Plays, concerts canceled on COVID-19 concerns

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IN LIGHT of the concerns around the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which has led the Philippine government to declare a state of public health emergency, many performances and entertainment events have been postponed or canceled. Others will push through, but with stringent hygiene arrangements.

While the gala night of the 15th Israeli Film Festival, scheduled for last night, was canceled, the Embassy of Israel said that other film screenings will still push through at Cinema 3 of Bonifacio High Street Cinemas.

“We are discouraging from attending the film screening those who have been abroad for the past 14 days and those whose health are at risk,” said the embassy in a statement.

“Rest assured, the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas is taking precautionary measures to ensure that the mall and cinema vicinities are routinely sanitized and disinfected. Temperature checks in all entrances have also been in place. Soap and water and hand sanitizers are also provided.”

On the other hand, The Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Arthouse Cinema screenings on March 12 and March 14, have been called off.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra has postponed its March 13 concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This after it had replaced its featured performer, Japanese violinist Ryu Goto who had canceled all his Asian performances because of the coronavirus, with renowned pianist Raul Sunico.

Meanwhile, Memorare, an organization formed to remember those who died during the Battle of Manila in World War II, announced that it is postponing its Battle of Manila Tours.

“Rest assured that once the global and national situation improves, we will definitely continue the tours,” it said in a statement.

The Aegis concert at Resorts World Manila’s Newport Theater on March 26 has been called off.

The Fringe Manila festival of art has announced that all remaining events have been postponed.

Several theater companies have announced the cancellation or postponement of their upcoming productions.

The Atlantis Entertainment Group announced that it was cancelling all performances of the musical The Band’s Visit which was scheduled to premiere this weekend. It has also canceled its production of the musical Oliver!

The Sandbox Collective announced that since its venue, the Maybank Theater in BGC, Taguig, had canceled all events and shows this weekend, it would not have performances of its preview for the play Lungs and this weekend’s shows of Every Brilliant Thing.

“These shows will be postponed to another date and we will inform you on our new schedule as soon as it’s available,” it said in a statement.

Also postponed were several of PETA’s performances of Under My Skin this weekend, although the March 15, 8 p.m. show will push through.

Tabing Ilog, which had performances this weekend and on April 18 and 26 at the Dolphy Theater in Quezon City, has been canceled.

Ateneo Blue Repertory’s Next to Normal, with performances this weekend and on March 21 and 22, has also been canceled.

But the show will go on for Repertory Philippines’s Anna in the Tropics at Onstage Theater at Greenbelt 1 in Makati which is opening tonight, thought the traditional pre-show cocktails have been canceled.

The theater company informed attendees that the Ayala Corp. has assured them “that they are constantly cleaning and disinfecting all their malls, including Greenbelt, in their entirety. This includes sanitizing all hand rails, escalators and other surfaces that are frequently touched. They also use UV cameras that have the capacity to destroy viruses.

Those who enter the mall and Onstage Theater will have their temperatures taken with a thermometer gun and those with the slightest fever will not be allowed entry.

Rep explained that as Onstage Theater has a very large capacity, theater goers will be seated with their companion or group, but will be seated at least one meter away from other audience members. It also noted that the theater is constantly being fumigated, and that all the theater seats are cleaned and wiped down after every show.

Alcohol will be provided for everyone’s use at the entrance of the theater, and the theater staff will all be wearing masks.