Friday, January 04, 2008

'Tuesdays With Morrie' from Rep

Repertory Philippines begins the New Year with a thoughtful perspective on life in its production of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” a stage adaptation of the best-selling novel.

Mitch Albom’s recounting of the final months he spent with his terminally ill yet eternally inspiring college professor is an uplifting tonic for souls left parched by day-to-day life. Working with acclaimed playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, Albom has distilled his mentor’s final thesis on life into a powerful and transformative piece for the theater, seamlessly blending Morrie’s candid observations about life and death with dashes of his inextinguishable humor.

Director Baby Barredo has selected a particularly fine cast to bring it to life. Bart Guingona plays the author Mitch Albom, at the time a harried sportswriter from Detroit who chances upon a Ted Koppel interview of his old college professor Morrie Schwartz on “Nightline,” and decides to pay him a visit. Jose Mari Avellana plays Morrie, who, despite being stricken with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, manages over the course of the following months to impart to his old student the most important lessons of all.

Guingona is a veteran of about a hundred theatrical productions in the Philippines, and is considered one of the country’s most respected actors and directors. His acclaimed portrayals include “Hamlet,” “Macbeth” and John Proctor in The “Crucible.” Guingona is known for the passion and sensitivity he brings to his performances as well as to his own directorial efforts.

The progeny of two National Artists, Jose Mari Avellana, lives up to his family name with an eclectic career that spans over four decades and two continents. Having made his mark in the radio, television, and film worlds, he returns to the Repertory stage bringing an abundance of experience to his portrayal of Morrie Schwartz.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” plays at the Onstage Theater, 2/F Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Makati City from January 11 to 27, 2008, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:30 p.m. For ticket inquiries or show buying opportunities, contact Repertory Philippines at 8870710 or visit Tickets also available at Ticketworld at 8919999 or at

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