Celeste Legaspi, Carla Martinez and Vivian Velez were no-shows at the glittering tribute to Daisy Hontiveros Avellana, National Artist for Theater, held last night at the CCP. Ms. Legaspi and Ms. Martinez were supposed to have sung excerpts from "Larawan" the musical to pay homage to Ms. Avellana's pioneering role as Candida in the Nick Joaquin opus, while Ms. Velez would have joined other Candidas and Paulas of stage and screen in reading lines from the play. In the end, it was only May Bayot and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo who emerged to sing (beautifully) "Kay Sarap ng Buhay Nung Araw" and "Contra Mundum," the last two words also uttered by the 90-year-old Ms. Avellana at the climax of the gala tribute. (The honoree was so modest she steadfastly refused to ascend the stage, preferring to enjoy the show and bask in the accolades while seated among the audience.)
Model, singer and host Aliya Parcs is no longer part of Tanghalang Pilipino's production of F. Sionil Jose's "The Pretenders (Ang Mga Huwad)," under Chris Millado's direction. The abrupt news came barely a week before the play's Feb. 2 opening. In her first theater foray, Ms. Parcs was slated to play the female lead role of the aristocratic Carmen Villa opposite Romnick Sarmenta's embittered idealist Tony Samson. "Professional differences" was the official reason offered by TP. Possible translation: the inability of a pampered celebrity to adapt to the rigorous demands of theater work. Tsk tsk. Her replacement is Kalila Aguilos, who currently alternates with Agot Isidro as Queen Femina Suarestellar Baroux in "ZsaZsa Zaturnnah."
[Aliya Parcs photo: ABS-CBN Interactive]