The Legends and The Classics: The Review

The last time I saw Lea on a concert with someone else was with Otoniel Gonzaga. I could be wrong though but that's actually what I remember so far. These past few months, Lea Salonga has been performing everywhere and I missed the first few gigs so I told myself that I MUST be there for her last two performances (before she leaves for US next week) - the one at The Venice Piazza and the CCP show with Lisa Macuja and Cecile Licad. The Piazza gig was amazing. Lea was great as ever despite having a strep throat. She performed every song beautifully you wouldn't even notice that she is suffering from strep throat.

For The Legends and The Classics, however, the journey during the first day was horrible! I hate that it's traffic everywhere I went. Blame it on the Grand Central fire that lasted way too many time than a fire usually takes place (it started 9pm-ish the day before and ended after OVER 24 hours - Yes, when I went home at 1am-ish, my cousins told me the firemen just called total fire-out). LRT was so effin' siksikan; something I DON'T miss about commuting. When I arrived at the Vito Cruz station, the traffic was the same. I texted Betsy and Jeff to ask where they are already, but their situation is way worse than mine. Good thing traffic wasn't as horrible as it was in 5th Avenue and I was able to arrive at the CCP by 7:30pm. At around 7:45pm, I finally decided to enter the theatre even if they’re not there yet. I was a bit worried because there aren’t a lot of people yet walking in to the theatre, thinking that it was because of the traffic. I texted Betsy and Jeff again to ask if they're already in the area but it was hopeless – both of them were stuck in the effin’ traffic! When the show started at 8:15pm, the house wasn't even nearly half full. I was very worried about them so I kept my phone beside me, outside my bag.

(DAY 1, 17th March 2012) The parts that I LOVE:
1. The Opening: I've tweeted about this last night and I still feel the same - putting 3 legends on stage and making all three of them perform at the same time is a BAD idea. Not because it was such a horrible concept, it's just because I can’t concentrate on just one of them and the opening perfectly summed up my point. On the other hand, because those three artists are unbelievable and obviously talented, the Opening (Nais Ko) turned out absolutely gorgeous!

2. I'd Give My Life For You: Miss Saigon, for me, will never get old and hearing this song made me fall in love with it over again. It just sounds so different now that Lea is a mother herself.

3. The Michel Legrand Medley: I have to admit, I never know who Michel Legrand is ‘til Lea tweeted about it. It was interesting for me because it's a new set of songs that I heard, but I think she did it flawlessly.

4. The Broadway Medley: Whenever Lea Salonga performs a Broadway Medley, you can always expect it to be great. I love hearing that medley again. Although, I wish she performed Electricity instead of For Good. It will be a good combo especially with the Ballet Manila dancing on the background.

Speaking of Ballet Manila...

5. The Dying Swan Number: Last night was the first time I get to watch THE Lisa Macuja perform live and I must say, there's definitely a reason why she was called a Prima Ballerina. Her spot turns were so smooth and she glides gracefully all over the stage. I especially love the Dying Swan number because it was just her on stage. When you're alone dancing on stage, telling a story through dance is harder; Lisa Macuja did it very well. I saw a 'swan dying' and not the Prima Ballerina named Lisa Macuja dancing on stage. For me, she's the most graceful swan ever!

6. Sana'y Walang Wakas: Again, the Lea-Cecile-Lisa was a bad combo! I can’t concentrate on just one of them because all of them were obviously talented. I love how Lea performed it; love how Lisa Macuja interpreted it in a dance, and Cecile Licad, OMG! Don’t get me started on this pianist! She's a badass pianist!

7. Souvenirs d' Andalousie, Caprice de Concert Sur La Cana, Op. 22 (Cecile Licad's 2nd Piano Solo): To be honest, I’m not a very big fan of classical music, especially piano solos but Cecile Licad is truly amazing! I love how she's one with the keyboards from the moment she laid her hands on the piano up to the end of her number. The number wasn't as long as the 1st and 3rd solos but what I liked about the 2nd solo is that it definitely showed her musical prowess.

8. Gerard Salonga: I love watching Gerard whenever he’s conducting. I like it when he’s almost dancing while conducting; I like the way he sways his hips, taps his feet, and bangs his head like a rock star! Plus! I love the smile on his face after a show. He and Lea are just freakingly talented!

(Manang and Us,Day 1: (Fr. L-R) Jeff, Me, Lea, Betsy, Tin S, and Nic) 

9. The Meet and Greet: Whenever we watch a Lea Salonga show, the meet and greet is always the fun part. Not only because we get to see and talk with Lea herself, but because the meet and greet part is where we either make it or break it. When you’re an AFLSer, you usually line up at the very last. Not because we're special or anything but simply because (they) said that we're the 'sign' that it's already the end of the line. Plus, we usually take time talking with each other pa and take multiple photos (solos with Lea PLUS group pictures). Last night's meet and greet was fun not only because of that, but also because Nic signed our program! It was cute! Nic was seated beside Lea as she was signing programs and even has her own pen and paper with her, scribbling while mommy's signing autographs, too!

And now...

(DAY 1, 17th March 2012) The parts that I'm NOT a big fan of:

1. Paquita Grande Divertissement: I love ballet but sometimes I don’t understand what they are dancing about. This part was actually amusing, but I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m just used to our style of dance where every number tells a story and this number is the complete opposite of that. The choreography was beautiful, but I really just don’t get the story (if there’s even one). Also, the chorus hurt my eyes a bit because they're not as precise as how (I think) they should be. For me, as a dancer, precision is what makes a group dance wonderful. No matter what the dance is about or how excellent the choreography is, if you are not synchronized with the dancer to your left and right, the number will be a disaster. I remember when I was still a very active dancer, one of the most important lessons I have learned is precision. During a workshop in Bayanihan and during rehearsals for a concert, our teachers and choreographers kept telling us that our movement must be the same with the chorus. I'm sure Ballet
Manila have mirrors in their dance studio so precision is expected in every group dance. I just wish they would get better on the second and last night.

2. The Disney Medley: I call this one 'The Confusing Medley' because of how the songs are mashed up. Maybe I’m just used to how the song goes that each turns made it sound so weird. Until now, I still can't get over with "You can paint with all the color of a whole new wooooooooorld..." Don't get me wrong though, I couldn't say anything bad as how Lea performed it because it was really good but how it was arranged kinda sounds confusing to me. Maybe I’ll get to love it if I get to hear it more than just one time.

3. The Lights: There was a part where Lea was singing while the Ballet Manila was dancing and suddenly, the lights to the dancers just went out! Uh oh! Not a wise move, lights man!

4. The AVP: I love the AVP; I think Paul Soriano did a great job directing that but there was a part where, during The Broadway Medley, the video wall suddenly went blank. Before it went blank, Mr. AVP man made a mistake forwarding the slide to Wicked when Manang was singing On My Own (from Les Miz). Tsk tsk tsk!

5. Taking pictures DURING the CURTAIN CALL: I mean, CCP, come on! It's already the curtain call and I get that you must NOT take photos or videos or whatever during the performance but the show is almost over and I don’t understand why they still forbid people to take pictures during the curtain call. It's not my fault your security didn't inspect my bag carefully! (=

Last, but DEFINITELY not the least...

6. Lea Salonga's Microphone: At first I thought it was just me being a critic, but during the meet and greet everyone was saying (including Lea herself) how annoying her mic was because it was a bit mahina. During the meet and greet, when one of us asked if she did a sound check, Lea said that the mic (from the stage) sounded fine. However, I don’t know if someone was in the audience when she did a sound check but the mic just didn’t sound louder enough to reach the balcony. It was annoying because it made her songs not as striking as how it should be because of the volume of her mic.

Overall, I love the first day of The Legends and The Classics despite a few technical difficulties. Hopefully, the show will get better on the second day. To Lisa Macuja, Cecile Licad, Lea Salonga, Ballet Manila and FILharmoniKA, CONGRATULATIONS! It was a GREAT show!

UPDATE: The Legends and The Classics: DAY 2 (18th March 2012)

I had to thank Betsy for driving by National Bookstore to buy us tickets and we were able to watch the show again. I left the house early, fearing that I would experience yet another horrible traffic but I arrived at the CCP at 4:30 (ish) – definitely TOO EARLY for the 6pm show! Betsy, however, came in EARLIER than I did. We entered the theatre at 5:30pm and headed directly to our seat, this time at the Lower Box (Left Side). THANK GOD! The show was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy better than yesterday. Everything I said regarding my Day 1 review was trashed by Day 2… Well, except for one thing (and one tiny, tiny thing):

Manang and Me: Day 2

Everything (except the ones below)! Love the changes they made! It made the first night looked like it was just a DTR and tonight's show was the actual concert date! Plus, Betsy and I get to have a picture taken with Lea after the show! There was no meet and greet but good thing we waited at the Artist's Entrance for Lea. It was nice she said "Hi" to us and pose for a photo op! Rob was also there again! <3

1. Paquita Grande Divertissement: I’m sorry but for me, 2nd day is worse than the first day. I like the performance yesterday than today simply because today they are not just NOT precise, they’re also not sabay-sabay! SMH

2. Lea’s Grounded Mic: I have to give props to Manong tech for fixing Lea’s mic but during I Dreamed A Dream (or was it On My Own?), Lea’s mic sounded grounded for a minute. Good thing Manong tech was able to fix it agad!

For me, watching both nights was so sulit! Thank God Betsy and I decided to watch again! I love, LOVE the show! Again, to Lea Salonga, Lisa Macuja, Cecile Licad, Ballet Manila, and FILharmoniKA, CONGRATULATIONS! Sana may repeat!

(Image Sources: Poster - WhenInManila.com, Group Pic Day 1 - Jeff)

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