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Joseph the Dreamer returns to the stage

GARY VALENCIANO as Jacob in Trumpets’ staging of Joseph the Dreamer.

AFTER two years, Trumpets, Inc., reopens the musical theater scene with a limited run of Joseph the Dreamer at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater from July 15 to 31. In March 2020, Trumpets ended its run of the same show a week before the country went into a total lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were the last musical to close and complete our show in 2020. And now in 2022, we will be one of the first musical theater shows to reopen Philippine musical theater. And we thought of no better way to do that by sharing the story of Joseph the Dreamer again,” said Martin Jimenez, marketing head of Trumpets, in an online press conference on June 28.

“Joseph the Dreamer is a show that speaks to the family with messages of love and forgiveness. It is a show about enduring struggles with messages of perseverance, having grit, overcoming all obstacles, no matter how long it takes. And it is a show about having an unwavering faith in God,” he said. 

Written by Freddie Santos, the musical is based on Cam Floria’s cantata Dreamer: What Really Happened to Joseph, which is based on the biblical story of Jacob’s 11th son, Joseph.

First staged in Cebu in 1989, the musical was restaged several times in the past 30 years. The actors who have played the titular roles include Audie Gemora, Gary Valenciano, Franco Laurel, and Alvin de la Peña.

In this year’s production, Sam Concepcion, who played Joseph in the staging in 2020, reprises his role.

“We all went through the pandemic together. We’ve all gone through some personal hardships in the past one or two years. And so, in many ways, having that run right before the lockdowns is, to me, like preparation,” Mr. Concepcion said.

“I felt like I saw the whole story, before it actually happened in my life… [I’m] coming into this run with a new energy, and it’s more of a celebration for me now,” he said. 

Mr. Concepcion will share the stage with Mr. Valenciano and original cast member Mr. Gemora, who alternate as Joseph’s father, Jacob. 

“It’s good because I’m using now a different range of my voice, which allows me to express myself in better ways and in fresh new ways, because if it’s always up there, like the way I often sing, there might not be a difference between that character and the person that you see on stage,” said Mr. Valenciano 

SIGN LANGUAGEThe show scheduled on July 17, 3 p.m. will include a live Filipino sign language interpreter for the deaf-mute community.

Neo Rivera, who alternates with Mr. Concepcion as Joseph, said that the idea came from a friend’s suggestion. The idea was then pitched to the show’s creative team.

“It’s a first and we’re happy that Trumpets said yes to this. So hopefully there are more shows that are deaf friendly and more inclusive,” Mr. Rivera said.

Other actors reprising their roles are Kayla Rivera as Asenath, Carlo Orosa as the Pharaoh, and Bituin Escalante and Carla Guevarra-Laforteza alternating in the role of Rachel (Joseph’s mother).

Joining the rest of the cast are: Alys Serdenia, Aldo Vencilao, RJ Dela Fuente, Matthew Barbers, Carlos Canlas, Paul Anthony Valdez, Jim Ferrer, Renz Bernardo, Edrei Tan, Dan Delgado, Diego Aranda, Eggo Velasco, Mateo Jimenez, Anton Posadas, Kiara Dario, Jom Logdat, Coleen Paz, Samantha Libao, Kathleen Francisco, Justine Narciso, and young actors, Elai Estrella, and Eli Luis.

The musical is directed by Paolo Valenciano and Nelsito Gomez, with musical direction by Myke Salomon, choreography by MJ Arda of the A-Team, and production design by Mio Infante.

“This is actually a show on hope. It’s something that a lot of people lost the last couple of years, so we’re really hoping to inspire a lot of these people. We know that a lot of our audience are broken because of what’s happened in the last two years,” Mr. Valenciano said. 

“It’s the live exchange between an audience and a story and that synergy [is what] you can’t get anywhere else. So, the audience does get something out of it. They invest something and they get something back and that’s what theater is all about. And we’re glad that it’s starting to pick up again and that’s what we promote more than anything,” co-director Nelsito Gomez said.

For tickets, contact Ticketworld at 8891-9999 or visit https://bit.ly/JTD2022. Follow @JTDTheMusical and @trumpetsinc on Facebook and Instagram for updates. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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