Culture Magazine

Rama at Sita on Video--the Return! (p. 2)

By Gibbs22manila @gibbscadiz
Part 1 here.
More praise from the archives:
Fusing Hindu traditional musical strains with contemporary pop, the musical adaptation [of "Ramayana"] electrifies, [but] the spectacle doesn't bury the epic's heart and soul. The sumptuous production design is easily one of the most lavish this reviewer has seen in recent years. -- Cora Llamas, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Robert Sena is in a class of his own with his portrayal of the evil Ravana. Jaya's Soorphanaka is only a 10-minute appearance in Act 2, but she does bring the house down with that voice and pizzazz. The role of the storyteller Vishvamitra is sagely acted by Edward Granadosin. -- Raul Teehankee, Manila Bulletin
7. Iisa Ang Tibok/Awit Ng Pagsinta--Ariel Rivera, Chiqui Pineda, Edward Granadosin, Chorus. After Rama wins the hand of Sita in a competition, the couple are wed in glittering ceremonies.

8. Tayo Na, Nariyan Na--Ariel Rivera, Chiqui Pineda, John Arcilla, Pinky Marquez, Eugene Villaluz, Franco Laurel, Chorus. The newlyweds return to Ayodhaya, only to be confronted by an upheaval. Kaikeyi, one of the king's wives, has blackmailed the king to install her reluctant son Bharata as the new sovereign. Rama and Sita, accompanied by Lakshmana, are exiled to a far-off forest. End of Act 1.

9. Ako'y Iyung-Iyo--Ariel Rivera, Chiqui Pineda. In a cave in the enchanted forest, the exiled Rama and Sita share their first night of bliss. (A splendid touch here: shadowy dancers garbed as Hindu statues form Kama Sutra poses around the couple!)

10. Buktot, Ako'y Buktot/Harot, Ako'y Harot--Robert Sena, Jaya. The witch Maricha (Arlene Borja) reports the presence of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to Ravana and his sister, Soorphanaka. The evil siblings decide to disguise themselves and try to pry the newlyweds apart. (Prepare to be blown away by the powerhouse vocals of Robert Sena and Jaya!)

Coming up: more musical numbers right up to the finale!

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