Ganns and I were blessed to score free tickets to see Footloose, the musical. With a cast headed by R&B prince Jay-R and Wow-wowie mainstay Iya Villania, I did not go with high expectations. I knew for a fact that these two were first timers in the musical stage and I prepared myself to be disappointed.
Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised. Jay-R is a great performer. His R&B background and US upbringing makes him perfect as Ren McCormack. His vocal stylistics transformed a pop musical into a cool modern R&B show. His dancing skills reminded me of Michael Jackson and Gary V. He is a joy to watch on stage. One cannot help but admire that kind of talent. As for Iya Villania, I would say she has a good but not exceptional voice. It was obvious that she had reservations on stage. She was unable to present the rebellious spirit of Ariel, the Reverend’s daughter. In fact, she came across as a sweet farm girl trying hard to be rebellious. In a musical, one cannot be reserved. Her stage presence was so-so and she got lost in the big musical numbers.
Theater greats such as Audie Gemora and Carla Martinez were of course, excellent but Agot Isidro-Sandejas surprised me so much. I never thought that her singing voice was so pure and perfect for the stage. I think she is one to watch out for in the coming years.
The show, even with Iya Villania, was still a joy to watch because the other members of the cast were great on stage. Those among us who were teens during the 80s will recognize many of the songs including “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”, “Almost Paradise”, “Holding Out For a Hero” and the title song “Footloose”. There are also other songs to look forward to including “Learning to be Silent”, “Mama Says” and “I Confess”.
In these troubled times, watching a musical may be considered an unnecessary expense but if you have the dough and wish to be entertained in a different way this September, Footloose is a good option for you. The show is staged at the Meralco Theater and the schedules are as follows:
8pm shows- Sept 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24
3pm shows- Sept 3, 4 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25