London’s 'The Magic of Soul' set to wow Manila

Zay Arguelles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 17 2016 12:41 PM

LONDON -- After 10 years on the road, “The Magic of Soul” is coming to the Philippines.

Seven singers are coming to Manila on May 26 to wow Filipinos with renditions of Motown classics from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Four Tops and The Supremes at the 1,500-seat Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

Cast members (from left to right): Curtis Lee Scott, Leanne Sandy, Christian Jules, Andrea Queens, Derek Aidoo, Reniece Thomas and Lejaune Andre

“The Magic of Soul,” locally known in England as “The Magic of Motown,” is the brainchild of American-born Lejaune Andre. He said that coming to the country is a great opportunity for the show.

“We’ve been trying to get over in places like that for a while. And thanks to the promoter from Manila, he opened these doors and said, ‘Okay, let’s give you guys a shot,’” he said.

“I think the world needs to hear what we are bringing. I mean, we have to keep the soul in Motown alive. Coming over to the Philippines will help do that,” he added.

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As a big Stevie Wonder fan himself, Andre, 54, recognized the need to put together a show that celebrates the soul and Motown genres’ greatest songs.

“The songs from the '60s and '70s have a chemistry that makes you want to pat your feet. It makes you want to move and rock. People need to hear that to make them feel happy. And this is what we bring to our show, a feel good factor,” Andre said.

He came up with the two-hour concert that promises a night of powerful vocals, bright costumes and spectacular choreography.

The current cast, which has been together for a year and a half, exudes abundant amounts of energy sure to bring the audience singing and dancing on their feet.

Although Motown is quintessentially American, “The Magic of Soul” has found a niche which has brought it on tour not only across the United Kingdom but also across the world – including Denmark, Algeria, France and Holland, to name a few.

“The Magic of Soul” has racked up more than 1,000 performances since it was created 10 years ago.

Andre said he is very proud of what he has achieved with the show, especially because he started his career in England by being abandoned by an agent, who promised him a wonderful career, in a hotel room in London.

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The show has reached extraordinary heights and coming to the Philippines and venturing into this part of the world is proof of that.

Meanwhile, the rest of the cast expressed their excitement about their upcoming performance.

Christian Jules or CJ, who is described to be Andre’s sidekick, said: “It’s an adventure for me. I’ve never been to the Philippines before so I’m looking forward to see how they receive us.”

Reniece Thomas feels the same, saying: “I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to the culture, to the music, to the food, and everything you can think of.”

Curtis Lee Scott, meanwhile, expects the audience to be great. “I know a lot of Filipino people and they really love music. So I’m just excited to get the reaction,” he said.

When asked what they are hoping to bring to the Filipino concert scene, Derek Aidoo exclaimed, “Soul! That’s what we want to bring.”

Angela ‘Andrea’ Hurst continued that they are going to put some new energy into these old songs. “I think that’s what we all, as a team, bring to the show. I think that’s what we are most excited to bring to the Philippines and hopefully we are received well and we get some Filipino energy back,” she explained.

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Andre believes that what they have is something special. “The cast is humble, respectful, and their attitude towards their job is great. They come, they do what they need to do and we accomplish things – we move forward.”

“We want to make people see the magic of soul. We got it together more or less. We wanna bring and share it with the world,” he added.

Cast members of “The Magic of Soul” pose for a photograph during their interview

The cast of “The Magic of Soul” will be sharing the stage with the nine-piece orchestra provided by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra.

Under the stage direction of Philippines’ very own Freddie Santos and the musical brilliance of Rodel Colmenar, Filipinos can look forward to music, style and pizzazz in what could be one of the most spectacular nights this summer.