Celeste Legaspi to produce musical film of Nick Joaquin classic play; taps Tom Rodriguez for topbilling role

Celeste Legaspi is reviving the interest in Pinoy musical productions by adapting into film the play Larawan: The Musical, which was based on a Nick Joaquin masterpiece, The Portrait of an Artist as a Filipino. "In this age of social media, we hope to bring people back to watch musical theater," says Celeste.


Active na naman sa entertainment business ang multi-awarded at multi-talented singer-actress na si Celeste Legaspi.

Bilang artista ay gaganap siya sa role na Aurora Gonzales, ang ina ng karakter ni Maricel Soriano na si Millet Gonzales-Real sa Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real, ang bagong primetime series ng GMA Network.

Sa pelikula naman, ipoprodyus niya ang musical film na Larawan.

Base ito sa classic play ng pumanaw na National Artist for Literature na si Nick Joaquin, ang The Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino.

Ang Kapuso leading man na si Tom Rodriguez ang gaganap bilang si Tony Javier.

Ang gaganap naman sa magkapatid na Candida at Paula Marasigan ay sina Rachel Alejandro at Joanna Ampil.

Pahayag ni Celeste, “Sabi nga nila, I’ve come full circle. From being a performer, producer na ako.

“We will start shooting Larawan in September. This will be directed by Loy Arcenas.

“Inaayos pa namin yung script because we don’t want it to be a musical all throughout.

"Gusto naming maging movie talaga siya.

"Yung may dialogues... may drama that will appeal to the moviegoers.

“We want people of this new generation to know who Nick Joaquin is and how valuable Larawan is sa ating kultura ngayon.”

GOOD OLD DAYS. Tungkol naman sa Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real, sinabi ni Celeste na feeling at home siya agad sa taping dahil karamihan daw ng cast ng kanilang teleserye ay "senior citizens" na.

“Natutuwa ako kasi ang dami naming senior citizens sa show!” sabay tawa niya.

“Nandiyan sina Tommy Abuel, Coney Reyes, Jaime Fabregas, and Robert Arevalo.

"All of whom I’ve worked with noon pa sa stage, movies, and television.

“Kaya hindi ako nag-iisa!

“At ang maganda pa ay may cut-off time kaming mga senior.

"Kaya hindi kami sobrang pagod sa trabaho namin,” masayang kuwento pa ng 64-year old veteran actress-singer.

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Ikinatuwa rin ni Celeste ang pagiging ina niya ni Maricel Soriano sa teleserye.

Nagkuwento nga raw sa kanya si Maricel na ginagaya raw siya nito noon sa programang Kaluskos Musmos.

“Yun nga ang kuwento sa akin ni Maricel.

"Kapag kailangan na may mag-lipsync at gayahin ako sa show, sa kanya naitotoka. Pati pananamit at ayos ko ay ginagaya niya.

"Nakakatuwa nga noong mag-taping kami, kuwento siya nang kuwento.

"Ako naman, naaaliw kasi napapanood ko nga yung Kaluskos Musmos noon at napapanood ko siya doon.

“Kaya masaya kami sa taping kasi puro reminiscing of the golden days, lalo na nga’t puro mga seniors pa ang kasama ko sa show!” tawa niya ulit.

GLAMOROSA. Huling napanood si Celeste sa 2011 drama series ng TV5 na Glamorosa, kung saan bida sina Lorna Tolentino, Alice Dixson, at Ritz Azul.

Pero na-cut short ang kanyang paglabas dito dahil bigla siyang nagkasakit at kinailangang magpahinga.

“I accepted Glamorosa because I wanted to work with Lorna Tolentino and Eric Quizon, who was the director of the series.

“Kaso in the middle of taping for the series, I got sick with pneumonia.

“That time kasi, I was recovering pa from a bad asthma attack. Siguro mahina pa ang resistensiya ng katawan ko.

“Noong mag-taping kami sa isang city jail in Antipolo, doon ako nagkasakit.

“Kasi nga, mahina pa ang katawan ko that time kaya madali akong nagkasakit ulit.

“But this time, I’m a lot healthier than before.

"Lately ay hindi na ako nagkakasakit kaya I accepted this offer from GMA-7."

MULTI-TALENTED. Isa sa multi-awarded performers si Celeste for the past four decades.

Nagsimula ang kanyang career bilang isang singer noong 1969 when she joined the group The Ambivalent Crowd.

Noong pumasok ang ‘70s, doon na nagsimula makilala si Celeste Legaspi sa larangan ng music, theater, at movies.

Ilan sa mga napasikat na awitin ni Celeste ay "Mamang Sorbetero," "Saranggola Ni Pepe," "Tuliro," "Movie Fan," "Minsan Ang Minahal Ay Ako," "Pagdating Mo," "Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal," at "Basta’t Mahal Kita."

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Nakatanggap na siya ng mga parangal mula sa PATAS Awards, Aliw Awards, Tinig Awards, Metro Pop Music Festival, World Popular Song Festival, TOWNS Awards, at Philstage Lifetime Achievement Award.

BROCKA BABY. Pero bago siya naging isang award-winning singer and concert performer, isa ring legitimate stage and film actress si Celeste.

Lumabas siya sa ilang pelikula na idinirek ng award-winning directors na sina Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Augusto Buenaventura, at Mario O’ Hara.

“I’m proud to say na Brocka baby din ako.

"I did the films Santiago (1970), Stardoom (1971), and Brocka’s last film, Sa Kabila Ng Lahat (1991).

“I also did Mamang Sorbetero (1979) under Direk Augusto; Tatlong Ina... Isang Anak (1987) for Direk Mario, and Wating (1994) for Direk Ishmael.

“Sadly, all of these director na nakatrabaho have passed away.

"But I am thankful that I was able to work with these award-winning directors.

“I learned do much from them at malaki ang na-contribute nila sa pagiging artist ko on stage and film.”

OPM STALWART. Si Celeste ang kauna-unahang Filipino artist na nagpauso ng tinatawag na "concert concept."

Kabilang sa kanyang mga hinangaan na mga concerts ay ang Celeste Komiks Konsyerto (1985); Celeste Sine! Sine! (1986); at Celeste Tunog PPO (1987).

Kabilang din si Celeste sa nagtatag ng OPM (Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit) para maprotektahan ang local artists.

Ang kauna-unahang project ng OPM ay ang Awit A La Carte na ginanap sa Manila Hotel noong 1987.

Itinatag din ni Celeste at ng talent manager na si Girlie Rodis ang Musical Theatre Philippines na siyang nag-produce ng original Filipino musicals.

Ang kanilang pinaka-successful na project ay ang Katy! The Musical noong 1988 na pinagbidahan ni Mitch Valdes.

Na-revive ito noong 2013 with Isay Alvarez-Seña in the role of Katy dela Cruz.

Nasundan ito ng Kenkoy Loves Rosing (1992); Alikabok (1995); Sino Ka Ba, Jose Rizal? (1996); Larawan: The Musical (1997); Fore Water Woman (1999), at Saranggola Ni Pepe (2008).

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Saad ni Celeste, “The organization that we put up helped a lot of our local artists.

“Many have branched out into having international careers and they all started with OPM.

“We are hoping to produce more original Filipino musicals in the future. Just like Katy! The Musical which was re-staged after 25 years.

“In this age of social media, we hope to bring people back to watch musical theater.

"It never gets old naman, e.

"I believe na marami pa naman diyan, even among the younger generation, who will take an interest in Pinoy musicals."


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