“Rama Hari” Cast to Perform Songs from the Show in Bayanihan Musikahan
Ballet Philippines’ Rama Hari, which was set to be a collaboration of five National Artists– Ballet Philippines Founder and Artistic Director Alice Reyes (National Artist for Dance), Ryan Cayabyab (National Artist for Music), Bienvenido Lumbera (National Artist for Literature), the late Salvador Bernal (National Artist for Theater Design), and the late Rolando Tinio (National Artist for Theater and Literature), was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The production was supposed to run from March 20-29 at the CCP Main Theater featuring the company of dancers from Ballet Philippines, and musical theater artists Gian Magdangal alternating with David Ezra as Rama, Aicelle Santos alternating with Shiela Valderrama-Martinez as Sita, Poppert Bernadas alternating with Nar Cabico as Ravana, Jimmy Marquez alternating with Kakki Teodoro as Soorpanakha/ Kooni, Sweet Plantado Tiongson alternating with Celine Fabie as Kaikeyi, Audie Gemora as King Dasaratha/ Lakshmana, and singer, dancer, and choreographer Brezhnev Larlar as Hanuman. They were to be joined by the Ryan Cayabyan Singers, the PWU Indayog Gong Ensemble, and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.
At 7pm tonight, the musical theater cast is coming together to perform songs from the show in Bayanihan Musikahan, an online movement started by Cayabyab to raise money for the vulnerable sectors in the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative has scheduled free online concerts everyday, encouraging audiences to donate to three organizations– Likhaan, Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid, and Caritas Manila. As of April 20, Bayanihan Musikahan has raised almost P52,000,000.
Theater artists who have already performed include Lea Salonga, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Gab Pangilinan, Kakki Teodoro, Arman Ferrer, Tim Pavino, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Aicelle Santos, and Gerald Santos, among many others.
Inspired by the Ramayana, Rama Hari premiered in February 1980 for Ballet Philippines’ 10th season and in November in the same year for its 11th season. It was produced once more in 1983 for its 30th season and in 2012 for its 43rd season, the latter featuring Christian Bautista alternating with OJ Mariano as Rama, and Karylle alternating with Kalila Aguilos as Sita.