Don’t you wish we could all just sing through our lives the way characters from musicals do? Imagine bursting into song when you’re angry, falling or keeping yourself from falling madly in love, or fighting tirelessly for what you believe in? Just imagine what these emotions would sound like…
In reality, you don’t get to meet a cute boy or girl and start singing about him or her while you’re walking down the street. You’d be crazy. The world we live in simply isn’t that kind of stage. That’s why we spend thousands of pesos just to see these theater productions, to ultimately and hopefully (re)discover ourselves. I remember shedding a few tears when I watched Phantom of the Opera a few years ago; it was the first Broadway musical I got to see with a dear friend who taught me to appreciate musicals.
At the end of the day, no amount of singing in the shower or Dubsmash-ing to your all-time favorite songs can ever fully express your love for Broadway theater. So when an opportunity like Sixteen Bars’ announcement of Broadway Open Mic comes knocking on your musical door, how can one say no?
So what is Broadway Open Mic?
Broadway Open Mic is a Broadway-themed open mic session organized by Sixteen Bars at DITO: Bahay ng Sining. For only P 150.00, you get a free drink and sing a Broadway song of your choice with a piano accompaniment, thanks to Jeruel. You can sing it on your own, with a friend, or with a group.
A month leading up to April 25, Sixteen Bars and DITO: Bahay ng Sining had been reaching out to Broadway theater fans in Manila to join the activity. It sounded exciting, and a lot of these guys must have felt the same way.
Having mustered the courage to attend and participate, some arrived in pairs while others, in groups. Some were in the company of friends and family; some were strangers – but not for too long.
6 | I’m loving the venue. I had lived in Marikina for a good four years, so I can’t help but get all sentimental whenever I visit the area. Marikina has improved ever since. Tempting food places have been sprouting like mushrooms here and there. But to have an art cafe like DITO: Bahay ng Sining? Now that’s something I wish that had existed years ago. DITO is conveniently located along J. Molina Street, Concepcion, Marikina.
It’s so easy to grow fond of its cozy vibe. It’s like one of those favorite spots you and your friends keep going back to just because it feels like another home away from home.
5 | Witness and capture a variety of Broadway song performances. Potential participants had a couple of weeks to prepare for their weapons of choice – their voices and music sheets.
Some saved digital copies of their music sheets in their mobile devices. Well, some dressed to look and play the part. One brought her music teacher, and a few others brought their instruments with them.
Somebody to Love – We Will Rock You
There was also an element of surprise to the whole experience. You want to keep guessing what they’re going to sing. Sometimes, the first note to a familiar tune can start a chorus later on.
Surprisingly, the crowd was able to witness a wide variety of song performances from hit musicals, such as: Les Miserables, Little Women, In the Heights, Rock of Ages, Wicked, The Little Mermaid, We Will Rock You, Sound of Music, The Last Five Years, Rent, Once, Phantom of the Opera, among others. For a theater noob like me, the activity allowed me to discover some broadway songs for the first time.
4 | Get to hang out with an appreciative and supportive crowd. Another thing I really love about the whole experience is having to be around such a warm and supportive audience. It’s okay to sing as if you’re right there in the shower, without a care in the world. And even though you may end up singing offkey because you’re nervous, that’s alright. You know they’ll be there to sing along.
Edelweiss – Sound of Music
3 | Meet new friends. It was also an evening of friendship and of meeting new people who share the same passions and interests. What a way to spend your Saturday night!
Falling Slowly – Once the Musical
2 | Surprise, surprise! There’s an upcoming reprise and a prize! Due to its successful first session, Sixteen Bars announced another round right away, this time in collaboration with Pulp Live World for Idina Menzel’s upcoming concert in the Philippines. So calling the attention of all Idina Menzel fans out there! Now’s your chance to Moo with Sixteen Bars! Here’s how:
For Good – Wicked
1 | Who forgets their first Broadway Open Mic Experience, anyway? No one. It was another evening of firsts. I got to visit DITO and catch Sixteen Bars’ broadway-themed open mic session for the first time. My friends and I thought the whole experience was all worth it.
Don’t Stop Believing – Rock of Ages
All in all, there was this indescribable magic, the warmth the venue had to offer. There was something in the air that brought the people close, and friends and family even closer.
Here’s to more Broadway Open Mic sessions in the near future! And next time, you know the drill. Maybe we’ll all get to see each other again in this beautiful, little world that is DITO. Next round is on May 29, so save the date!
How was your #BroadwayOpenMic experience? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.