Here's the latest:
Melody is overjoyed to announce that she is playing Sofia Flores in QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, a new musical by Stephen Schwartz and Lindsey Ferrentino, and starring Kristin Chenowith, for a pre-Broadway world premiere at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston from July 16-August 18, 2024. Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Arden (Parade, Once on This Island), the musical tracks Jackie Siegel as she becomes the wife of David "Timeshare King" Siegel and mother to eight children as they endeavor to build the largest private home in the country in Orlando, Florida, only for the 2008 recession to dampen their dreams and lavish lifestyle. Also leading the cast are Academy Award Winner F. Murray Abraham as David Siegel and Nina White as Victoria Siegel. For early access to tickets and more information, click here.
Melody was thrilled to reprise the role of Estrella Cumpas for the Broadway production of HERE LIES LOVE. Here Lies Love is a groundbreaking musical about former Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos’s astonishing rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the Philippine People Power Revolution. From the minds of David Byrne (Academy Award®, Grammy® Award, and Tony Award® winner) and Fatboy Slim (Grammy Award winner), Here Lies Love has been called “ingenious” by The New York Times and “an ecstatic and dynamic party” by Time Out New York. Choreographed by Annie-B Parson (Olivier Award nominee) and developed and directed by Alex Timbers (Tony Award winner), the theater was transformed into a dance club where the audience is immersed in the story.
After sold-out, critically acclaimed runs at The Public Theater, London’s National Theatre, and Seattle Rep, Here Lies Love began previews on June 17, opened on July 20th, and concluded its Broadway run on November 26, 2023.
The cast included: Arielle Jacobs, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Lea Salonga, Melody Butiu, Moses Villarama, Jasmine Forsberg, Reanne Acasio, Jaygee Macapugay, Julia Abueva, Renee Albulario, Aaron Alcaraz, Carol Angeli, Nathan Angelo, Kristina Doucette, Roy Flores, Timothy Matthew Flores, Sarah Kay, Jeigh Madjus, Aaron "AJ" Mercado, Geena Quintos, Shea Renne, and Angelo Soriano.
Melody plays Tita Yvonne in Amblin/Universal Pictures and Rideback's feature, Easter Sunday. The movie is based on the life and experiences of comedian, Jo Koy.
"...Easter Sunday is the culmination of a lifetime of dreaming and decades of hard work," said Koy. "It's especially meaningful that we've been able to assemble such an incredible group of diverse and talented filmmakers and comedians to bring this slice of Filipino culture to the world." The cast also includes Eva Noblezada, Brandon Wardell, Tia Cerrere, Eugene Cordero, Asif Ali, Lou Diamond Phillips, Lydia Gaston, Rodney To, Joey Guila, and Elena Juatco. Easter Sunday is available on DVD/Bluray, and on Prime and AppleTV Plus.
Melody is honored to be the main narrator for the audiobook of Mai Nardone's "Welcome Me to the Kingdom." From Penguin Random House: "NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE: An immersive debut set across the temples, slums, and gated estates of late-twentieth century Bangkok, telling the story of three families striving to control their destinies in a merciless, sometimes brutally violent, metropolis." Click here for the Audible link or find it wherever you get your audiobooks. The multi-narrator audiobook experience also includes Brian Sounalath, Rachanee Lumayno, Su Ling Chan, Sura Siu, Patrick Lawlor, and James Tang.
Melody stars as Mary in Untold: This is My Story, which had its world premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater on September 6, 2021. Several years in the making, Writer/Director Gina M. Garcia tells her inspiring true story in her feature film debut of the crime that triggered disturbing flashbacks to her childhood traumas, causing her to seek treatment for P.T.S.D. within the V.A. system. Gina's journey for the truth implodes her family and nearly takes her life. Also starring: Terri Ivens, Jennifer Rubin, Carlos Gomez and Civil Rights Attorney Gloria Allred. It was an official selection of the Dances With Films: LA Festival and Cinema Diverse Festival in Palm Springs. The film was picked up by Freestyle Digital Media to be released on VOD platforms on April 19.
Melody plays Tala Navarro in Swearing, a short film by Mary Bronaugh. Ninabelle Navarro is a spirited young Filipino woman whose sheltered perspective is obliterated by a chaotic first week of college. Accidentally recruited for the campus comedy troupe, Nina will discover a world where provoking god is a prerequisite - and she'll let loose the surprisingly loud and angry voice inside her. This Filipino-American coming-of-age story is part of Film Independent's Artist Development Program. Check it out!
The Patients, a short film by Tess Paras, was an official selection at the 2019 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. After a “bad fight” with her boyfriend, Filipina-American party girl Regina Ramos ends up in the ER where her Dad works. When her family rushes to her aid, they stumble to connect as a trending topic becomes a real-life issue that affects them all. Written and directed by Tess Paras, and starring Tess Paras, Jon Jon Briones, Eugene Cordero, Melody Butiu, Josephine De Jesus, Lilan Bowden, Haneefah Wood. Check out the film's trailer, to the left. It was part of the festival's "I Gotchu Fam, Always," program at Downtown Independent on May 5th, 2019. The Patients was also an official selection of the Bend Film Festival.