and Alice Chiu for the Taste of Broadway show in support of the Yolanda survivors.

TASTE OF BROADWAY supports Yolanda survivors  Emil Zarris, Karen Tan, Michael Masangkay on curtain call. (PHOTOS: HG)

TASTE OF BROADWAY supports Yolanda survivors
Emil Zarris, Karen Tan, Michael Masangkay on curtain call. (PHOTOS: HG)