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‘Miss Saigon’ alum to mark 30 years on stage with music, dance, fashion, dinner-show

12:21 AM April 04, 2014

Miguel Braganza II (front, right) with “Miss Saigon” cast mates

NEW YORK, NY – Longtime stage artist and “Miss Saigon” alumnus Miguel Braganza II is celebrating his 30 years in dance and theater by inviting friends and the public to an evening of music, dance and fashion billed as “Salamat, Salamat, New York” on Friday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. at Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel (135-20 39th Ave., Flushing, NY).

“Salamat, Salamat, New York,” (Thank You, Thank You, New York) features an international cast and fashion designer Arielle Agasang’s haute couture collection. It is produced by the nonprofit organization Filipinos in the Arts in America, Inc. (FilinArts), in cooperation with Queens Asian Fest.

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Braganza has conceptualized and choreographed the show and is directing it as well. Lighting design is by Alex Denevers, sound design by Edmundo Quinones and additional choreography is by Qi Min, Rowena Bontor O’Mary and Rolly Postadan.

Part of the proceeds from the dinner show will go to various arts programs developed by FilinArts for Filipino American youths in the New York Tri-State area. FilinArts  promotes and presents works of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. It also trains young artists, creates performing opportunities and community development through cultural exchange programs and professional productions in music, dance, theater and fashion.

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Originally from the Philippines, Braganza was Walter Terry scholar in the dance performance and choreography program at Harvard University in the ‘80s. He was assistant to Tony Award-winning director John Dexter in the original Broadway production of “M. Butterfly” from 1988-1990.

Braganza joined the cast of the U.S. and international productions (Germany, Canada, UK, and Portugal) of Cameron Mackintosh’s mega-musical “Miss Saigon” for 14 years. The feat, he says, made him feel “so blessed” and inspired him to teach young and up-and-coming artists, build libraries and promote arts programs both in New York and in the Philippines to this day.

“For the last three years, besides supporting about 40 musical theater and dance scholars at Julie Borromeo Performing Arts Foundation in Manila, I’ve also been collaborating with various foundations and nonprofit organizations in the Philippines, giving out free arts workshops for Filipino youths,” Braganza explains.

“I’m also thrilled that my pilot project ‘Street of Dreams: Library and Arts in the Park for the Youth’ in Santa Ana, Manila will also be adopted by more than 10 libraries in nearby neighborhoods,” he adds, “but I need your help to sustain these projects.”

“Salamat, Salamat, New York’s” cast include opera, Broadway, cultural and pop singers Ionie Bernstein, Anna Penchuk, Daphne Mamoulides, Karl Scully, Cameo Humps, Lisa Villamaria, Kay Habana,Virna Yao, Mark Roska,  Yiling Li, Cathy Jiang, Joel Inocencio, Jordan Sese, Sanagustin Quartette, and Gail Banawis.

The dancers are Natallia Sheptalova, Ikuma Takashi, Kyler Breed, McGough Sisters, Christine Liwag, Mi Yeong Mendonca, Qi Min and “Dancing with the Stars” Junior Champions Craig and Samantha Abaya-Campos. The models: Jiaju Shen (pipa player), Katerina Giannakopoulos, Marvee Sanagustin, Tatiana Sheptalova, and Kiko Cajoles; and pianist- vocalist Jordan Addison and  Jason Matamis.

Additionally, past and current MB2 New York Musical Theatre Lab participants Jillian Sese, Katarina Ladaga , Ryan Paqueo, Nikole Inocencio, Marvi Cajoles, Maroll Cajoles, Eloise Macapagal, Julia Owens,Christine Morales, Marcus dePompies ,  Stephanie Quimbao, and  Matthew Marano will perform.

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For dinner show tickets ($65-$125), call Debbie 551-998-84455 or Myrna 917-502-9887, or email [email protected]. Donations are tax deductible. Send to Filipinos in the Arts in America Inc., 197 Summit Avenue, Hackensack, NJ 07601.

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TAGS: Cameron Mackintosh, Dance, fashion, FilinArts, Harvard, M. Butterfly, Miguel Braganza, Miss Saigon, Music, Queens Asian Fest, Salamat Salamat New York, theater
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