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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 29, 2013

Mark Bautista Shines In The Lead Role Of Jerry In 'The Full Monty'

MARK BAUTISTA shines in the lead role of Jerry in Viva-Atlantis Productions’ staging of the Broadway musical, “The Full Monty”, based on the 1997 British film starring Robert Carlyle about jobless steelworkers who turn into male strippers. The setting is now moved to Buffalo, New York. It will have its final run this coming weekend at the RCBC Plaza in Makati, so don’t miss it.

The musical is both funny (Jamie Wilson as the overweight Dave excels in the laughs department) and touching (especially Mark’s relationship with his son Nathan who’s about to be taken away from him by his wife, Sitti). Aside from Mark and Jamie, also giving great ensemble performance are Arnell Ignacio as choreographer Harold (married to a high maintenance wife, Ima Castro), Marco Sison as the black guy who’s the oldest in the group, OJ Mariano as the mama’s boy and Nino Alejandro as the most well hung among them. All of them do some nudity on stage, in skimpy g-strings and, in the finale, yes, the full monty (meaning, they’ll take it all off, but your eyes will have to be fast as you’ll be blinded by the lights and we doubt if you’d see anything).

But beyond the nudity, the show is also about friendship and supporting your partner in marriage when the chips are down. The songs by David Yazbek are not the usual traditional Broadway sound of Rodgers and Hammerstein but more rock/pop so younger audiences can relate to it. Mark shines in “Breeze Off the River”, a song about his unconditional love for his son despite his failures in life. Jay Glorioso as the wisecracking piano player Jeanette steals the scene in “Jeanette’s Showbiz Number”. Marco’s audition number “Big Black Man” is also a show-stopper while OJ and Nino also shine in the touching “You Walk with Me” where their true feelings for each other are revealed. The ensemble numbers, “Michael Jordan’s Ball” and “Let It Go” are both rousing real winners.

Mark wants to thank Boss Vic del Rosario for assigning him the role of Jerry. “At first, nagulat ako,” he says. “Sabi ko, ano ba ‘tong project na ‘to? Hindi naman ako naghuhubad. But I respected his vision and did it. Now, I can see his point. This is a great career move, judging from the positive feedback I’m getting. At saka, safe naman yung theatre kahit maghubad ako. Bawal na bawal mag-take ng pictures namin lalo sa finale number.”

Did he have a lot of inhibitions doing it? “Noong una. But when I saw Arnell and Jamie, na sa rehearsals pa lang, wala ng pakialam sa hubaran, I also learned to let go. I really prepared hard for my role. Nag-leave ako sa GMA and ‘Party Pilipinas’ to memorize all my songs and lines, kasi first time ko to do a play in English.”

How’s his working relationship with Sitti as his ex-wife? “Okay kami. We used to work together when I was still in ‘ASAP’ so we really know each other.”

Mark is also launching a new album, “The Sound of Love”, a collection of 10 love songs. “This is a dream album for me, with standard songs of my idols Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole that I grew up with, like ‘Strangers in the Night’, ‘All the Way’, ‘That’s All’, ‘When I Fall in Love’, ‘Till’, ‘What a Wonderful World’, plus Manila sound classics like ‘Bato sa Buhangin’, ‘Kailangan Kita’ and ‘Love without Time’.”

He’s celebrating his 10th year in showbiz and he’ll have a special anniversary concert at Music Museum on June 29. After being linked to beauty queen Rizza Santos who went back to Canada, he was next linked to Miss World runnerup Gwen Ruais. What happened to their reported romance?

“I don’t want to talk about her, please. I don’t even want to mention her name. Ayoko masabing ginagamit ko siya.”

So why did their relationship quickly turn sour? “Let’s just say may mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya who I felt ayaw sa’kin. Ganun na lang.”