Monday, August 2, 2010

Martin and Gary V in "As 1" - When Over The Hill Means Something Else

I couldn't switch the channel off. I was transfixed watching this concert shown on TV. My pest of a brother kept saying, "Mga laos!" but the annoying mosquito kept watching along, even caught him humming a few times. I was of course tempted on committing a homicide, but mom just changed her carpet into immaculate white, straight from the weaving hands of Kashmir! So I didn't dare spill blood on her carpet for fear of my own precious life!

To be honest about it, I have mostly watched Gary Valenciano's concerts more than Martin's in the past, simply because Gary's sound used to be youthful and easy to groove with. I'd rather dance than weep during concerts, or else I'd feel like such a teddy bear! Whenever I hear or see a thing of such unbridled beauty, I just couldn't help myself from crying! I don't know why! It's automatic, like a disease. I remember watching "Cats" at the Westend when I was younger; hated the whole spectacle, but when Elaine Paige sang "Memory", I was reduced to a ridiculously embarrassing wet blanket! Later that night, my tita offered another free ticket for the same musical featuring an alternate this time! Are they nuts? "Cats" to my mind is the most ridiculous musical of that generation and Andrew Lloyd Weber should have been fed to the safari ants for that! Regardless of my thoughts on its merits (or demerits), a beautifully sang song never fails to move me! Thank you, Miss Paige for that!

Would Miss Lea Salonga actually fare less than Ms. Paige, I doubt that! Sure, the local naysayers may disagree but what do they know. They nitpick for effect! But since i have obviously digressed...

In the concert "As 1", Martin Nievera proves to the new generation of music lovers that there, indeed, is only one singer with that beautiful voice, and the enviable control of his vocal pipes. He may have appeared breathless and close to collapsing at some point, but this never showed in his voice which was clear, even the notes that required falsettos from Gary V. songs were sang perfectly, I was just in love! When he finally did "You Are My Song", he transformed back into the suave and fit Martin Nievera of the early 90's! Boy! You have the heavens to be grateful for!

Gary V. on the other hand was in perfect form. He was fit and he was psyched the way he always was in the past. But there is something in his posturings that kept turning me off. It wasn't just me. Even my annoying brother kept saying, "He's gonna gag and praise himself again!" For someone who preaches the words of God, he is so amused and pleased with himself. In one number, he declares on camera, "It was so great, I wish I could just be part of the audience and watch us perform!" Then his ears flip right back, happy with his statement. If that isn't being "full of himself", I dunno what is?

He does see himself like some royalty. In fact, why would you let other co-performers call you "Sir Gary" in "A.S.A.P."? I shiver every time I hear it! Eww! Just last saturday, at their fun new game show, "Twist and Shout", I heard Martin in jest, "When were you knighted?" when Guji Lorenzana (or was it Jay R Siaboc) called him "Sir Gary"! Have you been reading my mind, Mr. Nievera? My thoughts exactly! Shouldn't there be an 11th commandment against such conceit?

Reality is, I am hats down to their talent. They are both deserving of their longevity in the business. But it is really Martin Nievera's voice that has renewed my interest, my being a fan to this smart, funny, brilliant, albeit dyspneic, musical artist!

As they perform "Take Me Out of the Dark", the camera pans on Martin's face. His eyes well up, then his tears flow freely, like tiny pearls of heartbreaks, while Gary V. was singing his turn. When Martin opens his mouth to sing his part, his voice booms clear and sincere, affecting and melodic, pitch perfect as when the day I first heard him sing "Make A Smile (Meldy)" with his twin!

When you are this talented and brilliant, you'll never be "over the hill"! Binatukan ko na ang kapatid ko! LOL

The luster of real gold doesn't wane, that much is clear. That's something to make you feel it isn't so bad! Make a smile, Martin!

"Sir Gary" wishes he was at the audience watching themselves perform!


Robert Rice said...

Lea Salonga did wonderfully as Grizabella. I saw CATS twice and I loved it. Elaine Paige's portrayal made me think, "Oh, whatever happened to this lady-cat? Must've been really terrible." While Lea Salonga was singing Memory, the effect on me was different. It was as if she took me by hand and showed me what she saw, lamplights, dawns, dusks, dark alleyways, unkind and unfriendly looks from others, lonely full moons. She took me on a journey.

Cathy P. said...

Grizabella has had a difficult life, that's how I understood it from her character, but I have no doubt in mind that Ms. Lea Salonga imbued the character with a glimpse of beauty mainly from her beautiful voice.

I am still of the impression to this day that "Cats" is crap as a musical. It's frivolous, ridiculous, and only Lea singing the way she usually does will render it some sense of salvation. It isn't like "Into The Woods" or "Passion" where some of their dissonant numbers would favor character singing.

I love the way you describe your experience listening to Elaine Paige and THE Lea Salonga. Good theater does take one to another place.

For the most part, it's really the magic of Ms. Salonga. When Lea sings, the angels excuse themselves from the heavens to listen to her on Earth. ;->