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Repertory Philippines: [NOV12-DEC12] 'The Great Christmas Cookie Bake Off!' on Broadway on Demand!


REP The Great Christmas Cookie Bake Off 

One of the things I miss is going to theaters and watching live shows. And when "-ber" months come, my son and I look forward to Repertory Philippines Theatre for Young Audiences (RTYA) production. It has been a yearly habit to watch a light and feel-good show that truly captures the heart of the young ones. Sadly, it has been two years since the last -- which was The Quest for the Adarna, but the great news is RTYA is back, this time, streaming exclusively on Broadway On Demand this November 12 to December 12, 2021 for a delightful and family-friendly musical called The Great Christmas Cookie Bake Off! 

Meet the eight (8) young cookie chefs of different personalities but with the same goal of bagging the first prize at the Cookie Coliseum! 

The young chefs who will compete 

  • Jillian Ita-as as Anna Santos, the perfect overachiever
  • Jep Go as Gabe Gomez, a bully who’s more than happy to bend the rules
  • Becca Coates as Patty MaƱosa, a beautiful sensitive soul who longs for her Grandma’s cookies
  • Luigi Quesada as Julian Zamora, a culinary artiste with a talent for fine cuisine
  • Rachel Coates as Samantha Lopez, a fun and fabulous social media fanatic who loves the spotlight
  • Justine Narciso as Amy Garcia, a Disney devotee who’s slightly scattered in the kitchen but super adorable just the same
  • Tim Pavino as Javi Carreon, a video game buff who feels out of place in the kitchen but whose heart is definitely in the right place
  • Steven Hotchkiss as Josh Bernardo, a science enthusiast who knows his formulas

Experience a mix of characters, colorful visuals, explosive energy, and the intense rivalry among the chefs that eventually lead them to find the true winning Christmas recipe. 

The Cast 

Adding more flavors to the show are REP veteran actors such as: 

  • Carla Guevara-Laforteza playing multiple roles as: Isabel Guevara, a food fashionista with a high sense of aesthetic and one of the judges of the bake off; Anna’s Mom, your quintessential helicopter parent who watches every detail; and Patty’s quirky-loving Grandma
  • Arnel Carrion playing a double role as Michael Holmes, the meanest guy in the food industry and in the Cookie Coliseum, and Gabe’s Dad, a big wig TV exec who pushes his son to win at all costs
  • Jaime Wilson as Del Ray, pop singer and celebrity guest judge who has never baked but can certainly lay down some tasty grooves
  • Hans Eckstein as Larry, the faithful host and announcer of the competition

Created by Broadway musical director Rick Hip-Flores and directed by RTYA Creative Director Joy Virata, The Great Christmas Cookie Bake Off! is a sure way to have a brighter and merrier holiday season. Being the first-ever Filipino production to be available on Broadway On Demand, you shouldn't miss bringing the magic of theater and Christmas straight to your home. 

Tickets are priced at Php700 (24-hour access) and Php1,000 (48-hour access). Broadway On Demand can be accessed via computer or mobile device through a web browser (Google Chrome is recommended for optimal streaming) or via tablet or smartphone through the Broadway On Demand app on App Store and Google Play. It’s also available on AppleTV and Roku. Book your tickets through Broadway On Demand, TicketWorld, or Ticket2Me, or via the REP Box Office by calling 0966 905 4013.

The Experience

This is the first time I watched a stage play or musical production via streaming online. Of course, pre-pandemic, I really go to theaters to watch them live because there is a fascinating experience watching the actors perform all-out onstage without cuts or retakes -- not to mention their overflowing dancing, singing, and acting skills. I didn't expect much watching this musical on-screen because there's this thought -- "How will it be different from watching a movie or TV show?"

Well it is still different. Yes, there were camera angles, dubbed voices, and scenes taken earlier -- things that are not done in live shows -- but the overall vibe was still shouting "theater"! Everything was still done onstage. It is like having that VIP seat where you can see the actors and the details up-close. The main selling point still lies on the actors' voice and body language to convey the story. 

REP Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA) debuts their online streaming show via Broadway On Demand with The Great Christmas Cookie Bake Off!. I watched it with my 7-year-old son and we're both very entertained. He was even amazed with the voices of the actors -- something he must have noticed more now that we're watching on screen. The costumes are colorful and each of the characters has a unique personality portrayed vibrantly. There were scenes that even the mere gestures made us laugh!

But visuals aside, what I really love about this musical is the message of the story itself. For sure viewers will be able to relate to at least one of the characters and from there, reflect and have an idea on how to resolve their inner conflict. There's a baker who only cares about the outside and what people sees, while the other one is not realizing his full potential. There's a young chef who was raised to be perfect, while the other never got things right. As a Mom, it struck me seeing Anna's "helicopter" mom. I never considered myself as one, but hearing the words "Follow directions. Do as you're told" -- they all sound familiar! And right then and there, I asked my son if I am like that mom, to which he said "Sometimes". It made me rethink of my actions that maybe I am not giving him enough space and time to do and discover things on his own.

There are bits and pieces of lessons that can be learned from each character, but it's ultimately the essence of Christmas reflected through love, sharing, and caring that tops the list.