“My lola (Armida Siguion-Reyna), together with the City of Makati, has an hour-and-half to two-hour show every last Friday of the month (supposedly, but there have been erratic changes these past few months). This is a special project with the office of Mayor Binay for the senior citizens of Makati.
“It's like a mini-sarswela featuring mostly kundiman songs and even contemporary Filipino music. Regular artists are Bimbo Cerrudo, Pinky Marquez, Christine Escudero, my lola (of course) and I. It really is quite entertaining to see the baro't saya and maria claras used from the original TV show of Aawitan Kita. The senior citizens watch and enjoy as if it's a rock concert.
“I really hope you can come and watch sometime. The next show is on Thursday, May 15, with soprano Rachelle Gerodias performing fresh from her successful opera stint in Vienna, Austria. It's FREE admission, too!”
2. Fil-Canadian play in Toronto
Vonjobi (aka Filipino Librarian) alerted me to an article in the Toronto Star about a group of young Fil-Canadians (Nicco Lorenzo, Nadine Villasin, Rose Cortez, Christine Mangosing and Leon Aureus, pictured above) who are mounting a play on the 1986 People Power Revolution. From the article by Richard Ouzounian, the Toronto Star's theater critic:
“'It was the first-ever successful non-violent revolution,' says Nicco Lorenzo, one of the creator-performers of People Power, which begins previews Friday night at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.
“The show is being presented by the Carlos Bulosan Theatre, the longest-standing Flipino-Canadian drama ensemble, founded in 1982 and named after the famed author-activist.
“What makes this particular production so fascinating is its five creators are so young that they were only children when the People Power Revolution took place, but its remains important to them because of what they remember and what they've learned over the years...”
The complete article here. Here's to People Power and the Carlos Bulosan Theatre!
3. Reviews, reviews!
Rep's Altar Boyz and Goethe Institut's Slipped Disc: A Study of the Upright Walk by the Philippine Star's Exie Abola here, PETA's Skin-Deep by FEU theater professor Joey Ting here. Read, baby!
4. Dulaang UP's new artistic movers
Dr. Alex Cortez has assumed the post of Dulaang UP artistic director, with Dexter Santos as associate artistic director. Alex succeeds another respected director-educator, Jose Estrella, at the helm of the country's premiere campus-based drama company. Congratulations, Alex and Dexter! Best wishes to you and Dulaang UP!
My reviews of two Alex Cortez-directed works here (St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos, The Musical, 2005--“[It's] not without shortcomings, but in its present form, it is already lofty, powerful, consequential--a firm addition to the pool of theatrical musical material exploring the contours of our national soul”) and here (Shock Value, 2006--“An audacious exercise in blurring reality and illusion, all wrapped up as glitzy ersatz entertainment”).
5. Monique Wilson at the 10th V-Day bash
The video is here. (Watch how she gets lusty applause at the end of her brief monologue--in Filipino.) More stories and photos in her Multiply site.
Here's Monique with other V10 stars: (from top left) Christine Lahti, Ali Larter, Calpernia Adams, Leslie Townsend, Charmaine Neville, Didi Conn, Jennifer Beals, Lilia Aragon, Shirley Knight, Doris Roberts, Monique Wilson, Stephanie Bataille, Amber Tamblyn, Kristina Krepela, Lella Costa, Kerry Washington, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Liz Mikel, Alex Hedison, Daniela Sea, Eve Ensler, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda and Ilene Chaiken.
6. Bituin Escalante and Rem Zamora in Monday Nights, New Voices
From the official MNNV release: “We're very pleased to announce that the upcoming MNNV session will be hosted by none other than Ms Bituin Escalante and Mr Rem Zamora.
“Both have given Philippine audiences much to applaud, with Escalante's unforgettable performances in Rent, Tick, Tick...Boom!, Dreamgirls and Once on This Island and Zamora's too-long-to-enumerate resume that includes Jesus Christ Superstar, Miong, Company, Love's Labour's Lost and Glorious. The two were also in our featured composer Vince de Jesus' musical Skin-Deep for PETA.
“We look forward to seeing you at the Mag:net Cafe High Street at the Fort on May 12 as our hosts join MNNV to showcase the talents of our New Voices: Nicolas Atienza, Amos Francia, Pamela Imperial, Cinderella Mayo and Monica Reynoso.”
7. Call for contributions to Nick Joaquin biography
Tony Joaquin, nephew of the late great National Artist for Literature, is asking interested readers and writers “to share and send their contributions to [an upcoming] Nick Joaquin Biography to [his] email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, with a face photo and return postal address (and if possible telephone numbers)...” He says: “At this point, it is my privilege to report that more and more comments either on live interviews or e-mail messages from writers of fiction in the Philippines and those from other countries are reaching me for their contributions for inclusion in the biography.”
More details in Dine Racoma's blog, The D Spot.
[Photo 1: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star]