Tuesday, March 07, 2006
This was meant to be an exclusive article for a daily publication butseeing as we are almost closing and we haven't been published yet...I just though I would tell you about our beautiful Belles....
KC, KAREL AND I
By Chari Arespacochaga
There is nothing I look forward to the most than starting rehearsalsfor a show. For BEAUTY AND THE BEAST I had more reason to beespecially excited, two in fact, in the persons of Kc Concepcion andKarel Marquez.When last I worked with KC, we were doing THE LITTLE MERMAID whereshe played Princess Sapphire. Karel, I remember from her performanceas Tiny Tim in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I was looking forward to seeinghow much they have grown since then.
Rehearsals always begin with a sort of nervous energy coupled witheager anticipation. When our two Belles joined us for rehearsalsthey immediately connected with everyone. KC was gregarious andbubbly as she reunited with some actors she’s worked with before andgamely initiated introductions with the rest of the company members.Karel’s sweet softspoken nature endeared her to everyone. It wasnice to see them go out of their way to make everyone comfortablearound them. And with all the niceties of introductions and getting-to-know-you’s out of the way, we could all get to work.
GETTING INTO CHARACTER
KC and Karel were more than ready to get to work, they buckled downand embraced every part of the challenge of playing Belle.
They have been taking voice classes, learning their music, learningtheir choreography, learning their blocking, and out of all this,creating a Belle that is uniquely their own.
We have had long days of repetition, correction, revision,improvisation coupled with laughter and lots of teasing includingKarel teasing her mom, Pinky (who is also in the show as Mrs. Potts)about her incredible vibrato as well as teasing KC about the bookshopphotos she emailed from Paris that had… more than just books in thephoto. And now, we have a Belle. We have two Belles!
There is a Belle that is as spunky as she is graceful while there isone who is as intense and she is sweet. There is a Belle that is astender as she is strong while there is one who is as vulnerable asshe is daring. There is a Belle who is as much of a dreamer as thesetwo young girls who are living a dream as they work to play this part.
Watching them makes rehearsals interesting everyday. Seeing whatthey are creating also makes you think that perfection comes in manycolors.
KC and Karel will be the best reasons to watch this show twice.
The real privilege of getting to work with KC and Karel does not stopat seeing them creating Belle but in seeing them learning the craftand striving to be excellent.
On several rehearsal days we also welcomed visits from Lea Salongaand Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo who were generous enough to take the twounder their wings and gave impromptu mini-master-classes to these twogirls. Needless to say we had two very nervous, starstruck Belleson those days. They sat enraptured as they took in notes and learnedfrom the experiences of these two theatre divas.
When asked later on what they learned aside from “vocalize beforerehearsals,” the two agree that the most valuable nugget they caughtwas that their lives outside of the rehearsals and the workplaceneeds to service and compliment what they need to do at work the nextday.
And so with every next day of rehearsals since we began I have seenKC and Karel get more focused, more determined and yet more generousand more gracious with everyone around them. When they walk into therehearsal room now, they bring a spirit of sincerity and genuinefriendship with them. And when they walk onstage, they bring magic.
As for me, I am just watching my “Bebe” and my “Karelski” andrealizing that they are not just growing… they are blooming in thisnew challenge as musical theatre actresses. And whatever the ‘nextday’ may bring, I know for sure that they have found a new homeonstage.
Atlantis Productions, Globe Gizmo Prepaid and Eskinol’s staging ofDisney’s BEAUTY & THE BEAST begins its Limited Engagement on June16th at Meralco Theatre. For tickets call Atlantis Productions at892-7078, 840-1187 or Ticket World at 891-9999.
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