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Pinoy magician in Hollywood indie

Thursday, May 09, 2013
FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricky Lo | 48 Views
Jethro Alcuaz is the only Filipino in the movie Desperate Acts of Magic in which he shows sleightof- hand acts which is part of his shows, one of them mounted in Las Vegas
Jethro Alcuaz is the only Filipino in the movie Desperate Acts of Magic in which he shows sleightof- hand acts which is part of his shows, one of them mounted in Las Vegas


Just a little clarification: Jericho Rosales is only one of three actors honored for Outstanding Achievement for Acting at the just-concluded Newport Beach Film Festival in California. The two others were Michael Shannon (for The Iceman) and Onata Aprile (What Maisse Knew). Jericho was cited for Alagwa (Breakaway). Last year, he got the same citation at the same filmfest for Subject: I Love You. This year’s top winners were Sam Rockwell Best Actor (A Single Shot) and Diane Kruger Best Actress (Fly Me to the Moon). The confusion was created by Jericho’s over-excited Philippine PR who texted the news to media guys.

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Opening this weekend in the US East Coast and anytime soon in L.A. is the Hollywood indie Desperate Acts of Magic in which a Filipino magician appears as guest performer. He’s none other than Jethro Alcuaz, only son of Jun Alcuaz who used to work for San Miguel Corporation (Quezon City branch) before he migrated to the US several years ago.

The movie is about an actor who got tired of his day job and decided to pursue a career as a magician. He joins a competition among magicians and Jethro plays one of the contestants.

“It’s not a speaking part,” clarified the L.A.-based Jethro in a phone chat with Funfare. “There are many of us magicians and I’m the only Filipino.”

In the movie, Jethro does sleight-of-hand manipulation (with balls, cards, etc.) which is part of his regular shows in the 14 years that he has been a magician. He studied magic at the Chavez Studio of Magic in La Verne, California, and has headlined, among others, a show at the Royal Resort Hotel in Las Vegas in 2009.

“I can cut a woman in half, make a person levitate and create snow with my bare hands,” said Jethro. “My most-applauded magic is sewing a woman in half.”

Jethro’s interest in magic started when he was 14 in Manila where he finished high school (St. Patrick) and college (Colegio de San Lorenzo, undergraduate), first doing card tricks and then more complicated acts when he migrated to the US in 1999 ahead of his father. Thus far, he has done magic during a guesting in an ABC show and in a Latin channel.

Another Muhlach now in showbiz

While some people are saying no(!) to political dynasty, nobody is objecting to showbiz dynasties (plural). Well, you know, if you eat showbiz, wake up showbiz, live showbiz day in and day out, you are expected to follow in the footsteps of your showbiz parents, aren’t you?

In that light, I’m citing the Muhlachs as a growing showbiz dynasty (Amalia and brothers Cheng and Alex, Aga, Niño and a few others), with Yssa Muhlach as the newest addition.

Yssa, 17, is one of the three daughters of Almira Muhlach and her estranged husband Bong Alvarez. The girl opted to use the surname Muhlach because if she uses Alvarez she could be mistaken for her near-namesake, Isay Alvarez.

Now a contract artist of Viva, Yssa has just released her eponymous album Yssa Muhlach which is composed mostly of OPM. Accompanying herself with a guitar, Yssa transforms the Vehnee Saturno song Yun Ka into a sweet admission of love. She does well on another Saturno song Ikaw Na Nga, taking after the song popularized by Basil Valdez and oddly enough, by Willie Revillame, but sounding totally young with it. Yssa borrows from the deep past as well with a reworked pop rendering of the Cinderella classic T.L. Ako Sa ‘Yo. Yssa also covers the early ’90’s hit Til My Heartaches End and takes a page from the E-heads songbook too with a jangly pop version of With A Smile.

Yssa is also ready to share her musical talent through her mini concert titled In Full Bloom on May 17, 8 p.m. at Teatrino Promenade in Greenhills. (For tickets, call Ticketworld 891-9999 or 721-2949.)

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