Upstart Productions, known for staging funny and usually farcical shows brings back an updated version of its hit original musical.  With book & lyrics by Joel Trinidad and music by Rony Fortich, Breakups & Breakdowns spotlights real-life couples Tanya Manalang-Atadero & Reb Atadero, Sarah Facuri & Nelsito Gomez, Nicky Triviño & Joel TrInidad, together with Rachel Coates in its stellar cast.

With Upstart’s reputation, one would think if the show can “hugot” a tear or two from the audience who might expect it given the show title. We found out at an exclusive sneak peek, that audiences are in for a surprise after the cast, joined by the composer shared their favorite scenes in the show.

Breakups & Breakdowns

Rachel Coates giggled and shared, “I get to flirt with Nelsito Gomez again”. Rachel and Nelsito did Romeo & Juliet in 2015. She confesses, “It was such a great experience but being so young, we didn’t know how to play up something flirty. She adds, “Now, it’s so much fun, it’s so great!”

Rony Fortich enjoys Nelsito’s number called “Be Prepared”. The composer honestly discloses, “It’s one of my least favorite songs in my life”. He took out a section which he felt was too long and reworked it with Joel’s more family-friendly lyrics. That particular song about contraception turned out to be “so much fun to watch”, Rony added.

Nicky Triviño who co-directs the show with Joel sings the number with the highest note in the entire musical. Compared to the rest of the songs, it is quite different because of its jazzy arrangement with “Lost and Found” from “City of Angels” as the peg. She says, “It’s really fun but it’s really hard”.  She enjoys and dreads doing it because of the “belty” parts that were previously done by ultimate belter Lana Jalosjos. For actors, it feels like a real accomplishment to be able to sing a song that requires a huge range and comedic skills. Nicky says, “It’s so fun to do, like if you are able to do it”. 

Without any biases, Joel Trinidad interrupts and says that it, too, is his favorite. “The song is great, she sings it well, and then she’s acting as a character acting as another character. There are all sorts of players because she’s acting as if, sort of faking something. There is a lot of potential for comedy there”.

Tanya Manalang answered excitedly that her favorite is her 11 o’clock number which is a new addition to this staging. Her fellow actors chuckled when Tanya said, “It’s high”! She enjoys the song especially written with her range and vocal prowess in mind, a song that her whole character leads up to.

Reb who also directed the same show years ago for Ateneo Blue Repertory, loves his scenes where he is not singing and doesn’t have to hide behind notes. He says, “Any scene that I have with any of these guys that is not scored”. He adds, “that’s what I enjoy performing because it’s like a high-wire act… an exercise of trust and understanding”.

As a viewer, Sarah Facuri loves the duet between Reb and Nel called “Time to Go”. She says, “Their dynamic is so great and it’s so fun to watch. I super enjoy that number”. 

Reb had to come back to include scenes that he loves to watch: “Aside from the 11 o’clock number because it’s the first time I’m seeing it, I absolutely love the opening of Act 2. I love the way Rony wrote that. I love the lyrics too”. 

Breakups & Breakdowns runs at Creative Arts Centre, The British School Manila, 38th Street BGC, Taguig on April 15 at 3pm, April 16 at 3pm & 8pm, April 22 at 8pm, and April 23 at 3pm.

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