Here's the latest:
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 in theaters and on demand now. Check out the trailer!
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 recently flew to New York to be part of a workshop of the new musical, WONDER, based on the best-selling novel by R.J. Palacio and the Lionsgate Film. Directed by Taibi Magar, with Music & Lyrics by A Great Big World and Book by Bess Wohl, it's a powerful story about acceptance, compassion, friendship, and kindness.
Melody returned to South Coast Repertory Theatre to ring in the holiday spirit with A Christmas Carol, as Mrs. Fezziwig, Solicitor, and Scavenger! From the first “Bah humbug” to the final “Wassail,” this timeless classic returned to holiday spirits. It featured all your favorite Dickens characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come, and of course, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, portrayed by SCR Founding Member Richard Doyle.
Melody revisited the role of Bloody Mary in South Pacific at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Texas, directed by Taibi Magar, with choreography by Courtney D. Jones, and Musical Direction by Stephen W. Jones. Timelier than ever, this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical proves that even the backdrop of a tropical paradise cannot shelter its residents from the prejudices of the time. South Pacific is the winner of 10 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical. Click here for the Broadway World cast announcement.
While in Houston, Melody was asked to be part of a panel of theatre artists, discussing how we approach problematic material in American Theatre classics for "Town Square" on Houston Public Media, hosted by Ernie Manouse. Click here to listen.
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 is 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. News on this here. For more information on the film and screening dates and cities, click here.
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 trailer.
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.