MANILA -- Expect to see Rajo Laurel creations when you watch the "Sweeney Todd" musical this year.
Atlantis Theatrical has tapped the well-known designer to create costumes for its 20th anniversary production starring Lea Salonga and Jett Pangan.
"I am extremely excited to be designing the costumes for this incredible musical. I love the brand new directions where it is going. Post-apocalyptic, new wave, Victorian English romantic [style] has always been special to me. This was how I used to dress up when I was a teenager. I feel deeply blessed to be working on such a special production to celebrate the 20 years of Atlantis," Laurel said in a statement released by Atlantis on Monday.
Prior to "Sweeney Todd," Laurel served as the costume designer for Atlantis' productions of "The Rocky Horror Show" and "Dreamgirls."
Theater has influenced Laurel as a designer, having previously worked with Salonga in Repertory Philippines' "The King and I."
"I grew up in theater, it is the reason perhaps why I became a designer. The power of clothes and costume is so palpable in theater. I love how you can tell stories with clothes. Lea (Salonga) and I were both 6 years old in the Repertory Philippines production of 'The King and I.' At age 6, Lea could command a stage like no other and you could already tell she was a star. From then on, I have remained a fan!" he said.
Laurel also designed outfits for Pangan and his band, The Dawn, early in his career.
He recalled: "I was just starting in design school and it was the year I was about to leave for New York. My favorite band then was The Dawn and I would literally follow their gigs like a groupie. My friend’s uncle was their manager and, somehow, they knew that I was an aspiring designer. I did not even have my atelier then. I was tasked to do their costumes for a concert. I remember working on all their costumes by myself for a week straight. I remember creating a rift on denim and hand painting and embellishing these."
"I loved the outcome and even if I don’t have any photos of this, it will always be imprinted in my memory that they took a chance on a 17-year-old just starting to dream."
Directed by Bobby Garcia, Atlantis' "Sweeney Todd" also features Ima Castro, Andrew Fernando, and Gerald Santos.
It will run from October 11 to 27 at The Theatre at Solaire.
Tickets are available at Ticketworld.