It all started when I got to watch Marco Polo The Musical and read somewhere that the actress playing the lady love of Marco Polo (played by David Bianco) will be debuting on Philippine theater through Marco Polo The Musical. The press releases said that she was once known as Kim of Miss Saigon (Germany leg) and was once Tuptim of The King and I. Other than those details, I know nothing about her.
And then I eventually got to watch her play Princess Kogajin in Marco Polo The Musical and I realized that I am in love. Her name is Stephanie Reese.
If you've been following my blog long enough to know how one blog entry is not enough for me to express how I enjoyed the musical, I found Reese's performance worth a blog entry of its own. Please excuse me while I go fangirling. It doesn't happen all the time that I get to watch a musical in the flesh (Marco Polo The Musical is my first ever live musical experience) and I even get to witness really, really, really amazing performances.
It helped a lot that I sat on the front row of the theater enough for me to see her up close. On the other hand, had i been sitting elsewhere, I still could have spotted her onstage despite the petite frame. She's a firecracker onstage, a performance that matched the feisty character that Princess Kogajin exuded. This was when China was under the Mongols hence the relatively advanced intellect and fair treatment of women in society. While Princess Toragana (played by Nicky Trevino) was tall and regal with the way she exercised her royal duties. Princess Kogajin was headstrong to lead her own army her gender notwithstanding. The kind of performance that Stephanie Reese exuded in the musical makes you really root for Princess Kogajin - the kind that might even blow the Disney princesses out of the water.
If Marco Polo The Musical is rooting for the European opera market, it helped their cause that someone of Stephanie Reese's caliber was given the role of Princess Kogajin in order to capture the market that longed for opera music. Every time I hear Reese sing, the last thing that comes to mind is pop music. This is so not pop music and I meant that in the best way possible. I partly admit that music today has a tendency to get me jaded (too many recording artists reliant on AutoTune) so hearing Reese sing is one of the reasons that made me believe in music again. (I prefer to discuss the other reasons in a different blog post hopefully).
Will I ever see her again? I hope so. I felt bad that I didn't get the opportunity to have a photo-op with her after watching Marco Polo The Musical. (I hate my inferiority complex whenever it strikes the hardest). But I sure would be looking forward to the next performances here at Marco Polo The Musical hoping that she'd get to grace the role once more with her spark, feistyness and sheer vocal talent. Thank you, ma'am. It's an honor to have finally watched you on your Philippine debut.
Don't forget to visit the official website of Marco Polo The Musical to keep updated with the next playdate. Thanks for reading.
I've been blogging for as long as I could remember. But I made it a career as of late as a home-based writer. It is something I find comfort in doing.