Returning to live theater for the first time since their critically acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY in 2019, Upstart presents a new, updated version of BREAKUPS & BREAKDOWNS, the “hit romantic comedy musical” (CNN Philippines) that was the theater company’s musical debut over a decade ago. Starring, among others, theater stalwarts Reb Atadero (ANG HULING EL BIMBO), Tanya Manalang-Atadero (MISS SAIGON), and Nelsito Gomez (THE RECONCILIATION DINNER), the “very funny” (The Philippine Star) BREAKUPS & BREAKDOWNS is a lighthearted look at modern-day dating and relationships. It features a libretto by Aliw Awardee Joel Trinidad (GUADALUPE: THE MUSICAL) and music by fellow Aliw Awardee Rony Fortich (THE QUEST FOR THE ADARNA). Nicky Triviño, the only Filipino member of the prestigious Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York City, also stars in the show and co-directs it along with Trinidad. Rachel Coates, Sarah Facuri, and Joel Trinidad complete the cast.
The “clever and witty” (Jose Mari Chan) musical has enjoyed five separate productions since 2010, and a new one was planned for 2020, to commemorate Upstart’s 10th year anniversary. “But the pandemic scuppered our plans,” ruefully declares Trinidad, who is also Upstart’s Artistic Director. Instead of a full production, the decision was made to present an online mini-concert, featuring some key songs performed by cast members from previous productions, along with some talents from the Ice Seguerra-produced BREAKUPS & BREAKDOWNS CD. “It was a success,” enthuses Trinidad, “but it left me wanting more.”
With the lockdown effectively keeping him (and, of course, the rest of the world) inside for over a year, Trinidad now had time to revisit this musical. With the expert guidance of Upstart’s Creative Director and resident dramaturg Triviño (with whom Trinidad co-directed the smash-hit MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT in 2017 and 2018), he painstakingly revised the text in key places, adding new songs (again composed by Rony Fortich), new characters, and new scenes to deepen the “must-watch” (Our Awesome Planet) material, making it tighter, more relevant, and— he hopes— more entertaining. “It’s the same show overall,” shares an enthusiastic Triviño. “But if you liked it before, we think you’ll like it even more now.”
Upstart Productions presents BREAKUPS & BREAKDOWNS by Joel Trinidad and Rony Fortich. Directed by Joel Trinidad and Nicky Triviño. April 15 (3 pm), April 16 (3 pm and 8 pm), April 22 (3 pm and 8 pm), and April 23 (3 pm) at the “Creative Arts Centre, The British School Manila, 38th Street, BGC, Taguig. For ticket inquiries, call or text Upstart at 09178116156 or email them at upstartproductionsinc@admin