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Rak on!

BARANGAY VENEZIA is still underwater three months after the last typhoon hit. It has affected every aspect of their lives. The children and the elderly are getting sick. Their livelihood has been threatened. The simple act of moving from one street to the next would require a boat ride. Its residents, frustrated by the inaction of the local government, realized that the massive flooding began only after a subdivision for the affluent was built near their impoverished community.

The persistence of love

SARA and Callie are out late one evening at NYC’s West Village and share their first kiss. A bystander then viciously attacks them — Sara’s injuries are so bad that she falls into a coma.

Returning to Binondo

ALTHOUGH recent events have made locals paranoid about the seemingly overwhelming presence of Chinese in certain areas of the metropolis, one needs to remember that Filipinos and Chinese have been working side by side even before local recorded history. For centuries now, Filipinos been trading with the Chinese, proven by archeological excavations over the last hundred years or so.

Play says ‘No’ to violence against LGBT

IN RECENT weeks, a photo of the bloodied faces of Melania Gaymonat and her girlfriend Chris went viral online. While on a bus ride in the early hours of May 30 in London, the women were attacked by a group of young men for refusing their demand to kiss each other. “They started beating me, I was bleeding all over — I was really bleeding,” Ms. Gaymonat told BBCWorldatOne. According to a report by The Guardian on June 8, a fifth arrest has been made in connection with the attack.

Three’s company in comedy night

DEEPAK CHANDRAN was an IT engineer based in Singapore when boredom hit him so hard he decided to become a stand-up comedian. Now, together with Indian comedian Sorabh Pant and Australian comedian and actor Imaan Hadchiti, the three are coming to Manila for a one-night, two-hour comedy special on June 22 at the Tent in Enderun Colleges in Taguig City.

A celebration of Carole King’s music

WHEN Kayla Rivera was 11-years-old, she recalls singing to “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” — her favorite Carole King song.

Himala: Isang Musikal dominates the 11th Gawad Buhay Awards

THE Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical’s Himala: Isang Musikal dominated the evening, winning eight awards at the 11th Gawad Buhay Awards held on May 28 at Makati’s Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1.

Virgin Lab Fest turns 15

HAVING staged 257 new works by young playwrights and directors since its beginning in 2005, the Virgin Labfest, an annual theater festival which focuses on unpublished, untried, and unstaged one-act plays, returns for its 15th year in June.

Artist Playground stages an OPM musical on HIV

IN ANCIENT Greece and Rome, roses were associated with the goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus. In Christianity, a red rose was associated with Christ’s death and sacrifice. For 21-year-old playwright Junine Ray “Rayne” Jarabo, a rose’s petals symbolize resilience while its thorns symbolize challenges.

Post-election messages of patriotism told through the kundiman

AN ARTIST’S work is inspired by many things. It may be his environment, the events in his community, or his personal experiences. For playwright Floy Quintos, current events in his country inspired the creation of what he previously said would be his “swan song.”

The Dresser as master class for actors

By Sujata S. Mukhi Theater Review The Dresser Directed by Loy Arcenas Presented by Repertory Philippines Fridays to Sundays until May 26 Onstage Theatre, Greenbelt 1 Paseo de Roxas St., Makati...

Tokhang and talkbacks

TWO EVENTS transpired on April 16 at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City. The first was the performance of Mae Paner (a.k.a. Juana Change) of a four-part monodrama written by Maynard Manansala and directed by Ed Lacson. The second was the talkback — a forum that followed after the curtain call where the play’s lone actor, the playwright, informants, and sources of inspiration went up the stage to answer queries from the audience.

Full cast of Beautiful musical announced

ATLANTIS Theatrical Entertainment Group, which opened its 20th Anniversary Season this year with the critically acclaimed Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, has announced the full cast of its next production, the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which continues to run on Broadway.

US comic Tom Green to perform in Makati

CANADIAN-AMERICAN funny man Michael Thomas “Tom” Green is set to make Filipinos laugh as he makes a stop in Makati on his ongoing Asia Comedy Tour. The show will be held on April 13 at the ballroom of the City Club of Alphaland Place in Makati City.

Himala, El Bimbo get most Gawad Buhay nods

HIMALA: Isang Musikal and Ang Huling El Bimbo each got 12 nominations for the upcoming 11th Gawad Buhay Awards which honors the performing arts.

Angels in America’s relevance

ANGELS IN AMERICA is about life and hope in the face of death and despair, and about our interconnectedness as a community and how we need to find a way to discuss our differences by finding common ground.”

Popular culture and political theater

CHAROT” is gay slang, one of the many fluid terms generated by popular lingo, often used as an interjection to express the flimsy nature of a statement and to which the appropriate response should be... charot, or char, its abbreviated expression. The word has permeated popular culture such that in television, radio, and social media, the term is used with impunity.

From CEO to comedian

ATUL KHATRI was the CEO of his family-run IT business (Kaytek Computer Services Private Limited) but at the age of 43, boredom and a midlife crisis got to him and he started doing stand-up comedy — initially just to tick it off his bucket list, but he found that he had a real knack for comedy, Then, after 25 years in the company, he chucked it all in favor of making people laugh. Before he knew it, he had gone around the world, performing more than 400 shows.

Reworked El Bimbo musical soars

SEVEN YEARS after the revolution, a nation once filled with hope but now confronted with the enormity of the task to rebuild a broken country woke up to the unique sound of the Eraserheads. The rock band, whose members came from the University of the Philippines, debuted Ultraelectromagneticpop! in 1993. This album would be the first of over a dozen. It also led to Ang Huling El Bimbo — a musical inspired by the music of arguably the most popular Filipino band of the ’90s.

Interactive theater: Amidst despair, always hope

SHE GLIDES onto the stage, lithe and nimble, and randomly distributes what seem like rectangular flashcards to members of the audience. There are numbers and words written on those cards. She instructs them to hold on to those cards and remember the numbers and words written on them.

M. Butterfly National Tour 2019 cut short

THE producers of the national tour of M. Butterfly have announced that they are cutting the tour short, with the final performances to be in Cebu from March 14-17.

More int’l acts in 5th improv fest

FOR its fifth year, the biennial Manila Improv Festival will feature 58 improv acts from all over the world, performing from March 27 to March 31 at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Theater Center in Quezon City.

Facing sluggish TV ratings, Nickelodeon looks to stage

WITH KIDS’ TV in a ratings slump, Nickelodeon is looking to increase its presence on the stage.

Not just for D.O.M.s

Dirty Old Musical (DOM), the musical about the “titos of Manila,” has been so successful that it is not just back for its third run with new cast members and new songs, but may even go on tour.

Getting to know Aguinaldo

TWENTY-ONE years after it was first perfomred, Miong, the musical based on the life of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, has returned to the stage as Repertory Philippines’ first production for its 82nd season.

M. Butterfly flutters back for a nationwide tour

THEATER FANS from outside Metro Manila now have a chance to see a story of love, deception, and power as M. Butterfly is set to tour six cities this year.

Ang Huling el Bimbo 2.0: same story, better narration

RESORTS WORLD MANILA’s musical Ang Huling El Bimbo will return in March and this does not only mean giving a chance to those who missed it the first time around, more than this it is an opportunity to tweak the script and some songs, and to improve character development.

Diversity and inclusivity highlight the Fringe Festival’s 5th year

FRINGE MANILA celebrates its 5th year as the Fringe Festival comes out of the peripheries during Philippine Arts Month. From Feb. 7 to March 3, Metro Manila’s open-access, multi-arts festival will once again present an inclusive program line-up that reflect the culmination of the five years of Fringe Manila.

Jon Santos: Politics, entertainment, and more

OFTEN newspapers and online news outlets carry the president’s careless remarks on national issues which the Palace then dismisses as a joke. Last year, impersonator and comedian Jon Santos expressed used these issues to perform political satire, and this year he’s at it again.

Listen to the music of the night again

GOOD news for those who missed it the first time it came to Manila in 2012 and for those who wish to see it — and its famous chandelier — again, The Phantom of the Opera is back in town.

Banksy homage to Bataclan stolen from Paris theater

PARIS — A mural by British street artist Banksy on a fire-exit door at Paris’ Bataclan theater, where Islamist militants killed 90 people three years ago, has been stolen, the venue said on Saturday.

10 (or more) reasons to live

THE NARRATOR enters and walks to audience members around the room as she gives out strips of paper. From the aisle, she walks to the third row on the left side and hands this writer one strip of paper on which was written “5. Things with stripes” in cursive letters. “Hold on it. I’ll explain later,” she says.

CCP’s Pasinaya festival to be upsized this year

THE largest multi-arts festival in the country is back, but this year, the CCP Pasinaya Open House Festival will be held for a longer period — from Feb. 1 to 3.

Charot isn’t joking

FILIPINO slang that means “just kidding,” the word “charot” is conveniently used to lighten things up and make them fun with the aim of reducing serious discussions into jokes. But PETA’s new political show Charot will take matters seriously.

Tanghalang Pilipino’s Coriolano: a play for turbulent political times

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines’s Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) is about to stage a play that seems familiar in the context of current politics.

Dating, mental illness, and a self-help addiction are the stuff of...

START 2019 right with a bellyful of laughs and a side of existential crisis thanks to US comedian Liz Miele.

Where is art headed in 2019?

BusinessWorld asked some of the country’s artists, and art champions about their outlook for Philippine culture and arts for this year (and beyond). The answers were as varied as their practices.

A very full theatrical calendar

LAST YEAR’s theater scene was lively and jampacked. This year is shaping up to be just the same, if not more.


A tale of two Butterflies.

Silence and simplicity in Manila Notes

SILENCE, slowness, and finesse are characteristics that are typical in Japanese films and plays. Manila Notes -- an adaptation of the play Tokyo Notes -- won’t be any different.

Atlantis announces first workshops for 2019

THE FIRST round of workshops for 2019 by Atlantis Theatrical will include an Acting Masterclass with award-winning international theater, TV, and film actor Pinky Amador, but there will also be classes for beginners.

Ayala’s Christmas light show gets Disneyfied

IT’S TIME once again to brave the heavy traffic of the Metro and watch the annual Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, now on its 10th year. This year’s lights show will be accompanied by the music from the Walt Disney Co. in a show titled Reimagine The Magic: A Festival of Lights.

Waitress starts serving pie

ATLANTIS Theatrical Entertainment Group this week will open a sweet musical — literally and figuratively — about the bitter realities of abusive relationships and the stresses of the everyday life. The Broadway musical Waitress will feature lots of pies, singing, and a whole lot of positive attitude.

Variety marks Repertory’s 82nd season

HISTORY, comedy, drama, and a classic epic fill up Repertory Philippines’ 82nd season, running from 2019 to 2020.

Pie and sisterhood

“FULL OF chocolates and strawberries” is how award-winning actress Joanna Ampil described her character Jenna in the upcoming musical Waitress, as if she were a pie flavor.