Gary Valenciano returns to musical theater with 'Joseph the Dreamer'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2022 11:47 AM | Updated as of Jun 29 2022 12:06 PM

Gary Valenciano (left) and Sam Concepcion play Jacob and Joseph, respectively, in 'Joseph the Dreamer.' Handout
Gary Valenciano (left) and Sam Concepcion play Jacob and Joseph, respectively, in "Joseph the Dreamer." Handout

MANILA – Gary Valenciano is coming back to musical theater after 23 years.

The Kapamilya performer will be playing the role of Jacob, Joseph's father, in the return of Trumpets' longest-running musical "Joseph the Dreamer" slated for July 2022. 

During a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Valenciano shared how he feels about being part of the show once again, He first played the titular role of Joseph in the musical's 1999 run.

"To be a part of this cast, you have no choice but to pour out all the energy. You need to. Because if you don't, you'll be left behind somehow," he said.

"What I like about it is that -- I am celebrating my 40th anniversary next year -- to continue to move the way Sam (Concepcion) does and all the others, I don't know if I can keep up with that any longer. I can move a little bit. But I don't ever want to try to push myself to the point where people will start getting worried kung kaya pa," he added.

Valenciano feels "Joseph the Dreamer" is the perfect platform to express his voice in a different way "because I am acting it out."

"Some of the songs can really tug at the heart of anyone who plays Jacob. It's not a challenge, really, for me to how do I pour my energy out there because it really calls for it. I am ready for it. More than being nervous, I am ready for it," he said.

The musical's 2022 run signals the return of Trumpets to live theater.

Concepcion reprises the role of Joseph along with a stellar cast that includes Kayla Rivera (Asenath), Carlo Orosa (Pharaoh), and Bituin Escalante (Rachel, Joseph’s mother), who will also be playing the same parts they did in 2020. 

Carla Guevarra-Laforteza and Neo Rivera will also play Rachel and Joseph, respectively, in some shows. Meanwhile, musical theater veteran Audie Gemora will play Jacob alternately with Valenciano.

When asked how he feels to have two father figures in the musical, Concepcion said: "It's amazing. You thought the show couldn't get any better after our first run. It was so successful. It was such a great run. We had a great cast. Now, with the addition of our new cast members plus Tito Gary playing Jacob, it’s amazing. It's times 100 now."

Concepcion acknowledged that he has such huge shoes to fill "to be able to play Joseph with the originators of the role."

"Now they are actually there in the cast watching me, too. It's huge for me and it's pushing me to do even better on this run. Tito Gary and Tito Audie are two very different Jacobs. I just love that dynamic having the both of them as two different dads. It's very fulfilling to me playing this role with them," he said.

Gemora, for his part, called this re-staging of "Joseph the Dreamer" as the "Gary Valenciano run."

"We had already talked to Gary as early as that first run. I knew in my mind that we would have a Gary Valenciano run. But I was very ambitious about it. I wanted to put it in a new theater. I was so set that Gary will open in this 1,500-seater… Actually, this is a Gary Valenciano run. I am just an extra here on the days he couldn’t do it. In our mind, it was really gonna be Sam and Gary," he said.

The other members of the cast are Alys Serdenia, Aldo Vencilao, RJ Dela Fuente, Matthew Barbers, Carlos Canlas, Paul Anthony Valdez, Jim Ferrer, Renz Bernardo, Edrei Tan, Dan Delgado, Diego Aranda, Eggo Velasco, Mateo Jimenez, Anton Posadas, Kiara Dario, Jom Logdat, Coleen Paz, Samantha Libao, Kathleen Francisco, and Justine Narciso, and young actors Elai Estrella, and Eli Luis. 

Valenciano's son Paolo will direct the show along with Nelsito Gomez. Myke Salomon is the musical director, while MJ Arda is the choreographer.

"Joseph The Dreamer" will run at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig from July 15 to 31.