By Evo Joel Contrivida

The new Repertory is all about new leadership, new board, and new mission and vision as they celebrate 50 years in the industry next year.

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THE New Repertory Philippines opens summer with their latest offering, the lively, funny musical Stepping Out by Richard Harris and music of Denis King. This well-loved classic tells the story of seven womae and a man of various ages and different backgrounds, who meet once a week at a tap dance class to forget whatever they have in life for a moment.

REP President Mindy Barredo Perez-Rubio announced that the said musical  is the finale for the 79th season of the New Repertory.  She emphasized that it’s the same company but with a new board, new leadership and a new vision and mission, and that mission is to keep REP as the premiere theatre company in the Philippines who will celebrate its  50th anniversary come 2017.

“Our play Stepping Out is a very lively musical comedy, and it’s about a tap dancing class, the cast we put together is quite spectacular. Many of them have been either nominated or have won numerous awards in theatre”. Rubio said.

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But what Mindy is proud of in this production is the inclusion of Rose Borromeo as the choreographer for the tap dance routine. Borromero who is based in Singapore is one or the best Spanish Flamingo classical dancer that was acknowledged by the King of Spain thru a Gold Medal in promoting Spanish Art and Culture in Asia.

Another gem of Stepping Out is their musical director Ejay Yatco, along with his 5 band member. She called Yatco as genius because watching him play is a performance itself.  Stepping Out is under the direction of Jaime Del Mundo, who according to Rubio turned the play into one solid performance.

The play is a joy to watch, the songs are arranged beautifully along with its choreography, the set design with its movable sets is something to look forward, and the dialogues offer no dull moments. It is hilarious even though it’s all  about women’s issues.

The cast for this summer offering are Shiela Francisco(as Mrs.Fraser, the pianist), Angela Padilla(as Mavis the tap dance class teacher, her solo number is quite felt and touching),  Ej Villacorta (as Maxine, really glamorous golden girl with a lot of punch line to watch out for), Cara Barredo(as Lynne), Christine Flores(as Andy), Natalie Everett(s Dorothy), Raymond Concepcion(as Geoffrey), David Shawn Delgado and Sarah Facuri (alternateing as Sylvia),  Bituin Escalante (as Rose), and Joy Virata (as Vera).Stepping Out premiered last April 1 and willl run until the 24th at Onstage in Greenbelt 1 in Makati City.

Rubio also announced that they have a new group called Friends of Repertory (a fan group of the company), where anybody can be a member and can get advantage of the many perks and privileges they offer,  because nothing more exciting and thrilling than watching live theatre.

“For the last 50 years, Repertory has been the pioneer and leader in the Philippine Theater along with PETA, so every year I want to kick Repertory up one knots higher, bringing it to a more professional level, so that in 5 years we will hit and hopefully be one of the best, if not be the best.” Rubio added.

After Stepping Out, The New Repertory will go on hiatus as they focus on their annual summer workshops, they’ll be back August for the 80th Season with Hansel And Gretel.

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