MARK Bautista is still mourning the recent death of his father but he’s now back to work playing the role of Haled, a young musician who’s a big fan of jazz artist Chet Baker, in the Tony Award-winning musical, “The Band’s Visit”. This is Mark’s second musical with them after “The Full Monty” and the first offering of Atlantis Theatrical for 2020 running from March 13 to 29.
“After my dad’s funeral in Cagayan de Oro, I reported right away for our Valentine show nina Aicelle Santos and Christian Bautista at Solaire,” he says at the presscon of “The Band’s Visit”. “At the finale, as I was singing a John Denver song na favorite ng father ko, bumigay ako. His was the first death in our family and I was really so affected up to now. Kaya nga I’m happy that I have work in ‘All Out Sundays’ every weekend and now, I’m also busy with our rehearsals for ‘The Band’s Visit’ as it takes my mind off from grieving.”
Recently, he missed an invitation from the U.S. to play the lead role of ‘Aladdin’ on Broadway. “When I opened my email, the schedule was for the day before. I auditioned kasi last year and they must have kept it and it’s only now that they got in touch with me. Akala nila siguro, I’m based in the U.S. at makakapunta ako agad doon. Sayang nga, e, but may commitments na rin ako rito dahil nag-yes na ako sa ‘The Band’s Visit’.”
But he has a problem now because of “The Band’s Visit”. It has two shows on Sunday at 2 PM and 8 PM. The matinee show will be in conflict with his regular performance in “All Out Sundays” that starts at 12 noon. “I was asking GMA kung puede mag-tape na lang ako ng numbers ko, but ayaw nila. Nagpapaalam naman ako kay Direk Bobby Garcia to allow me to do ‘All Out Sundays’ then I will just rush from Quezon City to Makati to make it to our show at RCBC Auditorium. I don’t know if he’d allow me, so right now, I don’t know yet kung ano mangyayari. I love doing ‘All Out Sundays’. Enjoy ako having fun with the other Kapuso stars who I do numbers with. Pero mahal ko rin ang ‘The Band’s Visit’ so it’s really a dilemma for me.”
“The Band’s Visit” is written by David Yazbek for music and lyrics and Itamar Moses for the book based on the 2007 Israeli film that won in the Cannes Filmfest. The story is set in a sleepy Israeli town that was unexpectedly awakened by the arrival of a band of lost Arab police-musicians from Egypt. It becomes a magical night for all of them where two different people are connected and intertwined by music and unlikely friendship.
The musical has great songs like “Welcome to Nowhere”, “Something Different”, “The Beat of Your Heart” and “Omar Sharif”. It won 10 Tony Awards in 2018, including Best Musical, ‘The Band’s Visit’ is definitely one of the most Tony award-winning musicals in history. Aside from Mark, also starring are Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Dina, Rody Vera as Tewfiq, Nino Alejandro as Avrum, Bibo Reyes as Itzik, Reb Atadero as Papi, Jill Peña as Iris, Floyd Tena as Sammy, and Maronne Cruz as Julia. Also in the the cast are Jep Go as the Telephone Guy, Dean Rosen as Zelger, Steven Conde as Simon, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo as Camal, and Leanne Mamonong as Anna.
Bobby Garcia, who will be directing the musical, says, “I couldn’t ask for a better cast than this to bring to life these rich, complex, and human characters. The Band’s Visit has become a modern musical classic and I think it will be treasured for generations to come. I am extremely proud that we get to tell this story in Manila and bring to life this gorgeous musical with a cast unlike any other.”
‘The Band’s Visit’ is Atlantis’ first production for its 2020 season. It will be followed by an all-new revival Oliver!, presented through a special licensing agreement with Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. Tickets for the critically-acclaimed ‘The Band’s Visit’ are now available online at TicketWorld starting at P2,000. For more information and updates, you may contact Atlantis Theatrical at 02-650-5144/0917-838-1534 or visit their official Facebook page. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.