'Beauty and The Beast' cast on 'amazing' Manila audience
MANILA, Philippines – The cast of Beauty and The Beast has been retelling the timeless fairytale in several countries now, but they agreed that their performances in Manila were some of the best – for that, they want to thank the Filipino audience.
“Personally, this has been my favorite stop so far. It’s just… I don’t know – The weather’s so amazing, the people are so amazing. We have never seen hospitality like this. We’ve never had audience reactions like this. They are so warm and excited and the people meeting us at the stage door are giving gifts and it’s been really overwhelming. It’s been amazing, amaaaazing,” gushed Emily Mattheson, who plays motherly teapot Mrs. Potts.
Manila was one of the stops chosen for the production’s international tour, with Istanbul in Turkey as their kick-off point. Since then, they have traveled to Greece, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates to name a few.
For James May, who plays stern ‘head of the household’ clock Cogsworth, it felt like home. “It’s been amazing here because we did the show in America as well for years before going internationally, and here it kind of feels like performing again for an American audience – like the Philippine audience is really responding in similar ways which is fun for us ‘cause it’s like going back to what we did for a few years.”
What really differentiated the audience here from the audiences here in other countries was the thorough gratitude the Philippine audience had for the performers.
Adam Dietlein, who plays the notoriously shallow Gaston, however didn’t like the treatment he received.
He LOVED it. “Yeah, we’re treated like celebrities here in a way, and it’s new for me, big time. Everybody – you just see their smiles first, and then they want an autograph. They wanna give you treats, they wanna give you t-shirts. It’s a blast, it’s wonderful to be here.”
The cast only raved more about the places they’ve seen while they were here, when they squeezed in a few tours and excursions in their usually tight and busy schedule.
“We went to Taal Volcano the other day, we went river-rafting a couple weeks ago –“ began Hilary Maiberger, who plays Belle.
“We saw the Pope! The pope was here,” interjected Beast actor Darick Pead excitedly. “We experienced our first earthquake – I meant my first earthquake.”
Darick continued on to describe the amazing water and the view of the sunset during their visit to the Mall of Asia. “When we were hanging out at the Mall of Asia, it was so cool to see the sun setting like there’re like rows of people sitting there watching the sunset. It was amazing.”
The little Chips, William Poon and Charlie Jones, enthused about Manila Ocean Park and the beautiful weather. “I went to Ocean Park the other day and it was amazing. Everything that I have seen so far has been so great,” says William Poon.
Charlie then added about his experience after landing in the city. “I got out of the plane and I said, "Looks like I don’t need my jacket!”
While the production was given an extension up until February 8, Adam already predicted what would happen when the cast leaves the country for Bangkok, their next stop.
“When we have to leave, they’re going to have to carry us on a plane because we really don’t wanna go.”
Beauty and the Beast will have an extended run until February 8th at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Tickets are priced at P7,895, P6,845, P5,790, P4,740, P4,210, P3,160 and P2,105, plus applicable service charges. They are available at Ticketworld outlets (891-9999) and online at ticketworld.com.ph, beautyandthebeast.com.ph and facebook.com/beautyandbeastph. – Rappler.com
(The screengrab and the Instavideo embeds were from a video taken during the exclusive performance at the press conference in CCP on Tuesday, January 27. The video was filmed with permission from Ovation Productions and NETworks)