Article from Malaya Entertainment

malayaent_siteMalaya Entertainment
April 2006

“From now on, when I buy rights for foreign plays, I’d make sure it’s not just for Manila but for all of Asia.”

– Monique Wilson



Monique to mount play for Asian market

What can Pampanga Gov. Mark Lapid say now that his ex-girlfriend Kris Aquino has admitted to being married to James Yap? “What else can I say but congratulations to both of them,” he says with sincerity. “I’m happy for her that she has finally found the man she’s looking for. I wish them all the best.”

He has just completed a new action flick, “Apoy sa Dibdib ng Samar,” to be shown on May 10, and he’s now being linked to leading lady Cristine Reyes. “Mahilig ka raw talaga sa mga Kristina at Cristine,” one writer tells him.
“Nataon lang po,” he smiles shyly. “At hindi pa naman po kami on ni Cristine. I’ve met her family and her mom is very nice to me.”

As a matter of fact, Cristine’s mom has been quoted she approves of Mark for Cristine but not Polo Ravales for Cristine’s Ate, Ara Mina. What can he say about this? “Ay, wala po akong alam diyan. I can only answer for myself.”
He’s thankful to the producers of Northeast Productions for choosing him to star in their first project. “’Apoy sa Dibdib ng Samar’ carries a relevant message about illegal logging, what with killer landslides having killed hundreds of people in Quezon, Samar and Leyte. I play a cop from Manila who goes home to our province to help my dad, Roi Vinzon, in his fight against Dick Israel, an illegal logger. Cristine plays a nurse in the film while Elizabeth Oropesa is my mom. Our director, Jose Kaka Balagtas, has prepared plenty of great and dangerous action sequences in the movie and I’m proud to say I did them all myself, without any double.”

Dominic Ochoa now has 40 outlets of Thumbs Up Ice Cream in various malls. But he remains busy with showbiz work. He’s hosting “Shall We Dance” with Lucy Torres on ABC-5 and is now playing a villain role in the ABS-CBN TV adaptation of Sharon Cuneta’s hit, “Bituing Walang Ningning.” Dominic is also busy with the opening of the new Nestle Creamery along Aurora Blvd. Our family has pleasant memories of this ice cream parlor when it was still known as Magnolia House. Nestle re-launches it now with a new invigorating atmosphere with vibrant colors and decors, plus an indoor playground for kids. Doesn’t this conflict with his own business?

“No, Thumbs Up is a sister company of Nestle,” says Dominic. “The market for ice cream is big in a hot country like ours.”

The grand opening of Nestle Creamery is star-studded, led by Richard Gomez. Celebrities who concocted their own ice cream combinations and served the crowd include Bianca Gonzales, Archie Alemania, Bobby Yan, and Dominic himself dressed in the attire of an ice cream man. A new offering in their circular counter are marble slabs where customers can invent their own recipes mixing various ice cream flavors. Nestle Creamery also has new ice cream cakes an pies that are perfect cool treats this summer. You can even have your birthday parties there. For details, call 415-7872.

Kudos to Monique Wilson for bringing more honors to our country. Her New Voice Company’s staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Aspects of Love” last year was a big hit and now, Singapore got it for staging at its Drama Center from April 28 to May 6. We’ve seen the musical, an intimate story about the lives and loves of five central characters played by Monique, Jake Macapagal, Leo Rialp, Jenny Jamora and Nikki Ventosa. Set in the South of France, Italy, and Paris, it’s about passionate desires and tangled emotions as reflected in the show’s most famous song, “Love Changes Everything.”

For the Singapore staging, Monique brought in her acting coach from London to do artistic supervision of the show, Dee Cannon, one of the head teachers at the acclaimed Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London. Having her proved to be a great learning experience for the Filipino performers. “We learned so much about the importance of improvisation,” she says. “And since she helps me with the direction, I can now focus more on my acting. My role as Rose is very taxing as I make more than 20 quick costume changes during the show.”

They had to make some changes for the Singapore staging. “The show here was staged at Republic of Malate, a very intimate venue. The Singapore Drama Center is so much bigger so we have to make the blocking and the production design more suited for a bigger stage. When we first went to the theater, my brother Jamie, who is our technical director, cried when he saw their technical facilities. Everything is high tech, working with just one push of a button. We don’t have that kind of equipment here.”

The play has generated enough buzz that there are now inquiries to stage it also in Malaysia and Vietnam.

“Our company has staged ‘Vagina Monologues’ before all over Asia but I’m very excited about this as this is our first musical. From now on, when I buy rights for foreign plays, I’d make sure it’s not just for Manila but for all of Asia.”