The Rise of Coco Martin

Dino Dela Rosa
By Dino Dela Rosa
In 2001, Coco Martin started out in ABS-CBN as one of the members of Star Magic’s Star Circle Batch 9. He did a cameo in the film “Luv Txt (credited under his real name, Rodel Nacianceno) with Judy Ann Santos. He then took a hiatus from acting, focusing instead of doing commercials. But in 2005, Cannes winner, director Brilliante Mendoza, cast him as a doe-eyed masseur in the critically acclaimed “Masahista.” And started to gain respect in the indie film circuit.

But mainstream success continue to elude him. So he migrated to the GMA Network in early 2007, where all got was a spot in the failed boy band The Studs and a supporting role in an afternoon soap. In 2008, Coco returned to the network that had discovered him, where he was given a gig in the soap “Ligaw Na Bulaklak.” The following year, his raw acting style finally

earned him a lot of notice and respect when he was cast in the teleserye “Tayong Dalawa.”

For his brilliant performance, he won the Best Actor trophy from the Star Awards for Television.

Things took off from there and other soap assignments followed. Malou Santos became a champion of the young actor’s capabilities that she not only put him in the dramatic ensemble film “Sa ‘Yo Lamang,” but even agreed to put Star Cinema’s formidable distribution resources at Coco’s disposal for his first foray into film co-production, “Noy.”  Malou’s belief in the indie prince is so strong that she even pays him the huge compliment of saying that, next to Gerald Anderson, he has what it takes to become a big box-office brand.

Coco is currently seen in ABS-CBN’s top-notch teleserye “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin.” This is the first time in which he is the lead star. His effortless performance of playing a dual role of twin brothers is a testament to the exceptional acting talent of this hard-working and dedicated multi-awarded actor.

THE GENIUS OF SONDHEIM

The venerable Signature Theatre closes its unforgettable 21st season with  “Side By By Side By Sondheim,” a musical revue of the early masterworks of Stephen Sondheim, the greatest Broadway composer of his generation.

The gifted trio of Matthew Scott, Sherri L. Edelen and Nancy Anderson takes us on an immensely entertaining  journey of the composer’s landmark shows- “A Little Night Music,” “Company,” “Follies,” “Anyone Can Whistle,”

“A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum,” to mention a few.

Matthew Scott’s upper register serves him well as he belts out “Something’s Coming” and the heartbreaking “Being Alive,” as well as his beautiful rendering of “I Remember,” from the 1966 TV musical “Evening Primrose.”  He is delightfully campy in “You Could Drive A Person Crazy” and in the one of show’s funniest numbers “You Gotta Have A Gimmick.”

Nancy Anderson displays deft comic skills in the seemingly complicated “Getting  Married Today,” getting through the rapid fire effortlessly. Ditto in “The Boy From” which she delivers with show stopping hilarity. This was a cut from “The Mad Show,” a 1966 Off-Broadway revue. Anderson also brings rich poignancy to “I Have A Love,”(from “West Side Story) and the heartbreaking “Losing My Mind” from “Follies.”

As always, Signature regular, Sherri L. Edelen, gives a flawless perfomance.

She brings down the house with “Another Hundred People,” “I’m Still Here” and “Send In the Clowns,” from “A Little Nigh Music.”  The trio are Accompanied on the piano by two wonderful musicians, Jon Kalbfleisch and Gabriel Magiante.

Longtime Signature musical director serves as the show’s narrator.

The avid Sondheim and even non-Sondheim fans will truly enjoy this musical revue.

SIDE By SIDE BY SONDHEIM, directed by Matthew Gardiner Till June 12 at Signature Theatre- 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, Va.

703- 573-7328 or visit www.-signature-theatre.org. http://www.-signature-theatre.org.

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