MANILA, Philippines ? For six years now, the Amazing Philippine Theater (APT) has been entertaining Filipinos and foreigners alike with its grand productions straight out of the glittering and glamorous spectacles of Broadway and West End.
Whether at its original home at the Manila Film Center or at the Hadsan Cove Resort in Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, the company that takes pride in being the ?biggest transvestite show in Asia? has never failed to amuse its audience while providing employment opportunities for Filipino gay entertainers.
The APT recently opened an outlet in the country?s premier tourist destination, Boracay. Along with industry partners?Philippine Tourism Authority, Seair and Paradise Garden Resort?APT gave journalists from Manila a taste of what was expected to become Boracay?s premier nightly attraction.
While the Amazing Show on Boracay is a small-scale version of the one in Manila, it will still feature dance sequences, musical numbers, comedy skits and excerpts from Broadway and movie musicals such as ?Grease? and ?Dream Girls.? The one-hour shows run twice daily, 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
APT began in August 2001. It opened a hiring office at Aloha Hotel on Roxas Boulevard. Auditions were held at the Girl Scouts of the Philippines Theater on Padre Faura, Manila.
Korean William Lee, COO and director for sales and marketing, says APT owner and chair Jong Hyun Lee approached him with the idea of creating a theater company to provide a world-class show that would benefit both foreign and local markets in the Philippines.
Lee said he was influenced by the success of transvestite shows in Thailand.
After talents had been pooled, APT began arrangements to rehabilitate the Manila Film Center.
A Korean restaurant, Shabu-Shabu Grande, and a new lobby lounge bar and café are among the development projects being made in the Film Center.
Since opening in the Film Center, the Amazing Shows have attracted over 280,000 tourists, the majority being Koreans.
Other nationalities include Chinese, Japanese, American and local tourists who have easier access to the venues.
The APT holds annual Amazing Beauty Pageant every October, with the winner getting a contract with the theater company to go with the cash prize.
As Amazing Theater?s popularity cannot be denied, more tourists are expected to flock to Boracay not just for its beautiful beach but also to witness the shows.
With the APT opening a branch on the island, the Boracay landscape has truly changed as it has now become home to talented performing transgenders.
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