Top 10 Philippine Female Theater Performers
As promised, we have assembled the list for today’s top 10 Philippine female performers. Statistics from Facebook and Twitter are used as barometers for ranking them from 10 to 1.
10. Aiza Seguerra – 152K Twitter followers; 8061 Facebook likes
Previous Works: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Katy The Musical, Aladdin
Claim to Fame: Rock of Ages
Aiza Seguerra in a bikini – let that image sink in because it happened on “Rock of Ages” when it was performed at RCBC Theater. Not everyone can be in the list of top 10 Philippine female theater performers by donning a bikini alone. She did by singing and acting at the same time. For a multimedia career that started at age 3, she really let herself evolve and mature on national TV. Transitioning into theater taking on roles you don’t expect her to be really pushed the envelope for her. And now she’s a hit for her Dubsmash videos with wife Liza Dino (at 3:02 and 3:45) that acknowledged her glory days as Philippine cinema’s child wonder.
9. Cherie Gil – 198K Twitter followers; 3266 FB likes
Previous Works: Full Gallop; Master Class
Claim to Fame: Nine, Arbol de Fuego
Ms. Cherie Gil – wait, make that THE Cherie Gil – would be one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers today that fans would expect to transition to theater. The Eigenmann family tradition of topnotch acting is seen here indeed. She was so effective as bel canto opera legend Maria Callas that she was mistaken as Maria Callas herself in a casual dining restaurant in the Netherlands. That is until a Filipina diner spotted the “Maria Callas portrait” as reported by Interaksyon.com. If a picture alone commanded that kind of performance, what more if she gets into theater as well? Whether she’s doing award-winning straight plays like Terrence McNally’s “Master Class” or musicals like “Nine” and “Arbol de Fuego”, she delivers. Of course her solid fanbase would still be occasionally quoting her most famous line as Lavinia Arguelles in “Bituing Walang Ningning” – “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!” A goblet of water is optional.
8. Agot Isidro – 533K Twitter followers; 5784 FB likes
Previous Works: Honk; Baby; Footloose
Claim to Fame: ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, Ze Muzikal
Being one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers, it’s been awhile since Agot Isidro got cast in musical theater. Perhaps because she’s one of the memorable actresses to play the feminist extremist alien, Queen Femina Suarestella Baroux, in “ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal”. When would she return to musical theater? Hopefully her fans won’t have to wait that long.
7. Frencheska Farr, 362K Twitter followers; 190172 FB likes
Previous Works: The Addams Family; Katy The Musical; The Wedding Singer; Rent
Claim to Fame: Grease
Finding fame in GMA Network’s singing competition “Are You The Next Big Star?”, the question can be answered differently. She is at the moment one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers. Expectations soared the moment she bagged the lead role for the musical film “Emir”. Musical theater gigs followed and there was no turning back.
6. Antoinette Taus, 110K Twitter followers, 48378 FB likes
Previous Works: Les Miserables; The Wiz
Claim to Fame: Grease
The strong personality must have explained why Antoinette Taus got cast as Gavrouche in one of the earliest stagings of “Les Miserables” in the Philippines. Finding her way back home, she made a comeback to Philippine musical theater through 9Works Theatrical’s “Grease”. But the kind of dedication she applies to her theater craft never wavered. It helped her reclaim her status as one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers now.
5. Karylle – 2.15M Twitter followers, 267234 FB likes
Previous Works: Seussical, Little Mermaid, Rama Hari
Claim to Fame: West Side Story, Cinderella
Top-billing AXN’s “The Kitchen Musical” with Christian Bautista, it then solidified her fanbase. The exposure was born out of being one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers. Her stints in high-profile projects like “West Side Story”, “Rama Hari” and “Cinderella” sealed the deal.
4. Rachelle Ann Go – 1.99M Twitter followers; 1794465 FB likes
Previous Works: The Little Mermaid; Tarzan
Claim to Fame: Miss Saigon
Rachelle Ann Go was already a pop star when she bagged the role of hardened stripper Gigi in “Miss Saigon”. Cameron Mackintosh himself mentioned it when he finally announced the official cast for the “Miss Saigon revival”. It helped that prior to this stint, she was already cast in “Tarzan” and “The Little Mermaid”, a good start for getting included among the top 10 Philippine female theater performers today. The 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards in London agrees. They awarded her the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Award for her portrayal of Gigi.
Witness one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers today, Rachelle Ann Go, featured in the soundtrack of Disney’s “Cinderella” by clicking here.
3. Lea Salonga – 2.81M Twitter followers; 1106327 FB likes
Previous Works: Flower Drum Song; They’re Playing Our Song; Allegiance
Claim to Fame: Les Miserables; Miss Saigon
Ms. Lea Salonga is the only actress in this list of top 10 Philippine female theater performers with a Tony Award and Olivier plum to date. And she keeps on giving hope to young girls worldwide especially on the master class she officiated. She gave them hope that one day, they can be a Disney princess too. That was a stark contrast to her signature role, neophyte bar girl Kim in the original West End run of “Miss Saigon”. To everyone that had seen Miss Saigon premiere on West End, she will always be Kim.
2. Nikki Gil – 3.3M Twitter followers; 3511013 FB likes
Previous Works: Legally Blonde, Seussical, They’re Playing Our Song
Claim to Fame: Sweet Charity, The Last 5 Years
From being a recording artist to Myx VJ to soap opera villain, Nikki Gil wore many hats in the Philippine entertainment industry. That is not the only reason why she got included in the top 10 Philippine female theater performers list. The kind of initiative to learn the Bob Fosse choreography in “Sweet Charity” meant she’s willing to do what she can to embody the role.
1. Iya Villania-Arellano – 3.53M Twitter followers; 5260174 FB likes
Previous Works and Claim to Fame: The Wedding Singer; Grease
It is this likeability that boosted the stats on her social media accounts. It catapulted her as one of the top 10 Philippine female theater performers at the moment. Those who have witnessed her performances as Julia from “The Wedding Singer” and as Rizzo from “Grease” are pleasantly surprised to discover her believable take on this characters. And those characters are very different even if you use the film versions as references. It made everyone look forward to what could be next for her.