The Pinoy cast members of the first Pan-Asian TV series ‘The Kitchen Musical’ are Thou Reyes, Karylle, Christian Bautista and Ikey Canoy, flanked by TGE CEO Nelia Molato-Sutrisno and Studio 23 programming head Vince Rodriguez
Apart from being one of its lead actors, Karylle is excited to work in Singapore for “The Kitchen Musical” because their work hours are manageable.
“I’m very excited to work there because 12 working hours lang po [kami per day]. And na-experience ko na ‘yung 24 hours ang norm and 40 hours ang worst,” Karylle told Bulletin Entertainment and other members of the press during the press launch for “The Kitchen Musical” held on May 30 at Ace Water Spa.
“Tamang oras ‘yung trabaho, 7 [AM] to 7 [PM]. There’s so much time for other things, to explore, to write, to run,” she noted.
Asked if the 12-hour work day is in writing, Karylle said yes. “Di ba ang galing? Pwede pala,” she added.
With that, Karylle expressed hope that this “will somehow wake up the industry here na, you know, just to lessen the working hours a bit.”
“Because, you know, if you complain even the slightest bit here on your 24th hour, you’re a diva. But as we all know, 24 hours is no joke. So sana lang naman din na we learn from first-world countries, you know, we can get there also,” she said.
Asked about a rumor circulating on Facebook that she had a fever and just came from a 30-hour long shoot when she went to audition for “The Kitchen Musical,” Karylle confirmed so. “I was coughing a bit and I had to take some medicines but okay naman.”
She added: “I can’t remember about how [long the shoot was]… I think we were taping for ‘Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal’ but I don’t know how long the taping was. Siguro merong 24 hours ‘yon.”
Aside from Karylle, three more Filipinos – namely Christian Bautista, Thou Reyes and Ikey Canoy – are joining the Asian cast of the series by Singaporean director and creator, CheeK. Set to leave for Singapore this week, the four will join the rest of the Asian cast and “will be subjected to actual food preparation training [so] you can be sure that all the things that they will be doing on the screen will be pretty realistic,” said Nelia Molato-Sutrisno, CEO of Singapore’s The Group Entertainment.
"We will be identifying the other nationalities who will be joining in the cast as we confirm them," Nelia added.
Karylle will be playing the role of Maddie, a young sous chef at The Avilon. Christian will be Daniel, another sous chef at the restaurant and Maddie’s best friend and “secret rival.” Meanwhile, Ikey will be assuming the role of the “eccentric” and “often misunderstood” pastry chef named Winston; on the other hand, Thou, who was originally cast as a dishwasher, got an “upgrade” and will now be playing the role of one of the chefs.
Other Pinoys who will join “The Kitchen Musical” are New York-based actor Arthur Acuna as The Avilon’s general manager, and conductor Gerard Salonga who will be the TV show’s musical director.
In selecting the cast members, Nelia explained that they embarked on a regional casting where they “looked for talents all over Asia for the pilot.”
“And we brought the pilot around not only in Asia but also outside, [to] Europe and the States.
“From that pilot, we got comments and from those comments we finalized the cast for the actual shoot, which will happen starting this month,” she said, adding that they’ve been developing this project for almost a year now.
For Karylle, working for four straight months in Singapore without going home is “better” because “you [remain] in character, there’s no distraction, everything is efficient.”
“[It’s] very professional so for me, of course I’d like to go home, and hopefully we will be able to, but if not, ‘yung talaga kasi ‘yung pinaka-professional way of doing things,” she added.
Christian, on the other hand, said he’s already set to return at least once to Manila, for a day, to attend the premiere of his upcoming Indonesian film, “A Special Symphony,” where he plays the role of a music teacher working in a special school.
Both “ASAP” mainstays shared that they had to either give up or move certain commitments just to make way for “The Kitchen Musical,” including Karylle’s stage play “Light at the Piazza,” which is now rescheduled for next year.
“We’re devoted to this, we believe in this project and there are sacrifices pero that’s what we have to do,” Christian said.
All four artists agreed that they’d grab other possible opportunities abroad that may come their way, but in the meantime, they see working in “The Kitchen Musical” as a chance to open doors for other Filipino talents.
“What we can assure you, kaming apat, we are gonna put the Philippines there. We’re gonna make them see that we are professionals, we are good and easy to work with.
“We will do everything we can para ‘pag napanood na ‘to ng iba’t-ibang bansa, [they’ll say] ‘Who are these four? Where are they from?’ They’re from the Philippines. We wanna bring the Philippines… to the rest of the world. That’s our promise to you,” Christian said.
Asked what the audience will love about “The Kitchen Musical,” Ikey said, “It’s so much more than ‘Glee’ na yes may singing, may dancing, may acting but the big part of what the show really is is about cooking, is about cuisine, is about food.”
“We’ll show them also kung ano ‘yung treatment nila, how to present food and how to get people interested not only in life and food, but in cooking, in baking, and making what you see in the show. Kasi lahat ng mga dishes na pinapakita namin every episode, we will be showing you how to make them,” he added, with Karylle describing the series as “a fusion of music and also a cooking show.”
On the music that will be featured on the show, Nelia said they have opted to get popular songs familiar both locally and internationally — no Pinoy and original songs, though — due to the wide scope of market they are targeting.
“We got the clearance already, na-clear na namin ang music rights with the international labels. So all the songs that you will be encountering in the series are all familiar. We will be doing a lot of rearrangements and you will see the songs, the normal songs that you know, in a very different light. Specially the way these talented artists are actually going to perform them,” she shared.
Nelia also added that, like “Glee,” they also have plans of having these songs recorded by “The Kitchen Musical” cast available for download.
“The digital part of ‘The Kitchen Musical’ is now being put together. Part of the strategy is how we can actually bring the songs to the mass[es] as soon as possible. There will be [downloading component]. There will be an online [and] mobile component,” said she.
“The Kitchen Musical” is slated to premiere in October 2011 in 19 countries across Asia and Europe, with the first two episodes to air locally initially via ABS-CBN’s "Sunday’s Best." The subsequent episodes will be aired tentatively every Saturday on Studio 23 in its primetime block.
In all, there will be 13 one hour-long episodes for the first season and, according to Studio 23’s program head Vince Rodriguez, the second season of "The Kitchen Musical" is already "in the works."