MANILA, Philippines – At the close of the Manila auditions of the international hit musical “Miss Saigon” on Thursday, only six female hopefuls were asked to stay until the very end.
According to the official Twitter account of the website Broadway World, the six girls were asked to stay and sing more songs from the musical that launched the international career of Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga.
The auditions, which started at 10 a.m., ended at almost 7 p.m.
Among the most hyped hopefuls eyeing the lead role of Kim in the musical set during the final days of the Vietnam War, only former Kapamilya singer Rachelle Ann Go made it until the very end.
Go, who drew raves for her performance as Ariel in Atlantis Productions' "The Little Mermaid" last year, first auditioned on Tuesday and made it to the callbacks and the final audition round on Thursday at the Philippine Opera Company’s headquarters in Makati City.
The other five girls who made it until the very end were theater actresses Tanya Manalang and Apple Chiu, singer-actress Frencheska Farr, Emerald Bañares and Mary Jane Solomon.
Manalang currently stars at Tuptim in Resorts World’s production of “The King and I,” while Chiu was last seen in Atlantis Productions’ “Rock of Ages.” Farr, meanwhile, starred in the movie musical “Emir.”
Several other hopefuls were seen at the final round of auditions on Thursday, including former MYX VJ K-La Rivera, who was accompanied by “Aladdin” co-star Tom Rodriguez. However, it wasn’t clear if she failed to make the shortlist.
Also seen last Thursday were Repertory Philippines’ actress Caisa Borromeo, Manila-born Singaporean singer-actress Julia Abueva and opera singer Kelly Peralejo.
Among the male hopefuls, Broadway World reported that theater actors Lorenz Martinez, Jake Macapagal, Noel Rayos and Topper Fabregas made the final round of auditions, as well as Singaporean theater actor Hossan Leong.
Martinez currently stars as Lun Tha in Resorts World’s production of “The King and I,” while Rayos was last seen as the male lead in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Walang Sugat.” Macapagal is best known for his performance as Angel in “Rent,” while Fabregas has appeared in many Repertory Philippines productions.
Broadway World did not say who among the male auditionees stayed until the end.
Among those who didn’t advance beyond the callbacks and into the final round were celebrities Karylle, Ciara Sotto and Angeline Quinto.
Although it was initially announced that the Manila auditions are for the revival of “Miss Saigon” in London, a sign at the audition said it is “still undetermined” when the musical will open in the West End.
“Hence, there shall be no cast announcements made during the course of this audition exercise,” the sign said.
According to Broadway World, the auditioning panel was composed of executive producer Trevor Jackson, director Laurence Connor, musical supervisor Stephen Brooker, choreographer Geoffrey Garratt and Cameron Mackintosh’s representative in the Philippines Dong Alegre.