LAST YEAR’s theater scene was lively and jampacked. This year is shaping up to be just the same, if not more.
First off, there is Reine Productions and Repertory Philippines presentation of Silent Sky, the critically acclaimed feminist production which was a hit in 2018.
Lauren Gunderson’s play focuses on the little known women who made big contributions to astronomy, focusing in particular on Henrietta Swan Leavitt whose work paved the way for better-known male astronomers like Edwin Hubble. Leavitt and her female colleagues in Harvard made their discoveries despite never being allowed to use the observatory’s refracting telescope.
Original cast members Cathy Azanza-Dy, Caisa Borromeo, Naths Everett, and Topper Fabregas will reprise their roles. Bibeth Orteza will join the cast in this production. Joy Virata again directs this production.
The show will run from Feb. 1-3 and 8-10 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave., Makati. For details contact Ria Pangilinan at 0917-537-8313 or e-mail email@example.com.
Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group will once again present Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches in March. The production, directed again by Bobby Garcia, marks Atlantis’ 20th anniversary.
The play — the first of Tony Kushner’s epic two-part rumination on the AIDS epidemic — will run from March 22 to April 7 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium.
After the success of Lungs, The Sandbox Collective will present Every Brilliant Thing, a one-woman show about depression. Like Lungs, it’s a Duncan Macmillan play.
Repertory Philippines will restage its original musical Miong, the life story of Emilio Aguinaldo, which was first presented in 1998 when the country celebrated the 100th anniversary of the declaration independence.
Written and originally directed by Rep’s artistic director Joy Virata, Ms. Virata will again direct Miong which features music by Ian Monsod and additional lyrics by Freddie Santos.
While Aguinaldo lived a very long life, the musical takes a look at his youth, from his birth into a middle-class provincial family to the declaration of independence on June 12, 1898, when he was just 29.
It will star Tim Pavino, Noel Rayos, Cara Barredo, Meynard Penalosa, and Elver Esquivel.
It will be presented at Onstage, Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center Makati from Feb. 15 — March 10. For more information, visit www.repertoryphilippines.ph.
Also in Rep’s lineup are Eric Chappell’s Father’s Day, about a troubled family (directed by Rep cofounder Baby Barredo) in March, and Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser, about an actor performing Shakespere’s King Lear and his constant companion, in May. It stars Teroy Guzman and Audie Gemora.
Rep will end the year with the musical The Quest for the Adarna, Luna Giño Inocian’s English adaptation of Ibong Adarna, featuring music by Rony Fortich.
While we’ve finally bid goodbye to PETA’s enduring musical Rak of Aegis, which made use of songs from the popular musical group Aegis, other productions that pay tribute to OPM (original Pilipino music) will return to the stage this year: 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live’s Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, Resort World Manila and Fullhouse Theater Company’s Ang Huling El Bimbo, both of which had successful runs in 2018, and Spotlight Artists Centre’s Dirty Old Musical, which was first presented in 2016.
Dirty Old Musical, which runs from Feb. 22 to March 23, is about an all-male band which was popular in the 1980s but had to disband because of problems between the members. Years later, the members — played by Robert Seña, Nonie Buencamino, Bo Cerrudo, Jett Pangan, and Carlo Orosa — get together for a concert to raise funds for an ailing member. Past their prime, the men find themselves dealing with issues about aging, and questions about the concert — Will the audience know them still and support them? Can they still do a concert? Among the OPM classics in the play are “Kastilyong Buhangin,” “Mag Exercise Tayo Tuwing Umaga,” and “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.”
For more information about Dirty Old Musical visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.
Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! tells the story of the beginnings of the popular singing group APO, focusing on less well known members, while Ang Huling el Bimbo tells the turbulent story of a group of friends using the music of the Eraserheads.
While no set schedule has been announced for the APO musical, it has been announced that it will be presented around February or March.
Meanwhile, Ang Huling El Bimbo will run throughout March at Resorts World Manila. Tickets are available at TicketWorld.
Broadway is well represented this year. For one, Upstart Productions, which was behind the production of Monty Python’s Spamalot in 2018, is set to produce Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical comedy Company, sometime this year, but there are no details as yet on when or where. First presented by Repertory Philippines in Manila in 1997, musical revolves around a man who has major commitment issues.
Atlantis will be presenting two Broadway hits: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Meralco Theater in June; and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at The Theatre at Solaire in October, which will star Lea Salonga and Jett Pangan.
There’s also the international touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera to look forward to.
PETA’s line up includes a first on stage: Charot, which is an interactive comedy that will present the current political and social situations of the Philippines. The show will run from Feb. 1 to March 17 at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City (tickets are available through TicketWorld).
PETA will also co-produce the re-run of Dulaang UP’s Kundiman Party, about a group of women joined together by their connections to an opera diva, who decide whether to get involved in politics.
The UP Playwrights Theater will present Rody Vera’s Nana Rosa, about the life of Rosa Henson, the first Filipina comfort woman to share her story publicly.
Meanwhile Tanghalang Pilipino will present Guelan Luarca’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s bloody drama, Coriolanus. Directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna, and featuring Marco Viaña, it will run from Feb. 22 to March 17 at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Tanghalang Pilipino will end 2019 with two original pieces: Katsuri, which is Bibeth Orteza’s Hiligaynon adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and Lam-ang, a musical adaptation of the Ilocano epic poem Biag ni Lam-ang.