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Repertory Philippines set to bring Christmas magic to Filipino homes with The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off!

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Repertory Philippines (REP) is back and ready to make this year’s Christmas even brighter and merrier with its holiday production, The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off!

Photo from Facebook (Repertory Philippines)

REP hits yet another milestone as it brings the theater experience online, marking many firsts in its latest production.

In an exclusive interview with Showbiz Beat, theatre actress and now Assistant director of the show, Cara Barredo, told us how great it felt being able to create again as an artist. “It somehow made up for the past year and a half. The exchange of passion and energy with the actors and creatives made my heart beat triple time. It sure made onstage alive again too.”

Photo from Facebook (cara barredo)

“Luckily, even before the pandemic we already experienced shooting a show without an audience. So, it didn’t feel so weird,” she pointed out.

Apart from excitement, Cara also said that she couldn’t help but feel skittish about being handpicked as the assistant director. “I was very nervous. One thing that kept me excited and confident was the thought of learning more about theatre from a different perspective. I learned so much from Tita Joy and the whole team. Tita Baby and Tita Bibot always said “the greatest team can be found in the theater” being an assistant director, made me realize that even more.” 

The Christmas Cookie Bake-Off is the first-ever Filipino production purposely aimed for the international streaming service Broadway on Demand. 

Photo from Facebook (Repertory Philippines)

Broadway on Demand is a virtual performing arts complex that offers exclusive live stream events, educational and interactive content, broadway shows, and movie musicals. 

It also showcases performances from individual artists, concert series, and content from performance venues and theaters worldwide. 

Apart from being the first Filipino production to make it on Broadway on Demand, The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off is also the first REP Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA) offering in over a year.

Photo from Facebook (Repertory Philippines)

Bringing the holiday cheer to homes from November 12 to December 12, The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off combines the time-honored tradition of Christmas cookies with the ever-popular phenomenon of reality baking competitions. 

The story will revolve around eight young cookie bakers from all over the country, who will battle it out for the most-coveted grand prize at the Cookie Coliseum. 

As three distinguished celebrity judges eliminate the bakers one by one, feelings of intense (and sweet!) rivalry will give way to virtues of charity, family, and forgiveness.

Actor Tim Pavino, who plays the character Javi Carrion, shared how he prepared for his role and how it felt to be back on stage again. 

Photo from Instagram (TimPavino)

“Preparing for this role I had to refresh my memory as a baker since I personally have not baked for years since my Grandmother got sick. Being that baking is also a form of exercise for the mind and technique, I had to tie it in with how Javi with how he was feeling per baking round.”

Tim continued on and said, “To literally be back onstage at “Onstage Theater” filming was a surreal moment. It almost as if that moment was never going to happen again. Even though we had no audience, we had each other. And just hearing and FEELING music again was more than enough to bring us to tears. Very thankful.”

“We still gave the same energy as we would with an audience because most of us have turned to streaming during this pandemic, so it was oddly all too familiar for us to give our all in front of a camera.”

Theatre actress, Becca Coates, also opened up on how thrilled she was to perform again.

“Our first day back even just in rehearsals was so awesome. We were all so energized, and excited to act. The best moment was seeing the set for the first time. It’s always exciting seeing the set for the first time, but after everything that occurred it almost made me cry”

Photo from Becca Coates

“I definitely wasn’t used to it. I found the cameras really intimidating, even though the crew themselves were so kind. I missed the live audience, but it’s exciting to think about kids watching the show from home. I am definitely not used to the opportunity to watch the show I was in,” Becca added. 

Created with the streaming audiences in mind, The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off! is directed by RTYA Creative Director Joy Virata. 

The musical’s cast consists of brilliant talents such as Jep Go, Jillian Itaas, Luigi Quesada, Rachel Coates, Justine Narciso, Steven Hotchkiss, Carla Guevara Laforteza, Jamie Wilson, Arnel Carrion, and Hans Eckstein. 

Photo from Repertory Philippines

The production also includes an all-star creative team composed of set designer Ed Lacson, lighting designer John Batalla, costume designer Bonsai Cielo, and choreographer Deana Aquino. Multi-awarded director Treb Monteras helms the video production managed by Silver Media. 

Let your entire family experience the magic of theater and Christmas right in the comfort and safety of your home with RTYA’s The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off streaming exclusively on Broadway On Demand! The  Rep fam also assured that the show is something that the Philippine audience would enjoy.

“I believe #1 that the audience will take home a sense of value in the meaning of what Christmas is all about. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m sure everyone can relate to at least of the characters in the show and I only hope and pray that with every scene their hearts grow more full as they relive their own Christmas memories while enjoying theater again with us as we enjoyed performing for them in return. Cheers, and Merry Christmas!” Tim stated.

Photo from Instagram (TimPavino)

“The audience can expect a heart warming story that’ll definitely make them crave for cookies and family and friends. A Christmas musical is always a good idea. It’s something I personally look forward to every year. This show will stir up all the feels and a familiar feeling of home. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together!” Cara underlined.

Photo from Facebook (cara barredo)

Grab your tickets now at Php700 (regular) and Php1,000 (family/household). Each ticket gives you 24-hour access to the musical, which you can access through a web browser using your computer or mobile device.

You can also watch the musical through the Broadway On Demand app on your tablet or smartphone. Download the app on Google Play or App Store. Broadway On Demand is also available on AppleTV and Roku. 

For  updates,  log on  to www.repertoryphilippines.ph,  and like  and  follow  Repertory  Philippines  on  Facebook  and Instagram. 

Photo from Repertory Philippines

Educators and school representatives who are interested in the show can email [email protected].

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Repertory Philippines

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