Nonie Buencamino has been a stalwart of Philippine theater for the last two decades.
His recent stint as King Mongkut in King and I in Resort’s World Manila showcased his vocal talent along with his acting. In Mario O’Hara’s Stageshow last year (for Tanghalang Pilipino) he was widely praised for showcasing his acting, singing and dancing skills.
Thus his inclusion in the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ musical concert series Triple Threats: Leading Men and Women of Philippine Musical Theater.
Each concert is an intimate evening of beautiful music, personally selected by the artists themselves, from their vast repertoire of favorite songs from Broadway, West End, original Filipino musicals and the movies. Dubbed as a series of “concept concerts," the narrative of the performance is dictated by the song choices.
The definition of a “triple threat” is someone in a particular field who exhibits three skills that are necessary to excel. In this case, our “Triple Threats”—Nonie Buencamino, Audie Gemora and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo—can sing, act and dance.
Opening the series on June 13, 2013 is Much Ado about Nonie featuring acclaimed actor Nonie Buencamino. Audie Gemora’s concert will be on July 5 while Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo will end the series on August 15. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).
Nonie is very much visible on stage, television and film, having done straight plays and musicals while appearing in TV shows as well as independent and mainstream cinema. Nonie is seen in ABS-CBN's afternoon soap opera titled Dugong Buhay.
Nonie's Much Ado about Nonie concert will take his audience on a personal journey from theater to mainstream show business with a mix of the two in between. Leading a five-piece band is musical director Carmela Sinco. Guest artists include Mitch Valdez, Nonie's daughter Delphine Buencamino and wife Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino. Lighting design by noted film, television and stage lighting designer, Gawad CCP awardee Monino Duque. Stage director is Kokoy Jimenez.
What is unique about Nonie’s concert is that he is blessed with a family that is rich in musical and performing talent. His choice as musical director is his cousin Carmella Singco who has had extensive experience in several Off Broadway productions. One of which is Piaf: Love Conquers All, an Off Broadway production that was also performed here in Hotel Sofitel in 2008 through the support of Le Club-French Chamber of Commerce and Alliance Francaise de Manille.
In a press conference at the CCP, Nonie opened up about his family background in music. “Carmella [referring to his cousin] was part of it, we are a very musical family. We have our reunions, the Buencaminos. Every time we have our party, it was understandable that we have to put up something singing and dancing mostly. When we were growing up, we would have every 2 weeks or monthly reunions. We’d come up with something, a tap dancing number. I learned how to tap dance when I was a kid.”
He also counts virtuoso pianist Cecile Licad and famed musical scorer Nonong Buencamino as cousins.
Joining Nonie on stage is his equally talented and renowned wife Shamaine. “She’s a very precise performer. So I really have to know my lines, know my blocking very well. I love performing with her because, it’s different when you know the other person very well. And she’s also a great performer. Yung tapunan namin ng energy is basically the same. I enjoy chances to perform with her. That’s why I enjoyed Stageshow very much.”
For this concert, he will also share the stage with daughter Delphine who already has an extensive list of musical and theater roles in her young career. She was most recently seen in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Walang Kukurap and also in Ibalong, which will have a restaging in CCP in August.
Nonie’s youngest Julia has also been bitten by the acting bug and is attending TRUMPETS workshop at age 13. As parents however they never forced their profession on their kids.
“In fact, Shamaine advised them against it," revealed Nonie. "Get a job a career that is more stable that you don’t have as many chances for heartaches. (laughs)
"We’re both performers, we can just agree. Parang doon sila lumaki. If they do express that they do want to get into performing we cannot stop them. But we cannot do many things to just pave the way for them. They have to want it and they have to audition. They have to look for opportunities themselves. When they are into it then we give our full support. That’s the way we agreed to do it para di rin sila ma-pressure.”
(Book tickets: Much Ado About Nonie)