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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.

Jun 26, 2018

Theatre Greats Shiela Valderrama-Martinez & Carla Guevarra-Laforteza Alternate Playing The Lead Role Of Lily In 'Binondo, The Tsinoy Musical'

TWO TOP THEATRE actresses alternate playing the female lead role of Lily de la Rosa in the original musical play, “Binondo, the Tsinoy Musical” that starts showing at the Solaire Theatre starting this weekend: Shiela Valderrama-Martinez and Carla Guevarra-Laforteza.

Sheila has played numerous leads in musicals, like Anna in “The King and I”, Princess Fiona in “Shrek the Musical” and a mom of a cancer-stricken kid in “Dani Girl”. She was in grade 2 when she first appeared on stage in their school version of “Mary Poppins”. At 14, she starred in her first formal theatre appearance in “Cinderella”.

Sheila is married to Lorenz Martinez, son of actor Leo. They met while doing “The Secret Garden” for Repertory in 2001. Sheila then became a cast member at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005 and Lorenz joined her a year later. They had their intimate beach wedding in Hong Kong in 2008, with half of the guest coming from Manila.

Carla played Kim in London’s “Miss Saigon” in 1996. She auditioned without her folks knowing it and told them about it only a week before she flew to London, where she stayed for two years. She then got pregnant by her boyfriend, choreographer-dancer Godfrey Laforteza. She went to New York and Godfrey followed her, later becoming a successful manager and chef. Two of their three dhildren were born in New York. They eventually returned home and Carla continued with her theatre career.

Both Shiela and Carla say that the role of Lily is a great challenge for them. Lily is a Pinay night club singer in Manila before Martial Law who meets a Chinese guy from the Mainland and falls in love with him. When he leaves, he doesn’t know that Lily is already pregnant and she embarks on a journey of sacrifice and heartaches. The musical spans two decades and two countries. The production explores how love overcomes even racial prejudices and political turmoil, enduring years of waiting and absence, only to grow deeper and change the lives of everyone. Playing their leading men are Armand Ferrer and David Ezra. Don't miss it!