“Aanhin mo pa ang condom kung pareho kayong bottom.”

It was Black Saturday when Arnold, Henry, Jim, Brad, and I watched Rent The Movie at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 4. It’s been a week now but still I can’t get over it. In fact, I’ve downloaded their complete song album and a pirated copy of the movie from the Internet. I know it’s illegal, but it will just be until I get an original DVD copy of it. That’s for sure.

I got some juicy information regarding the film from wikipedia.org.

Rent is the film adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, released November 23, 2005. Production began March 15, 2005. The film’s limited release date in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto on November 11, 2005 was cancelled, and the official premiere was at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre on November 17, 2005.

Rent the Movie

Many exterior shots were filmed in New York City; the interior and remaining exterior shots were filmed in San Francisco and Oakland.

Until 2001, Spike Lee was to direct the film for Miramax. However, budget constraints and Lee’s insistence on casting big-name stars like Justin Timberlake and Brittany Murphy led the film to be shelved.

In October 2004, Revolution Studios picked up the film, with Chris Columbus as the director and Columbia Pictures as the distributor. Columbus, himself an NYU student and graduate at the turn of the 1980s, and in the location where the musical and film are set, felt a connection with the characters and their experiences.

In the film as in the musical, the story takes place over one year. The film, however, differs in that it provides the precise beginning and ending dates of the storyline: between December 24, 1989 and that same date in 1990. (This precise dating creates several anachronisms; for example, the song “Today 4 U” contains a reference to Thelma and Louise, a film released in 1991.) Columbus has said that this was done to firmly set the film before the gentrification of parts of the East Village that occurred during the 1990s.

The film was a commerical bomb, grossing $10,000,000 less in theaters than it cost to produce.

Cast of Rent the Movie

Cast

All but two principal members of the original Broadway cast reprise their roles on film. Names in bold denote original Broadway cast members.

  • Rosario Dawson, Mimi Marquez
  • Taye Diggs, Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III
  • Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Angel Dumott Schunard
  • Jesse L. Martin, Thomas B. “Tom” Collins
  • Idina Menzel , Maureen Johnson
  • Adam Pascal, Roger Davis
  • Anthony Rapp, Mark Cohen
  • Tracie Thoms, Joanne Jefferson

Chris Columbus got the idea to give the original cast first dibs on the roles when he talked to Rapp, Pascal and Menzel about the musical and opined that they all still looked the same as when they premiered the show in 1996. Only Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker, the original Mimi and Joanne respectively, were not cast in the film. Rubin-Vega was pregnant at the time of casting and (at roughly 35) was too old to play a character of 19. Walker herself has stated that she looks too old to play the part of Joanne.

Taye Diggs’ role as Benny in the Original Broadway Cast of RENT assisted in launching his acting career, which includes the movies How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Chicago, as well as the lead in the critically-acclaimed TV show Kevin Hill.

Idina Menzel (Maureen Johnson) and Taye Diggs (Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III), are a married couple outside of the movie. They originally met during the original 1996 broadway run of Rent, both as a part of the original cast.

Jesse L. Martin and Taye Diggs were both in Ally McBeal – Martin as Dr. Greg Butters and Diggs as Jackson Duper.

Jesse L. Martin had to take leave during the second half of the 2004-05 season of Law & Order to participate in the film.

Anthony Rapp’s first movie, Adventures in Babysitting, was directed by Columbus. He has also acted in a number of other films, including A Beautiful Mind in which he played Bender.

Casting Rumors

Marc Anthony, Wilson Cruz, Frenchie Davis, Joey Fatone, Neil Patrick Harris, Audra McDonald, Brittany Murphy, Jai Rodriguez and Justin Timberlake were rumored to be interested in or considered for roles in the film prior to Chris Columbus becoming director. They were not cast. It was soon after Columbus took over that the decision was made to give the original cast the first shots at their own roles.

Cruz, Davis, Fatone, Harris and Rodriguez previously performed in the stage version at different times.

1996 Original Rent Broadway Musical

Rent is a Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical. It opened in New York City on April 29, 1996, at the Nederlander Theatre and continues to play on Broadway (the seventh-longest running Broadway musical as of March 1, 2006). Based upon Puccini’s opera La bohème, the musical centers on a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive in New York’s Alphabet City neighborhood under the shadow of AIDS (in La bohème the disease was tuberculosis).

The cast album from the show was the most successful recording of an American musical in almost 30 years, featuring both a 2-Disc, “complete recording” collection with a remixed version of the song “Seasons of Love” featuring Stevie Wonder, and a 1-disc “best of” highlights.

Rent was one of the first Broadway musicals that featured some of the first clearly gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender characters on stage. Almost every previous production that dealt with such issues had generally been relegated to off-Broadway venues (an exception is La Cage aux Folles).

Creative Process

Playwright Billy Aronson came up with the original idea to write a musical update of La bohème in 1988. He wanted to create “a musical based on Puccini’s La bohème, in which the luscious splendor of Puccini’s world would be replaced with the coarseness and noise of modern New York.” In 1989 Jonathan Larson, a 29-year-old composer, got together with Aronson to swap ideas. Larson came up with the title and suggested moving the setting from the Upper West Side to downtown, where Larson himself lived. In 1991, he asked Billy if he could use the original concept on which they had collaborated and make Rent his own. They made an agreement that if the show went to Broadway, Aronson would share in the proceeds.

Jonathan Larson lived for Rent for several years, making several rewrites and changes and writing hundreds of songs for the show – 44 are in the final version. Even as the show solidified, it proved intensely popular. Unfortunately, Larson would not live to see its true success: he died from an undiagnosed aortic dissection in the early morning of January 25, 1996, just a few hours after the musical had its final dress rehearsal at the New York Theatre Workshop; the show was to open that very day. It is believed that the defect resulted from Marfan syndrome.

The show did premiere, at the request of Larson’s parents, at the New York Theatre Workshop the very day Jonathan Larson died. That opening night show, according to first-hand accounts of cast and audience members, began as a simple sit-down performance, but around the number “La Vie Boheme A”, the cast began to do the full performance. It was so popular that a move to Broadway was inevitable; it premiered at the previously-derelict Nederlander Theatre, at the time the only Broadway show south of 42nd Street, on April 29, 1996.

BODY JAMalate

Body Jam

Just to give a background, I am very much addicted to Les Mills Body Jam ever since I joined Fitness First Club. They recently launched Body Jam 36.

Together with Arnold, Henry, Rey, Jim and Brad, we went to Synders Malate 2 weeks ago and sang our favorite Videoke hits to death. We called it a night after almost 3 hours of nonstop vocalizing. While on our way to Henry’s car, I was doing the new moves of the fitness program. But suddenly, I saw a very familiar face from the gym… it was Peejay! The Body Jam Instructor! What a shame! He smilingly told me, “Kailangan talagang mag-Jam sa Malate?” Haha! Go Body Jam!

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Let’s Fix It

I went to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) this morning to apply for a Philippine Passport and have my papers authenticated. There were sign boards saying, “Beware of Fixers”. Yeah, I know. You could see them in almost all goverment offices in the country. They charge each “victim” more than 200% of the amount needed for the transaction. In return, the “victim” can have the luxury of sitting while waiting for their documents in just an hour. While others need to fall in line, wait for hours, and be a dupe of their bureaucratic procedure.

While I’m heading to the DFA Passport Application area (Along Pasay Libertad), someone approached me asking questions regarding the application procedures. Since he was holding his application form, I thought he was just an applicant like me. But to my surprise, he guided me to a travel agency. Shoot, this guy’s a fixer. He asked me to come in. I was hesitant at first, but I decided to commit with this fixer. Yes, I let myself to be his “victim”.

Oh well, the good part was I’m done with my passport for just an hour, though I have to wait for 1 week for its release.

Bitch / Beautiful

Has anyone ever called you a bitch? Then you must know this…

Bitch is a female dog.
A dog barks.
Bark is a part of a tree.
Tree is a part of nature.
Nature is beautiful.
Therefore, Bitch is beautiful.

Go Bitches! Hehe.

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Our company moved to a smaller office space at the same building and floor last Friday. I was really lucky to have my desk just right before the glass window. It is emphatically good to start each day glancing at the splendid panoramic view of Metro Manila.

The splendid panoramic view of Metro Manila

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Rodney is a comic freak since his teenage days until today. He won’t even bother spending thousands for them. Now, he was asking me a while ago to buy the latest issues for him. I said I won’t… not because I don’t want to grant his leisure, but because we need to set our priorities for us to execute our plans properly.

I know that we can’t easily say “no” to our leisures, but I’m just too scared not to be with him the soonest possible time. If he will continue to be this kind of a comic freak, he won’t be able to save enough money for my Dubai VISA and flight expenses, which he promised me before he left. I should be with him already in Dubai in 6 months time. That’s our goal.

I’m actually cutting my expenses off just to help him save. I’m even trying to engage in sidelines to earn more. Am I too hard on him? Should I let him continue with his leisure? What about our dreams?

Honestly, I’m scared… really really scared of not seeing him again ever. I love him very much. God knows. Sigh.

Rustom Padilla, the Philippine Matinee Idol of the ’90s, admitted on national television that he is gay. Read the full story from Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition.

Butterfly gives Rustom a sign; Keanna heeds the call of nature
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:16 PM

Rustom Padilla

While comforting Keanna on her many angst, it was Rustom’s turn to tell his secret. Taking a cue from a butterfly that landed in his hands, Rustom realized that the flying insect signified a new lease on life.

He sighed and then finally asked Keanna, “ Kapag napapalabas na ko sa Sabado ano ang gusto mong itanong sa kin?”

Keanna asked him if he’s happy with his life. “Yes”, came Rustom’s quick reply.

Rustom then coaxed Keanna to ask him since they both agreed that they are already good friends.

“May gusto akong itanong pero baka hindi mo kayang sagutin sa harap ng camera?”, Keanna began and then finally she asked why he broke up with his erstwhile wife, Carmina Villaroel.

“Napaka simple ng dahilan ng break up namin ni Carmina. Nawala lang”, Rustom explained.

“Parang na dead sya, ganun”, Keanna clarified.

“Mahal ko si Carmina. Wala akong ibang hangad kung hindi mag succeed ang marriage naming pero sya lang ang unang naka-realize siguro kung hindi sya nauna baka ako rin eventually.”, Rustom further explained.

“Kung gusto mong itanong kung may ibang dahilan, hindi yun ang dahilan… Dumating ako sa punto sa buhay ko na kinilala kong mabuti ang sarili ko….. May iba ang akong personalidad,”, Rustom volunteered.

He then recounted his sad childhood experience where he once dressed up as a girl and his father beat him up so badly and his lola saved him. He cried while telling Keanna that his very own mother told him to stop crying.

He was at the verge of confiding his big secret when Keanna stood up and kissed him on the cheek and informed him casually that she had to pee. At the next shot, we see Keanna squatting among the palm fronds and relieving herself and a once distraught Rustom, laughing himself silly.

If you really want to know what Rustom’s big secret really is, watch tomorrow’s episode of Pinoy Big Brother at 9 p.m.! You’ll regret it if you miss the next episode!

 

Rustom: Because I am gay!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006 11:19 PM

In tonight’s much-awaited episode, Rustom tearfully admitted to Keanna that he’s gay.

Yesterday, Rustom revealed that he was physically abused when he dressed in girl’s clothes and that his mother admonished him afterwards. He also revealed that he has always been confused about his sexuality.

“Dumating ako sa punto sa buhay ko na, kinilala kong mabuti ko ang sarili ko…tinanong ko ang sarili ko, bakit kahit anung gawin ko di ako masaya.”, Rustom began his admission.

“Ang tanging worry ko ay maging acceptable sa Diyos…Uung pangalawang linggo natin, di ko mapatawad ang tatay ko, dumating kasi ako sa point na…meron akong ibang personalidad. Kahit anung gusto kong baguhin kahit anung pagsisikap kong tanggalin…narealize ko na…parte ng kabuuan ko bilang tao, siguro yon ang rason kaya di ko makita sa puso ko na mapatawad ang tatay ko.”

Rustom recounts that he felt rage at that time and hears “Bakla, bakla, bakla ang naririnig ko…matagal yon, winawasiwas ka, tapos binubugbog ka, habang nakatingin sa yo ang mga kapatid mo..”

In tears, Rustom tells Keanna that he lived his life in constant fear. He relentlessly faced questions that he could not answer. He could not understand why his father hit him.  Even when he was already married, he was still hounded with his questions. “Pano kung may asawa ka, wala akong dapat i-explain kasi at that time I was confused. Ayoko maging ganun. Sino bang gustong maging ganun… pero mahal ko talaga yung tao…di naging easy yon, pero dumating ang panahon na naghiwalay na kami, kasi parating nasa isip ko yon.”

He disclosed that he went to the States to find himself and to get answers to his questions. In the States, he saw a different culture where gays do not necessarily cross dress; are not effeminate or wear loud make-up and are not screaming gays but in their heart of hearts, they are gays.

Then Rustom drops the bomb, “BECAUSE I AM GAY…!. Ang hirap, kasi hindi ako masamang tao…na malamang gay ako.”

Sympathetic Keanna hugs Rustom tightly while Rustom breaks down. Keanna whispers to Rustom, “Lalo kitang nirespeto Rustom…sa harap ko…Sobrang bilib ako sa yo. Grabe ka…”

Keanna held Rustom for a good thirty minutes and finally tells him, “Sobrang saya ko kasi may tiwala ka sa kin, sa harap ko, thank you Rustom, I love you Rustom.”

The butterfly flutters again and Keanna wisely observes, “Sobrang tapang mo…alam kong hirap kang sabihin ang mga bagay na gusto mong sabihin, ngayong nakapagdesisyon ka na, magpakatotoo ka na lang, kaya time na talaga sabihin kasi ngayon lang tayo binisita ng butterfly.”

And the butterfly flew away while Rustom thanked Keanna and Keanna acknowledged their newly-formed friendship. They both wait for the sunrise that will usher a new day and a new Rustom Padilla.

I hate it! Grrrr…

I hate it when someone always doubts you! I hate it when someone is unfair on you! I hate it when someone strangles you tight! I hate it when someone doesn’t trust you at all! And I hate to know that this someone happens to be the person I truly love!

I just hate it! Damn!

I got these comic strips regarding the movie Brokeback Mountain from a forwarded e-mail. Might as well post them here.

BBM Joke #1

BBM Joke #2

BBM Joke #3

BBM Joke #4

I’ve seen the movie “Brokeback Mountain” on pirated DVD a week before its play date. It is about two cowboy men who developed a special kind of friendship for 20 years. Don’t you ever miss watching this multi-awarded film by Ang Lee.

Brokeback Mountain