Friday, March 14, 2014

Cherie Gil as Diana Vreeland on Full Gallop: Authentically Amazing Performance

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Only the one and only Cherie Gil can pull off a portrayal that entertains the audience from start until end. The one-and-a-half hour one-woman play was an awesome autobiographical spectacle of the essence of fashion icon Diana Vreeland at a time when she was let go as a the Fashion Editor of a famous magazine.

Cherie Gil's performance seems so effortless that she leaves you with an insatiable urge to steadily watch out for the next cocky thing she would say on stage. Never dull, never boring, you'll enjoy every statement that comes out of her, while she playfully interacts with the audience.

And the scene with the flowers, .... Oooppps!!! I wouldn't want to give out spoilers. I better stop myself while I can. All I should say is that you've never seen anything elegantly captivating like this before.

Be sure to get the full glimpse of Cherie Gil as Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater located in RCBC Plaza Makati City. Only 5 shows are scheduled so it will be a great disappointment if you miss it.

March 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23, 2014 only.

Thank you also to sir Joselito "Toots" O. Tolentino for using my photos of Cherie Gil (taken during the press launch at Salon De Ning located inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel) that was included in the Full Gallop souvenir magazine. We were given Full Gallop souvenir magazines during the registration before the play that night and Sir Toots was excited to show the photos to me when I arrived. When he noticed the fault in the credits, he immediately asked somebody to check if they could still correct it on the next printing.

Though there's a bit of error on the credits on the magazine because it was credited to another photographer (probably due to the rush in publication because they wanted the magazine to make it on the Full Gallop press preview), I am still very proud knowing it's my work and that an eccentric publicists like Tita Toots has chosen them to be a part of the souvenir magazine.

It is not everyday that you receive a text message from a person, widely known for his class and exquisite taste, and request to have your photos included in the souvenir magazine they were working on. I appreciate that my shots were selected and made a part of an amazing production starring a big celebrity like Cherie Gil.

Last March 14, 2013's press preview of Full Gallop proves that Cherie Gil remains a phenomenal character actress and the best choice  to portray fashion icon and former editor of fashion magazines Diana Vreeland.

The play started at around 8 pm, but before that members of the press were treated to some snacks at around 6 pm. An after-performance sort-of presscon was held where we got the chance to interview the people responsible for Full Gallop like G. Toengi who has a special participation that I should not reveal yet until the shows are all done, and director Bart Guingona, who as always, gave very intellectual and deep answers. It shows how passionate he is with his work because it seems "lagi siyang may pinaghuhugutan ng inspirasyon."

We should also take note of the fabulous outfit worn by Cherie Gil that was designed by top Filipino fashion designer Rajo Laurel. It was said that she will be wearing different outfits on every performance so that will be another great reason why you should watch more than one performance.

I am also sure that Cherie Gil, aside from becoming more comfortable with her role, will continue to give surprise adlibs in her stage acting every night. What is so enchanting about stage plays is that you'll definitely see something different in every performance, and that it gets better and better every night.

You'll also be at awe with the stage design which was almost all red (similar to the picture we saw of Diana Vreeland seated in her living room), with a lengthy red curtain that seems to go on forever from the ceiling down to the stage floor. There was a lighting that projected an appearance like it came out from window slits causing a dramatic effect over the picture frames that decorated the center wall, and plenty of books especially the LOUVRE book, with big bold letters, adorn the stage to authentically complete the accuracy and timeline of the story. The many flowers you see on stage has a funny story to tell as well, but I will let you find out for yourself what it is.

The make-up was also very faithful to the appearance of Diana Vreeland. It made Cherie Gil look a lot like the fashion icon especially under the wonderful stage lighting (as compared to the photos we have seen of the fashion dame). There were several instances that she definitely physically personified Diana Vreeland. Kudos to the make-up artists!

From a quote I got from the play which goes something like this: Not everything authentic is interesting when it's ugly, Full Gallop is a beautiful rendition of a formidable character that once lived and left a stunning mark during her time. The production team were able to authentically bring back Diana Vreeland live on stage, in all her beauty, for the appreciation of many, especially the ones who will be meeting her for the very first time.

I thought at first that Full Gallop, being a monologue of sorts, would be very difficult for the single character to maintain the interest of the audience. But I was surprised at the fact that the audience were somewhat also pulled into the story-telling (not literally, of course). An hour passed by already when they announced a 10 minutes break before continuing with the second scene, but it seemed only minutes for me - which only means I was hooked with the performance. Bravo!!!

I must also say that it is a performance that is quite unlikely to be equally portrayed well by other known theater personalities. Cherie Gil made a sterling performance that commanded full attention from the audience. Just like what Bart Guingona, the director of Full Gallop reiterated, only the one and only Cherie Gil can pull this off ... with flying bright red colors!

Congratulations for a job well done!

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