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Category Archives: MUSIC

Thank God for giving us Jhett Tolentino

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
–Arthur Schopenhauer

Jhett-Tolentino
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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — A Fil-Am doctor from Texas once told a group of sportswriters, including this writer, in Las Vegas that “it will take another 100 years before the Philippines can produce another Manny Pacquiao in boxing.”
In musical theater, let me say that 100 years are not enough for Iloilo City to produce another Jhett Tolentino.
Let me say further: thank God for giving Iloilo City and the Philippines Jhett Tolentino.
He is one of a kind. Unassuming and soft-spoken, Tolentino is one of the most intelligent Fil-Ams making waves in American entertainment world today.
If Michael Jordan is considered as the genius of basketball, Jhett Tolentino is the genius of musical theater.
Tolentino is God’s gift to the Philippines, now notorious for alleged state-directed EJKs (extra-judicial killings) involving drug pushers and addicts.

ISSUES

While Iloilo City is being battered by negative issues like “the most shabulized city in the Philippines” and “hometown of (the slain) drug lord Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr.”, New York City-based producer Tolentino restored the Ilonggo pride by clinching a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater for “The Color Purple” album in Hollywood on February 12, 2017.
The Iloilo-born artist shared the award with fellow producers Stephen Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Joan Raffe, and Scott Sanders; composers Brenda Russel and Allee Willis; and principal soloists Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks, and Jennifer Hudson.
Tolentino’s victory was a titanic accomplishment by any producer born and raised in the Philippines.
No other Filipino producer in recent memory has achieved such international honor.

TONY’S

In fact, Tolentino became only the second Filipino to win a Tony’s award in Broadway next to Lea Salonga when he captured three trophies: the first in 2013 for “Vanya and Sonia and Marsha and Spike” which starred Sigourney Weaver; and the two in 2014 as one of the producers of “A Raisin in the Sun” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”
A Raisin in the Sun,” which stars Denzel Washington, and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” respectively won Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical at the 68th Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 8, 2014.
Because of Tolentino’s extra-ordinary achievements in the global stage, he has become bigger than life that his name is now synonymous to world class.

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Posted by on March 8, 2017 in MEDIA, MUSIC

 

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George didn’t wake us up before he ‘go-go’

“I’m never gonna dance again guilty feet have got no rhythm though it’s easy to pretend I know your not a fool.”WHAM! in “Careless Whisper.”

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW JERSEY — In the past Christmases, George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) “gave us his heart.”
We didn’t give it away.
But last Christmas 2016, the reclusive British pop icon who once pricked his fans to “wake him up before you go-go”, decided to “go-go” for good without waking us up.
He bade farewell on Christmas Day, December 25.
And the world of pop music wasn’t saved from tears.
At 53, the Charismatic composer-singer, who serenaded the world as member of the dynamic duo Wham! with the spine-tingling “Careless Whisper” in 1984, succumbed to heart attack in Goring-on-Thames, United Kingdom, doctors said.
In our high school days, Wham! blossomed into a full-scale phenomenon with their 1983 debut album Fantastic, which charged to the top of the charts.
That’s my first date with Wham! However, when I first saw Wham’s! frame, I thought it was Andrew Ridgeley, George Michael’s best friend and partner, who was the lead vocalist.
At that time, another George–Boy George of the Culture Club–was giving Michael and Wham! a run for their money in Great Britain’s new pop boom.

ALBUM

According to the British newspaper, theguardian, Wham’s! second album, Make It Big (1984), turned them into a global success story, spinning off singles such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper, Freedom and Everything She Wants.
In 1985, Wham! achieved a massive publicity coup by becoming the first western pop group to visit the People’s Republic of China. The visit was filmed by the director Lindsay Anderson as Foreign Skies: Wham! In China (1986).
Like in the cases of other pop stars who died at the height of their popularity, George Michael’s death was also shrouded with controversy.
There were reports that several weeks before his death, George, who had open relationships with males, became reclusive and refused to display himself in public “because he did not like his new looks.”
Michael was also reportedly engaged in drug offense and was arrested and fined in 2010 drugs offences after admitting driving under the influence of drugs, having crashed his Range Rover into a Snappy Snaps photo store in Hampstead.

OBITUARY

His obituary stated that “in June 2012 Michael released the single White Light to mark the 30th anniversary of Wham Rap!. In March 2014 he released Symphonica, which became his seventh solo album to top the UK chart. This month, it was announced that he was working on a new album with producer and songwriter Naughty Boy. Also in the pipeline was a film, provisionally titled Freedom: George Michael, due to accompany the reissue of his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1. With Michael as narrator, the film would feature stars including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Liam Gallagher and Mary J Blige as well as the supermodels who had appeared in his Freedom! ’90 video.”
The obituary added: “His mother, Lesley, died in 1997. He is survived by his father and his two sisters, Melanie and Yioda. George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou), singer and songwriter, born 25 June 1963; died 25 December 2016.”

 

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