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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.

Trumperte: comedy is political

MELANIA and Donald Trump will be visiting the Philippines on Oct. 26 and 27.

Simple story, classic music in All Out of Love

WHAT DO Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born and Resorts World Manila’s All Out of Love have in common? Besides their good music, both show the perils of the entertainment industry.

Langgam Performance Troupe rolls out acting workshop series

THE Langgam Performance Troupe (LPT), a contemporary performance company and research lab established in 2012, has unveiled its acting workshop series designed to enhance the creativity of participants which could be used on stage and off.

Ricky Davao, Rina Reyes return to the stage

THIS MONTH, film and TV actors Ricky Davao and Rina Reyes return to the stage in Tanghalang Pilipino’s (TP) Filipino adaptation of Georges Feydeau’s classic farce, A Flea in Her Ear, on Oct. 18-21 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Mamma Mia! Here it goes again!

HOW DO you keep yourself restrained when there’s a party on stage and iconic ABBA songs are playing? This can be the biggest challenge one encounters when watching the ongoing run of Mamma Mia! at The Theatre at Solaire: controlling your desire to stand up and dance and sing along with the cast.

Advanced comedy by Lynn Ruth Miller

CONSIDERED one of the oldest female stand-up comedians in the world, Lynn Ruth Miller, hauls her brand of comedy over to the Philippine capital for a two-night show on Oct. 18 at the Relik Bar in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and Oct. 19 at the Union Jack Tavern in Makati City.

PETA’s State of the Nation

THE PHILIPPINE Educational Theater Association (PETA) is devoting its 51st season to shows that tackle the current state of the nation: the extrajudicial killings, the rise of trolls and fake news, and historical revisionism, among other topics.

M Butterfly takes wing, to go on tour in 2019

WHILE it has concluded its run, the Manila staging of Henry David Hwang’s M Butterfly isn’t ready to hang up the costumes, the intrigues, and the scandalous love story of Rene Gallimard and Song Liling, as its producer Jhett Tolentino announced that they will be taking the butterfly on tour next year through five cities in the Philippines.

Sister pact

THERE I GO AGAIN, making assumptions. Unsure of what I was watching, I judged the opening number “Come Look at the Freaks” of Atlantis Theatrical’s Side Show as a rip-off of the crazy popular, P.T. Barnum apologist of a film, The Greatest Showman. As the silhouette of actors doing Bob Fosse-like moves filled the stage, I told myself rather snidely, hmm, I’ve seen this before.

Lungs is a breath of fresh air amidst the jukebox musicals

AFTER HAVING produced the successful musical, Eto na! Musikal nAPO!, 9 Works Theatrical is teaming up with Sandbox Collective for its next production, which is the total opposite of its jukebox musical: a straight play without props, costume changes, scene transitions, and intermission, and with only two actors on stage.

US playwright, ‘king of comedy’ Neil Simon, 91

NEW YORK — Neil Simon, the prolific and Pulitzer Prize-winning US playwright celebrated as the king of comedy who won more Oscar and Tony nominations combined than any other showbiz writer, died on Sunday. He was 91.

The music is fun in Gee Gee at Waterina

THE music is queen in Gee Gee at Waterina, ang Musikal. The 11 songs, composed by Jesse Lucas, aid in the storytelling and add to the visual spectacle of the one-act play on stage.

Passion and art: Balag at Angud

ONE OF the toughest choices people have to make is choosing between work they love despite that offers little compensation or a job they hate but which pays the big bucks. What would you pick?

Ideas and historical possibilities according to non-historians

TO understand history and its relationship with the present, one must go beyond knowing the names, dates, places, and the chronology of events. One has to look deeper, into the forces and ideas of each period and study their consequences — intended or not.

A timely restaging of The Vagina Monologues

WITH THE many headlines about President Duterte’s inappropriate behavior and remarks about women, Senate President Sotto’s inept quip about groping women without their consent, and the many incidents of violence against women, there is a need, more than ever, for women to make themselves heard.

Music and nostalgia in Eto na! Musikal nAPO!

ETO NA! Musikal nAPO! is bounded by time (it is set in 1975), but it is timeless in theme, and, of course, in music that transcends generations.

More than freaks and geeks at Atlantis’ Side Show

A BEARDED WOMAN, a Three-Legged Man, a Lizard Man, a Half-Man-Half Woman, and a Geek all enter the circus singing “come look at the freaks!” Sir, the ringmaster and the man behind the spectacle, then calls in the stars of the show: charming Siamese twins who can definitely sing. This is Broadway’s Side Show, which is coming to Manila on Aug. 31.

Ang Huling El Bimbo, with a smile

FILMMAKERS say that a story is good if it follows a full circle: the premise at the beginning is addressed at the ending. The premise, often confused with the plot, is the initial action of a narrative. Premise is hypothesis or the very reason why the story is being told, while plot is the story line.

Awit ng barkada

THE popularity of jukebox musicals featuring the songs of a well-known performer (think Mamma Mia! and Rock of Ages) shows no sign of waning, particularly in the Philippines. While PETA has Rak of Aegis and Resorts World Manila has Eraserhead’s Ang Huling El Bimbo, 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live join in the musical fun with Eto na! Musikal nAPO!, which pays tribute to yet another local music icon, the APO Hiking Society.

Guadalupe: The Musical — Bringing hope to the world

EVENTS WHICH happened in Mexico over 400 years ago still resonate today, and these events will be told through a musical.

Love and lies

HOW CAN a man fall in love with someone without ever realizing — even after 20 years — that his lover is not a woman?

Gee Gee at Waterina: More than a gay story

HOW DO old gays survive when all the glamor and glimmer of their heyday finally come to the inevitable curtain call? This is the premise of the play Gee Gee at Waterina ang Musikal.

Shocking, charming, timely stories at this year’s Virgin Lab Fest

THERE’S A reason why Tulad ng Dati was sandwiched between two comedy-filled Virgin Lab Fest entries: it’s shocking.

Virgin Labfest presents a Marawi-inspired musical alongside an EJK play and...

BESIDES the usual stories of friendship and romance, the Virgin Labfest’s entries this year include stories on social issues like extrajudicial killings and the effects of the seige of Marawi.

Binondo looks at the Chinese-Filipino experience of love

THE NEW MUSICAL Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical sheds light on plight of Filipino-Chinese through the prism of a love story.

The Band’s Visit sweeps Tonys as Harry Potter wins Best Play

NEW YORK — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won the Tony for best play on Sunday while The Band’s Visit swept the musical categories with 10 wins, including the top award best musical at Broadway’s annual honors for the best in theater.

Rak of Aegis returns with new cast members

FIVE seasons and 300 shows since it first opened in 2013, Rak of Aegis returns to the stage when Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) presents the latest iteration on June 20 to Sept. 2.

The redemption of Chris Millado

By Giselle P. Kasilag Theater Review Ding, Ang Bato! By College of St. Benilde’s Arts and Culture Cluster’s Dance Program IN 2003, Chris Millado directed a highly anticipated...

The Monkey King wreaks havoc in the CCP

WHO WOULD pass up a free show? In celebration of the 43rd year of the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China,...

The anti-romcom musical returns to the stage

By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman Reporter Theater Changing Partners: The Stage Musical Presented by PETA Theater and REDMUNKEY May 11, 12, 13, 19, and 20 PETA Theater Center, No. 5...

Straddling two cultures in Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical

A STORY that hinges on romance, but also tackles dilemmas on self-identity faced by second-generation Chinese who grew up in the Philippines is what...

In praise of Jesus Christ Superstar

By Richard Roeper “IF YOU’D come today you would have reached a whole nation/Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication.” In the first nine months...

Engineering experiences

FOOD IN a theater is always forbidden, but food and theater can go together in TAXI (theater, applied, experiential, immersive) Theater, a performance art...

Spamalot inspires you to always look on the bright side of...

By Michelle Anne P. Soliman Theater Review Monty Python’s Spamalot Presented by Upstart Productions Ongoing until April 22 Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, Taguig City. KING ARTHUR,...

Hollywood reaps dividends from Saudi Prince’s US tour

LOS ANGELES — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s goodwill tour of Hollywood is starting to pay dividends. The Saudi General Entertainment Authority on Wednesday...