Saturday, February 25, 2017

What is Love, Eurydice?

Eurydice is torn between her love for his Father and her Husband. (Photo from Tanghalang Pilipino)
Tanghalang Pilipino’s latest offering this love month is something unconventional to watch, as it takes on matters of love as deeper from the roots to the new love of your life, this is Eurydice, a play written by Sarah Ruhl translated in Filipino by Guelan Luarca.

Eurydice is under the Direction of Loy Arcenas, the acclaimed film maker behind Nino, Requeime and the forthcoming Ang Larawan, his takes on this production is composed a lot of imagery, imagining the two dimensions of the living and the dead.  He also handle in creating the set for this, and that elevator make up set in the center stage is a great installation in the play, it is impressive indeed along with water effect.

The story evolve around Eurydice new found love Orfeo, they get married and eventually fate bring Eurydice to the underworld and get reunited with his dead father, the man of her life try everything to win her back to the world they live in, but Eurydice decided to stay with his Father.

Playing the lead role as Eurydice is Lhorvie Nuevo, yes she does fit the role but somehow lacking in some characterization issues and the lack of chemistry with Marco Viana as Orfeo, but the father thing with Audie Gemora is good and convincing. Gemora as the father is great as it is, no more no less, and Viana is as good as well, his eyes express severely on the emotions he wants us the audience to feel.

But its a good show after all, even though its a heavy take on heart matters, the set is so new since they put it in the center stage along with the audience too in the Little Theater. The stone people as well as the God in the underworld add fun in the play too.
Eurydice and Orfeo (Photo by Tanghalang Pilipino)
Eurydice will run at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino until March 5, it open last Feb 17 with the following day and time schedules, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm only.  Tickets are at P1,500 and P1,000, you may contact Tanghalang Pilipino at 832.1125 locals 1620-21 or through Lorelie Celestino at 0915-607-2275. Tickets also available at Ticketworld.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The new Swan Lake by Ballet Philippines.

The well love classic ballet, is returning in the main theatre of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, as Ballet Philippines revive it as the finale for their 47th season called “Wings”. The worldwide adored “Swan Lake” is in time celebrating its 140th anniversary by March 4.

The return of Odette/Odelle as well as Prince Siegfred is having a major change this time, this is due to BP’s alumni Nonoy Froilan new touch of choreography, new stage set and of course the latest costumes, it will present new leads for BP’s dancers as Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz, Jemima Reyes and Victor Maguad will fill in the shoes for the first time as major role in this year’s revival.
“Swan Lake is really one of our favorite classic, kasi napakahirap nya, napaka challenging, its one of the most perfect ballet, provocative, dramatic. Its a good ballet for those people who haven’t seen ballet to watch, we hope it help us to develop the audience, and also for the dancers as a gift to them to challenge them in achieve something, by doing a really challenging piece.” Paul Morales, BP’s Artistic Director.

The said ballet show will have Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura of the Philippine Philharmonic Oschestra for its live scoring, and BP President Margie Moran is also setting foot on stage as the Queen Mother.  Internationally renowned and BP alumni Candice Adea along with Ballet’s world Golden Boy Joseph Philips of Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theater is also performing as a guest Odette/Odelle and Prince Siegfred.  
Set and based on German folk tales with Russian traditions, Swan lake is a story of love, magic and forgiveness that focus on Princess Odette under a curse that keeping form as a swan by day, and of course her Prince charming Siegfred that is pressured to find his bride.

Swan Lake is set to open on Feb 24 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) at 8:00 in the evening, other schedules are set on Feb 25 at 2pm and 7pm, Feb 26 at 3pm, March 3 at 8pm, March 4 at 2pm and 7pm, and March 5 at 3pm.

Ballet Philippines first stage Swan Lake way back in 1980 and was repeated in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1991 and 1994. The 2017 revival marks the company’s 8th restaging to date.  For more info pls connect with BP’s social media account in Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Tickets is available at Ticketworld or call 891-9999. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Janus Silang comes alive in theater.

The famous Filipino book novel Janus Silang is now a grand theater production by Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest running theater company of Ateneo De Manila University. Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon is created by Palanca Awardee Edgar Calabia-Samar, it is now popular to the young readers and calling it the Harry Potter like story from the Philippines.

The said play is the first live action adaptation of the book by playwright Guelen Varela-Luarca, it’s a story of young boy Janus whose world turned upside down, when characters from his favorite computer game comes alive and change his life.
Tanghalang Ateneo production is refreshing to watch, as it gives face to who is Janus Silang, their interactive sets and fabulous costumes of folklore characters give excitements, you will appreciate it more than the book story as it surpass my level of appreciating a school production, it really can give a run to some regular mainstream theater play.

Earvin Estioco plays the lead role Janus, he did give justice to it to think it’s his first acting project on stage, playing his love interest as Mica is Cloie Hilomen, other cast include Joachim Galvez, Sam Tango, Allan Forte, Bong Cabrera, JJ Ignacio, Diega Villanueva, John Sanchez, Jacob Whittaker, Dr. Jerry Respeto and Xander Soriano. Completing the cast are Peanuts Valerio, Ace Elgar and Soc Delos Reyes.
Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon is under the direction of Charles Yee, Glenn Sevilla Mas as the Artistic Director and Moderator, Set Design by Gwyn Guanzon, Mitoy Sta.Ana for the costume design, while Toni Munoz is the Sound and Music Designer. Delphine Buencamino and Zyda Baaya for the choreography, while Gab Mesina, Diana david and Victor Datu provides the Graphic Design.
Staged at Rizal Mini Theater inside Ateneo De Manila University (Katipunan campus) Janus Silang opens last Feb 4, 2017, performances start at 7:30 pm while Saturday matinee shows at 2:30pm. Be sure to catch the last two days this Feb 21 to 25. For tickets inquiries contact Dean Silva at mobile 0916-314-5475. Or thru Tanghalang Ateneo Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TanghalangAteneo), twitter @TAOfficial_ and Instagram account (@tanghalangateneo).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Emotion intense at its finest for Buwan at Baril.

Sugid production first theater venture is truly worth seeing, not because of the message that the play wish to convey, but the stellar performances by their powerhouse cast that really bring the house down, this is Chris Millado’s Buwan at Baril sa E(Flat) Major, it opens last Jan 26 and runs up to Feb 12 at Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco Auditorium inside Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.

It is very obvious this play is a collection of anti-Martial Law anecdotes, the era that many Filipinos wish never happen to our beautiful country, the portrayal of its five sequence plot is all sad reality, yes it happen and its message is clear, it could happen again with the understanding of current situation happening in our country today. 
Babaeng Itawis by Angeli Bayani.
The play opens with an ambiance with a rally ala in the street feeling, it follows the first story about a farmer and a laborer who happen to be brothers in blood, and brothers in principle, whose fate unite them during a protest in the street. This opening story is such a heavy one to absorb, but still you will understand the harsh reality.

The next part is about a Priest and a native girl fom Itawis clan, this is so moving and somehow will make you angry, I have to credit Angeli Bayani performance here, it is something beyond you can expect, her eyes are really talking and at par really. JC Santos as a Priest is refreshing somehow but you will feel the comfort at his heart.

Third leg is a solo monologue act called The Socialite, done with flying colors by no less than Jackie Lou Blanco, this is the light part of the play and the balancing of all the performances, actually it is the thinking aloud part where you will think, yes I do care about my country.
The Police and the student activist. (Saracho and Pesigan)
Ang Asawa by Cherry Pie Picache is on the fourth leg, as we all know how powerful delivery Ms. Picache can act, but her performance somehow is the most crucial, it is her acting that is subtle and slow pace yet full of emotions ready to outburst anytime, yes you will feel her pain.

Last segment is about an activist that was arrested by a Police officer, the interrogation process is fun, hilarious yet scary, but it’s a good ending for this play, Ross Pesigan charm on stage adds to my excitement as the student.

During its launching, Director Andoy Ranay point the reason why they choose this 1982 born street play by Millado, the message is somehow related to what Martial Law years and to the present situation, wherein innocent lives is at stake in the name of campaign against drugs.

Millado is now the Vice President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Cinemalaya Festival Director, a playwright, director and educator. As far I am concern in one event in CCP, Millado said that Buwan at Baril is also set to be stage in CCP within this year 2017.

Other cast in this intense and moving play are Crispin Medina, who happen to be the original cast member wayback, Danny Mandia, Joel Saracho, and Mayen Estanero. Tim Cada, Poch Gutierez and Vincent De Jesus provide the live music, while Gwyn Guanzon and Riza Romero provide the costumes.

Buwan at Baril sa E(Flat) Major opens last January 26, catch the remaining shows this Feb 9, 10, 11 and 12 (3pm and 8pm).  For tickets inquiries pls call or text Gian Viatka of Sugid Productions at 0917-845-6200. 
The Cast and Director of Buwan at Baril sa Eb Major. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

It’s Family, for Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike.

Repertory Philippines opening salvo for 2017 is a riot for comedy, a thrill of hilarious yet with a heart and something to ponder after watching, that is Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, based from a play written by Christopher Durang.  The said play is based on the characters by created by Russian playwright Anton Chekov, it was awarded as Best Play in Tony awards 2013.
It is a powerhouse casting starting with highly acclaimed stage, movie and TV actress Cherrie Gil, that really surprise me, she can be really good in throwing punchlines, and does well in making you laugh, she play Masha with all honesty, it is tailored made for her.

Other main cast include Roselyn Perez as Sonia, Michael Williams as Vanya, Joaquin Valdes as Spike, Naths Everett as Cassandra, and Mica Pineda as Nina. This is under the direction of Bart Guingona, and a guaranteed trademark that you can’t go wrong if it’s Bart’s work, it is such an entertaining one indeed.
The play is a story of three siblings, two of them were not able to leave their home and regrets many things they wish they did outside, while the other sister which is Masha is a celebrity actress who got a lot of stories to tell outside of their ancestral house, they reunite one summer and the rest is something you need to see for yourself.

The message of the play for me is clear, it’s all about family, everything we accomplish in life, no matter who we meet, and wherever we go, we still value the first people we grow up with, and yes, as the saying goes, blood is thicker than water.
Other highlights on this play that you should not miss are, that damn buff to die for body showing of Spike as played by Valdes, the almost 10 minute solo monologue of Williams, it is really something you have to listen and analyze, the Maggie Smith Oscar costume of Sonia, that is so hillaious, and the audition acting of Nina is also another surprise.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is Repertory’s 441st production and the first for their 80th season. This 2017, Repertory is celebrating its 50 year anniversary, before the play open they announce that come June 11, a grand anniversary celebration is being prepare, all past and present actors, and people who become part of Repertory will unite in one evening. Venue is to be announce soon.
It opens last Jan 20 and runs until Feb 12 at Onstage of Greenbelt 1 in Makati City. For inquiries, you may call REP at (02)843-3570, Ticketworld at 891-9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph for show schedules.