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Three leading women each shine in three concerts

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A PERFORMER who can sing, dance, and act exceptionally well is known as a triple threat. This year, three women in Philippine musical theater who are considered as such are the featured performers in the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) aptly titled concert series, Triple Threats.

The concert series performances will be held at the CCP’s Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez (Black Box Theater) from July to December.

Each solo concert will feature songs personally selected by each of the artists. This puts the spotlight on these multifaceted women, who get to tell a unique narrative through their selection of music.

Since the Triple Threats serieskicked off in 2013, many Filipino theater stalwarts have graced the stage and put on concept concerts. Previous years saw the likes of Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo, Audie Gemora, Nonie Buencamino, Sheila Francisco, Michael Williams, and Bituin Escalante show off their talents.

“This series started with the goal to showcase performers who can sing, act, and dance. It’s great to see that it’s now on its 11th year, with so many who have this complete package,” said Ariel Yonzon, associate artistic director of CCP’s production and exhibition department, at a June 2 press conference.

This year’s lineup features musical theater performers Carla Guevara Laforteza, Shiela Valderrama Martinez, and Tanya Manalang Atadero.

CARLA GUEVARA LAFORTEZAKicking off this year’s series on July 25 at 7:30 p.m. is Carla Guevara-Laforteza with a show titled A la Carlotta.

One of the strongest and most fearless stage performers in the Philippines today, Ms. Guevara-Laforteza has graced the international musical theater scene with notable roles like Kim and Gigi in Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Dreary Lane in London (1995-1997), and the Club singer and Flo Manero for the Asian tour of Saturday Night Fever (2015). She is also currently touring Asia as an official vocalist for Disney in Concert (2023-2025).

Among her notable roles in local theater include Joy in Ang Huling El Bimbo, for which she received the 2019 LEAF Award for Most Outstanding Actress in a Musical, and Kapitana Mary Jane in Rak of Aegis, for which she was awarded the GEM Award for Best Featured Artist. She is currently appearing as Edith and Rose in the new Ben&Ben musical, One More Chance.

Ms. Guevara-Laforteza is celebrating her 30th year in the industry, which led her to make this concert different from anything she’s done before. “I already did a concert of all the solos I’ve ever done. This time, I’ll do songs I want to sing, songs that I bop my head to from movies and pop culture,” she said.

“This is really a repertoire you won’t expect me to do. It’s called A la Carlotta because it’s according to me. It’s what I want to do,” she added.

Songs to expect include “He Opens a Window” from Joseph the Dreamer and “Spain” by Al Jarreau. The show will be helmed by musical director Gerard Salonga and Paolo Valenciano.

SHIELA VALDERRAMA MARTINEZThe second concert in the Triple Threats series features Shiela Valderrama-Martinez.

Directed by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the show on Oct. 17 includes songs from Disney and Broadway musicals that Ms. Valderrama-Martinez does not usually get to sing.

Her 30-year career has earned her LEAF Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, Awit Awards for Best New Female Recording Artist, and Aliw Awards for Excellence in Dramatic Performance. Among her notable roles are Lily Dela Rosa in Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical, Katherine Lyons in the critically acclaimed musical Dani Girl, Kapitana Mary Jane in Rak of Aegis, and Fosca in Stephen Sondheim’s Passion.

More recently, Ms. Valderrama-Martinez performed at The Dream is a Wish Disney Orchestra Concert in Genting, Malaysia. Coming from this, the goal for her show is to chart her journey as a performer.

“I like to think our entire body of work has led us to getting this opportunity. We all have our own flavor as performers, and I hope you all come to our concerts to experience that,” she said.

Songs to expect include “When You Wish Upon A Star”from the Disney animated film Pinocchio and “Quiet” from Matilda the Musical.

TANYA MANALANG ATADEROClosing out the series on Dec. 12 is Tanya Manalang-Atadero.

Despite being the youngest performer in this year’s lineup, she is one of the most accomplished actresses on the musical theater stage. Her skills and talent have brought her the world over, from New Manila, Quezon City, to the West End of London. She has played roles such as Kim in the West End revival of Miss Saigon, Liesl Von Trapp in the classic musical The Sound of Music, Carla in the Atlantis Production of In The Heights, Stacy King in All Out of Love, and Aileen in PETA Theater’s 5th season of Rak of Aegis.

For the latter two roles, she garnered the Aliw Award and GEMS Award for Best Actress in Musical. She is also currently part of the touring singing group The Jet Theaters, performing in events across Asia.

Ms. Manalang-Atadero’s show, set for the end of the year, is still in development.

“It will be a story of my journey. I will definitely sing songs from musicals I did and songs you also won’t expect,” she said. “There will be OPM for sure.”

The three concerts will be held at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez at the CCP Complex in Pasay City. Standard tickets cost P1,000 while VIP tickets cost P1,500, both of which are available via TicketWorld and the CCP Box Office. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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