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'Les Miserables' Resorts World premiere goes nowhere

January 10, 2013 3:42am
The gala premiere of Les Miserables at Resorts World Manila’s Performing Arts Theater ended unceremoniously Wednesday night even as it failed to even begin. The much anticipated event was canceled following more than an hour’s delay due to “technical difficulties.”

Prior to the voice-over announcement, several audience members could be spotted walking out after being made to wait in their seats with no word from the organizers that anything was amiss. One such audience member, actress Cherie Gil, posted via Twitter, “KP WALKOUT on Les Mis Premier. Tagal magstart!”

A joint release from Resorts World and Solar-UIP was posted on the Resorts World website later in the evening. It stated, “The scheduled by-invitation red carpet premiere of the movie Les Miserables at the Newport Performing Arts Theater was canceled due to technical difficulties.

For any inconvenience caused, guests will be issued free replacement tickets to the regular screening of Les Miserables at the Newport Cinemas from January 16-23 upon presentation of premiere invitations.”

In addition to Gil, other luminaries of screen and stage, including Brillante Mendoza, Vicki Belo, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Miriam Quiambao and Tessa Prieto-Valdes, had turned out at Newport City en masse for the invitation-only premiere, hitting the red carpet in formal attire. Selected media were also on hand to cover the event, with lines to the theater entrance forming as early as 7pm for the scheduled 8pm screening.

Following a short program that featured a performance by Ryan Cayabyab playing selections from the soundtrack as interpreted by the likes of Audie Gemora, Christian Bautista and Karylle, guests were informed that the film would start in “fifteen minutes.” While waiting, portions of the score were played on the PA system, as Resorts World house advertisements were flashed on the theater’s screens.

As the minutes wore on, excitement gave way to anxiety and, later on, annoyance. Fifteen minutes became thirty, then forty. As the hour mark drew closer, the crowd grew visibly more restless, a fact reflected by their Twitter feeds and sarcastic applause whenever the portion of score being played would come to a close.

By the time the announcement came that the premiere had been canceled and an offer of complimentary tickets for regular screenings was offered, it was too little, too late, as the disgruntled crowd stormed out of the theater.

A source from Solar-UIP, the distributor of “Les Miserables” in the Philippines, who asked not to be named said the problem, being technical in nature, was not from their end.

Resorts World officials were not available for comment as of posting time. — DVM, GMA News
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