Manila, 18 November—We caught the staging of musical "Waitress" over the weekend and it was so damn amazing. The stellar Joanna Ampil plays Jenna, head baker at Joe's Diner who is great at baking pies, but not so much at decision-making in general. Haha. When the musical opens, we find that Jenna is pregnant—a not-so-ideal situation for her, considering that her husband Earl is abusive as heck, and the play picks up from there and does not look back.
While the play revolves mainly around Jenna's predicament, the stories of her workmates at the diner are just as interesting. In the play, we also get to know the vivacious Becky, who is played by the stunning Bituin Escalante, and the timid Dawn, who is played by the just as arresting Maronne Cruz (who, by the way, looks like my sister!)
Also: Take a few moments to be in awe of this magnificent set! That centerpiece turns like a lazy susan, it's magical.
The men in the play are scene-stealers as well, but perhaps the most charming of them was Ogie, who charms the pants off of Dawn. Nino Alejandro plays Ogie perfectly, who is odd in all the right places, and his comedic pulse is fantastic (The British are coming!)
Speaking of coming—I was also rather surprised to find that a play about baking piescan be so naughty! It was such a delight to watch. (And then I realized, how the hell could I have been surprised, have I learned nothing from American Pie??)
Bituin Escalante is Becky, Joanna Ampil is Jenna, and Maronne Cruz is Dawn in the Manila staging of Waitress, the first outside of the US.
We really made it a point to catch this staging of Waitress because C is such a fan of Sara Bareilles. We've spent many nights listening to her Waitress album at home, and it's so surreal to just sit there and watch and listen as it comes to life in the hands of Joanna, Bituin and Maronne.
I loved Bituin's rendition of I Didn't Plan It (!!! oh mygod pawer) and Maronne's When He Sees Me (for anyone's who's ever been anxious of going on that life-changing first date, this captures it really damn well, and Maronne totally nails it), but if anything watch it for Joanna's She Used To Be Mine, which totally wrecked us. Joanna is so good in this. Please go watch her.
Something about school spirit
We were less than happy about the performance of the UP Pep Squad at this year's UAAP Cheerdance Competition, but the minute I saw NU's back-breaking floor routine I thought, Wala na uwian na may nanalo na grabe kayo di nga ako makabangon nang maayos sa kama paminsan. Haha. Their stunning performance notched the well-deserved championship this year, as Adamson failed their back-to-back bid and placed 2nd runner-up, while FEU got first runner-up. It is also worth noting that UST Salinggawi's Beyonce routine was at 4th place—just 0.5 points behind the third placer. UE placed 5th (my brother, a gymnastics nerd, thinks they should have placed much higher), and as the score sheet would bear out, it was wayyy above UP's 6th placer points. Much sad.
However, this sadness was overshadowed by our joy at the Ateneo squad's performance—in fact, UP placed 6th out of 8 squads, just 10 points above Ateneo, whose crowd is absolutely so damn proud they did not finish 8th—that spot now belongs to DLSU, whose routine this year is so damn memeable.
Anyway, ganyan rin ang feeling namin sa 1-13 win-loss card ng Men's Basketball team dati haha, BUT times have truly changed for the UP Maroons. Imagine: We are now cheering for UP in Men's Basketball and Ateneo in the CDC? What a time to be alive.
The Maroons snapped a 21-year drought and finally broke into the Final Four on Wednesday, beating La Salle, 97-81. Exciting times ahead for the Maroons! I don't want to jinx it by getting so invested, but deep inside I am a screaming fangirl.