Simple story, classic music in All Out of Love

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By Nickky F. P. de Guzman, Reporter

Theater Review
All Out of Love
Presented by Full House
Theater Co.
Ongoing until Oct. 28
Newport Performing Arts Theater
Resorts World Manila

WHAT DO Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born and Resorts World Manila’s All Out of Love have in common? Besides their good music, both show the perils of the entertainment industry.

The former illustrates the effects of substance abuse on one’s music career, while the latter, well, shows another kind of addicting drug: love — and how it can derail you or keep you on your musical trip.

But the bigger picture is that the music industry creates artists who are not allowed to live a life outside the limelight. As musical products, the musicians are used by their labels and managers in the pursuit of bigger profits while setting aside the artists’ personal lives and feelings.

In All Out of Love, this is well represented when superstar artist Jamie Crimson (a perfectly cast Mig Ayesa in full rockstar mode) breaks down in the middle of his big concert tour launch when he sees the love of his life, Rayne (Rachel Alejandro, as the jaded Southern singer, voice still glorious) among the crowd although she was just a figment of his fevered imagination. The concert has to stop after just one song he threatens to quit the tour. Naturally, record label honcho Tommy King (the full-throated Raymund Concepcion) is mad at his biggest profit-maker and his decision to throw away his career.

This is followed by recollections of Jamie and Rayne’s simple life back when they were creating music together. Rayne is also a singer, but she sings in the streets of 1980’s New York ghetto and doesn’t have the superstar status of her ex-lover.

The 1980s vibe of the simple set is aided by the use of street signs, bright lights, and graffiti. Robert Brunton did the set and was also the LED designer, while Trudy Dalgleish did the era-appropriate lighting design.

The rest of the show followed Jamie’s quest to win back Rayne with the help of Stacie King (ably played by Tanya Manalang, whose comedic talents match her bell-like voice).

Yes, King, as in record mogul Tommy King’s daughter. The young Harvard grad is an idealistic, always positive heroine who gives Jamie unsolicited life and love advice in her quest to get him back into the company’s fold and prove to her unbelieving dad that she belongs in the family business. While Stacie helps Jamie pursue Rayne because she believes in their love story, one can question if she’s only doing it because she’s a hopeless romantic or because she sees the opportunity that the Rayne-Jamie musical tandem will bring to the family business.

A sidebar to the romantic pursuit is the equally unrelenting pursuit of the Kings’ music rival Kurt Swinghammer (the appropriately slimey Jamie Wilson) of their record label.

Enveloping the entire narrative are the classic songs of Air Supply.

Act I included “All Out of Love,” “Every Woman in the World,“ “Lonely is the Night,” and “Here I Am,” while Act II has “Keeping the Love Alive,” “Now and Forever,” and “Even the Nights are Better.” There were little or no revisions at all in the songs, which, while mostly sung in their entirety, were seamlessly sewn into the scenes by Stephen Amos who did the musical supervising, arrangements, and orchestrations.

But it is the singers — Ayesa, Alejandro, Concepcion, and Manalang, along with a very enthusiastic ensemble — who bring the music to life. If there is one thing a Filipino singer can do is really wring the emotion out of a romantic song.

Unlike A Star is Born, all is well that ends well between the Rayne and Jamie, and, cheesy as it may seem, “now there’s two less lonely people in the world tonight.”

All Out of Love runs until Oct. 28 at Resorts World Manila.

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