New Year, new shows

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WITH THE NEW YEAR comes new shows and encores to the delight of theater fans. Here are some of the plays, musicals, ballets, and a special music festival which are scheduled for the first half of 2018.

Comedy of Tenors
Jan. 26 to Feb. 18
Onstage Theater, Greenbelt Mall 1, Paseo de Roxas St., Makati City

Set in 1930s Paris hours before an important concert, a harassed producer and his assistant, a temperamental Italian tenor singer and his passionate wife, their daughter and her lover, a singing waiter, and an opera diva suddenly find themselves together in a room. What ensues inside that room is a comedy and chaos of mistaken identities, mayhems, and bedroom fun.

Repetory Philippines’ Comedy of Tenors is directed by Miguel Faustmann and stars Loy Martinez, Jeremy Domingo, Noel Rayos, Issa Litton, Mica Pineda, Arman Ferrer, and Sheila Martinez.

’Night Mother
Feb. 2 to March 3
PETA Theater Center, 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City

Closing the 50th season of the Philippine Educational Theater Association — better known as PETA — ’Night Mother is a powerful drama that tackles mental health and relationships. Starring Eugene Domingo and Sherry Lara, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tells the tale of a mother-daughter household and their relationship when, on a rather ordinary night, Jessie (Domingo) announces her plans to kill herself before another day begins and her mom, Thelma (Lara), works to convince her that life is worth living.




Don Quixote
Feb. 9-18
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City

Ballet Philippines’ last show in its 48th season is a classic — Don Quixote which is based on Miguel de Cervantes’ tale. The ballet follows the adventures of Don Quixote in Barcelona where he meets Kitri, an innkeeper’s daughter whom he thinks is his ladylove Dulcinea. Kitri is in turn enamored by Basilio, the town barber of whom her father doesn’t approve. Mayhem ensues as the gentleman from La Mancha unwittingly helps the two lovers have their happy ending.

Ballet and Ballads
Feb. 10 and 18
Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City

Part of “Flights of Fantasy,” the 22nd performance season of Ballet Manila, comes this concert featuring the ballet company’s dancers and balladeer Christian Bautista.

Himala the Musical
Feb. 10 to March 4
Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati, Makati City

Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical present the musical based on the masterful 1982 film by writer Ricky Lee and director Ishmael Bernal, Himala (Miracle), about Elsa, a woman who symbolically becomes the savior of a small town longing to find peace and an end to its misery. In 2004 Himala was translated from the screen to the stage via a musical featuring music and lyrics by Vincent de Jesus, script by Mr. Lee, and orchestration by Jed Balsamo. The revival stars Aicelle Santos, Bituin Escalante, Sandino Martin, Kakki Teodoro, Neomi Gonzales, David Ezra, and Floyd Tena.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Feb. 22 to March 25
Newport Performing Arts, Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Newport Blvd., Pasay City

After a successful run in 2017, this “fantasmagorical” family musical returns to the Newport stage. Based on the film directed by Ken Hughes and written by Roald Dahl and Hughes, which in turn was based on a novel by Ian Flemming — who is best known as the creator of James Bond — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tells the tale of struggling inventor Caractacus Potts (Gian Magdangal) who, together with his children Jeremy (Noel Comia/Albert Silos alternating) and Jemima (Isabeli Araneta-Elizalde/Zoey Alvarade), and his love interest Truly Scrumptious (Yanah Laurel), sets out on an adventure aboard a restored race car — which magically flies — to the faraway land of Vulgaria to face its spiteful ruler Baron Bomburst (Raymund Concepcion). Also in the cast are Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Michael Williams, Lorenz Martinez, Mako Alonso, Reb Atadero, and James Paolleli.

The 43rd International Bamboo Organ Festival
Feb. 23-26 and Feb. 28
St. Joseph Parish Church, Pas Piñas City and the San Ezekiel Moreno Oratory, Villar Sipag Cmpd., C-5 Extension Rd., Pulanglupa, Las Piñas City

Classical music lovers look forward to this yearly treat when the only bamboo organ in the world takes centerstage in a festival of classic and church music. This year’s festival includes the concerts Sing to Him with Psalms…Italian Baroque Music on Feb. 23 and 25, and A Night of My Favorites on Feb. 24, all at the parish church; and The Splendor of Choral Music on Feb. 28 at the oratory.

Kinky Boots
March 2-18
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Gil Puyat Aves., Makati City

The Kinky Boots squad returns on stage to tell the funny and inspiring story of a fabulous entertainer called Lola (Nyoy Volante) and Charlie (Laurence Mossman), a struggling shoe factory owner, as they forge a friendship that will test their dreams — and their sturdy kinky boots.

The award-winning musical show (it won, among others, a Tony, Grammy, and London’s Olivier Award) has music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein. The Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s production, which had a very successful run in 2017, is directed by Bobby Garcia.

Silent Sky
March 2-26
Onstage Theater, Greenbelt Mall 1, Paseo de Roxas St., Makati City

Repertory Philippines presents this Lauren Gunderson play which tells the true story of a woman who literally reached for the stars — Henrietta Levitt whose pioneering work in the 1920s was responsible for the discovery of the existence of galaxies other than our own. Told with a great deal of humor, the play follows Henrietta from her small hometown to Harvard. Directed by Joy Virata, it stars Kathy Azanza Dy, Caisa Borromeo, Naths Everette, Sheila Francisco, and Topper Fabregas.

The Lion King
March 18 to April 22
The Theatre, Solaire Resort & Casino, Entertainment City, Tambo, Parañaque City

Get ready to relive the iconic songs “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” as Michael Cassel Group and Concertus Manila, in association with Disney Theatrical Productions, make Metro Manila one of the stops in the first international tour of The Lion King.

Under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, The Lion King tour marks the 20th anniversary of the stage musical and leads up to the 25th anniversary of the animated movie it is based on. The show won six Tony Awards in 1998 and has earned more than 70 major awards since it started, including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year, and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

Arsenic and Old Lace
April 6-29
Onstage Theater, Greenbelt Mall 1, Paseo de Roxas St., Makati City

For the third time in 50 years, Repertory Philippines is restaging the 1929 classic Joseph Kesserling farce Arsenic and Old Lace, the tale of two sweet old ladies who, aided by their slightly off nephew, keep their lonely houseguests eternally with them by offering them a sip of their elderberry wine. When another nephew discovers their special brand of hospitality, he finds himself trying to protect them from the law while keeping the secret from his fiance. Directed by Jamie Wilson, it stars Joy Virata, Jay Glorioso, Raymond Concepcion, Jeremy Domingo, Barbara Jance, Nelsito Gomez, Nino Alejandro, Miguel Faustmann, Steven Conde, and Gabe Mercado.

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