ART IS A BANG: School spirit takes center stage as “Rivalry” returns

Good news to those who missed out on the all-original and all-new Filipino production of Rivalry: Ateneo-La Salle The Musical

It’s another opportunity to bring out the pom-poms and prepare the loudest cheer as 
4th Wall Theater Company brings back the well-applauded and well-loved musical starting January 25, 2013 at the Meralco Theater.

School spirit is very much alive as Ateneans and La Sallites clash onstage and engage in an intense battle replete with rousing musical numbers, impressive choreography and exchanges of wit and humor. The competition between the two schools is so engaging that even those who are neither from Ateneo nor from La Salle enjoyed the show.

“Based on a backyard study we did, 45% of those who watched the first staging are neither from Ateneo nor from La Salle. More importantly, the audience of theater in the Philippines is not expanding the way it should be. The reason why we have to do this again is we know we have a market to tap. I would like for us to leave a legacy of really expanding the theater industry,” Ed Gatchalian, executive producer and musical director of Rivalry, explained.

An exclusive sneak preview of “Rivalry” was held recently for the online community to experience the much-talked about production.

The “Rivalry” cast, led by theater actors Jeremy Aguado, Nel Gomez and Cara Barredo, serenaded the online community, mostly bloggers, with numbers from the musical like “Boy from La Salle” and “What If.” 

The creative team composed of Gatchalian, director Jaime Del Mundo and lyricist Joel Trinidad gamely mingled with the bloggers and expressed their thoughts about their work.

“We don’t want the public to think this is just about Ateneo and La Salle. The lyrics encapsulated the whole conflict between the two schools but we made sure the execution will be acceptable to all,” Trinidad explained.

“We had to find a story that touches us universally. Although on the surface, it’s about Ateneo and La Salle, it’s more about the relationships that we have with friends, girlfriend or boyfriend and family. It’s a story that will touch everyone,” Del Mundo added.

Rivalry is set in 1968 when Ateneo and La Salle were still part of the NCAA with other schools such as Letran, San Beda, Mapua and Jose Rizal. The story revolves around two families headed by fathers belonging to opposing schools. Their sons not only deal with school and basketball rivalry but also vie for the love of one girl. The exciting events unfold in a series of creatively choreographed scenes coupled with rousing, originally-crafted musical numbers with inspiring performances from a cast of talented performers.

4th Wall Theater Company brings together creative talents to bring to life an engaging, Broadway-worthy musical that’s proudly Philippine-made.

“I say this not out of boasting but only out of the pride in my heart that we have something to really show the world. This is the thrust of 4th Wall and Rivalry is the first step,” Gatchalian promised.

Tickets to “Rivalry: Ateneo-La Salle The Musical” are available at Ticketworld outlets. Visit or call (02) 891-9999.

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