Our musical story is deeply inspired by the 9-year struggle (from 1968 to 1977) against eviction waged by 150 old-timers who lived in the International Hotel, the last vestige of what had once been a vibrant community in San Francisco's Manilatown.
Like the people of San Francisco, our cast and our music comes from all over the world. The music itself, reaches back to the gongs and flutes of the people from the World Heritage Rice Terraces of Banaue. The music crosses both culture and time and takes us to the world of ancient Irish music, also gongs and flutes. Our lead singer, a Filipino American, sings with the L.A. Opera. His voice combines with the sweet lyrical songs of Ian, a would-be Bard in Hannigans Irish pub which happens to be located in the basement of the hotel. The Filipino, who has lived in the hotel for over 50 years, hears the music from his single room upstairs and is reminded of his own home in the Philippines. The two men meet when they receive their eviction notices, find they have a lot in common (music, dance, story-telling, even thatching) and become friends. Quickly they decide they have one last fight left in them. This is it. They will not leave.
All of our music is original, written by a jazz musician who has written music for 22 films. Our lead female singer is Filipino American, known to some as the Queen of Jazzipino. The specialty of each singer works beautifully as an ensemble. It could break you heart!
We will be selling tickets for $15 for our three performances February 24th and 25th, and part of the proceeds will be going to the Philippine Heritage Collection, Echo Park Public Library, L.A.
The rest of the money will be used to pay for a venue, lighting, sound, and minimal compensation for the seven actors/singers and the five musicians (Filipino and Irish and "other") who have already given me their time and talent to create WARRIOR. We are doing all this because we are creative people and this is what we have to offer our community and the people of the nation whose awareness of eviction and homelessness is minimal and distant.
We are performing in a neighborhood that is undergoing gentrification where eviction notices are served daily to people who have lived in their homes there for decades. The venue is called the Sanctuary in the Pico-Union Project where three different religions worship.
We will need the money at least a couple of weeks before the first performance on February 24, 2018 to secure the venue (we have made a deposit to hold it) and the equipment that we need to rent and try out . Most of our performers have been turning down other "gigs" to write and sing and practice together, and what I'm offering them is completely inadequate, especially for their immense talent. They, too, need to be compensated.
This is an act of love, and anyone who hears us, even just practicing, is touched by what we're doing. I wrote the lyrics for all of the songs (28 of them) and some of them are fun. As we are all artists, I'd say the #1 song we competely understand comes from the Irishman who tells us: "If it doesn't pay well, I can do it."
- Bob Baldonado
- SteveandLisa Burington
- Marisa Marchand
- Gregory Villanueva F.A.I.A.
- Bettye wages
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