By: Chandra Pepino, 29 August 2015
Despite the four-month furlough brought about by the shift in the Ateneo academic calendar, blueREP was teeming with performances both in and out of campus last summer. The organization was set to participate in three major gigs: a collaboration with makeup giant NARS, a sneak peek for the Ateneo freshmen at Orsem 2015: Lundag, and a themed performance for the fantasy-inspired California Ice Cream Wonderland.
Makeup enthusiasts rejoiced last June 16 as the country’s very first NARS boutique held its grand opening at Central Square, Bonifacio Global City. blueREP was present to liven up the event with an aca pella rendition of Rent’s “Seasons of Love.”
Celine Bengzon, who teamed up with AM Masucol as co-musical directors of the event, recalls it as a nod to the popular “flash mob” style of performance: “The performers were scattered. Some were in the boutique, while some were by the cocktail area. Then on cue, the sopranos started singing and everyone came together at the center.”
The small but determined group of only eight performers wowed the crowd sans fanfare and instruments. “What I liked most about this gig is that it wasn't somewhere typical you'd expect a musical theatre song number to be. Performing with blueREP is always a great experience,” Jessica Orense, one of the performers, enthuses.
Two months later, the Ateneo was finally ready to open its doors to the new school year via the OrSem 2015: Lundag. blueREP had the opportunity to walk the talk by pumping up the freshmen with “Jump” and “Any Way You Want It,” then showing off some serious skill with “Defying Gravity.” Thanks to the musical direction of KC Kane, the performance went off without a hitch, despite some technical difficulties.
Project Head Kyla Frencillo enumerates the many challenges leading up to the event. “It was by far the most challenging gig I’ve ever managed,” she says. “But despite all that, it was one of the most fulfilling. We managed to perform a beautiful number for the freshies.”
The high-energy choreography was put together by Jamie Ozamiz. “blueREP's OrSem performance is always supposed to be this big production number, so I felt a lot of pressure to have to live up to that with my choreography,” she says. “You always have to level off with your performers in terms of what they can or can't handle. Thankfully, this year’s performers were all so game to try new things, and to push their stamina, energy, and endurance. I was really pleasantly surprised at how hardworking the atmosphere was.”
For the final gig of the summer, blueREP was invited to dress up as the iconic characters of Alice in Wonderland for an event helmed by the California Milk Advisory Board at the Mind Museum last August 8. California Ice Cream Wonderland truly was a mecca of whimsy, flavor, and magic, and blueREP added to the ambience by performing “Welcome to Wonderland” and “Together” from Wonderland the Musical, along with a skit written by Celine Bengzon.
Props go to costume designer Mikka Espino, who put together the most elaborate outfits for Alice (Regina Velez), the White Rabbit (AM Masucol), the Queen of Hearts (Jamie Ozamiz), and the Mad Hatter (Luis Yatco). The costumes truly brought the characters to life and made the whole experience all the more exciting for both the performers and the kids at the event.
Welcome back to the school year, blueREPPERS! Stay tuned for more gigs!
Want blueREP at your next event? Contact Celine Bengzon at 0917 805 2352 for additional details.