Thanks to kind and generous hearts, there will be an early Christmas for Tuloy Foundation as their Santa Claus, who usually wear tight-fitting feline costumes delivered special treats for the kids of the foundation.
CATS, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on T.S. Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats opened in Manila on November 6. Halfway through the Manila run, GMG Theatrical Productions arranged a visit to Tuloy Foundation for a special meet & greet between the foundation’s young beneficiaries and the cast. The touring thespians lent their talents in giving song and dance workshops to the foundation’s theatre and ballet students, and to inspire them to become better performers.
Tuloy Foundation was founded in 1993 by Fr. Marciano “Rocky” G. Evangelista to get poor, abandoned, homeless children off the streets and into a safe, nurturing place they can call home, and give them direction, and the skills they will need in the real world.
Touched by what they witnessed and experienced at the foundation, the cast of CATS wanted to help out. Aside from donating personal money, they encouraged friends and family to also pitch in. Amy Whittle also led fellow cast members and hosted a fundraising concert so more people can have the opportunity to help build a new dance floor to help Tuloy’s aspiring theatre and ballet students.
The concert was a really fun evening that showcased selections from the cast’s favorite show tunes and popular Christmas songs. The numbers included “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by George Hinson and Sally Frith, “Waving Through A Window” by Liam Buckland, “Out There” by Brian Murray, “The Christmas Song” by Joanna Ampil, “Way Ahead of My Time” by Harry Francis, “Santa Baby” by Danielle Cato and Gabby Cocca, “There’s Always Tomorrow” by Cian Hughes, “Flower Duet” by Amy Whittle and Joe Henry Davies, “All I Want for Christmas is You”, “Popular”, and “Kumukutikutitap” by Joanna Ampil and the show’s musical director Mathieu Serradell. A girl who graduated from Tuloy Foundation also sang a song. The evening was capped by a Christmas sing-along with all the performers.
The group happily announced that the total money raised was PHP 278,000 (about 4,290 pounds). Amy Whittle said that the students “will have the opportunity to dance freely, express themselves and figure out what might be some confusing emotions and hopefully this will help them learn good technique”. Joonee Garcia of Tuloy Foundation also shared that the money raised will pay not only for the new dancefloor but also the refurbishment of the entire dance studio which will be aptly called the Jellicle Hall.
The cast also shared a framed poster of the show which was signed by the cast members. The foundation in turn also shared a special present to the cast – a whole bunch of fan mail from the kids watched them perform.
What a happy Christmas for everyone!