Imagine this fanciful scenario. The year is 1891, and an anxious Pepe Rizal is in Paris trying to finish "El Filibusterismo". He is low on funds and in dire need of a room.
He rooms with Tunying Ibanez, a rakish illustrado who is too busy having a good time to even know who his roommate is. As Rizal tries to finish the novel, Tunying is drawn into the plot and begins to act out the character of Simoun, the sinister jeweler plotting to throw society into chaos.
In Dulaang UP's "Isang Panaginip na Fili," the new musical by Floy Quintos and C.J. Javier, the already familiar plot of Rizal's novel is framed by the unlikely juxtaposition of Pepe Rizal, the conscientious reformist, and the fictional Tunying Ibanez, the unconcerned libertine.
The new musical reduces the Fili's byzantine plot and cast of characters to its most basic elements. The unfolding of Rizal's themes of revenge, of transformation and revolution, are told through the stories of Kabesang Tales, the tragic heroines Juli and Maria Clara, and the disillusioned Basilio.
"Isang Panaginip na Fili" stresses the dark and cruel heart of the novel. The title of the new musical also stresses the vision for the production. The “Fili” as seen through a dream state of feverish creation, sensual decadence and social decay.
Tony Mabesa is the production's artistic consultant, UP Camerata Voices' artistic director Cholo Gino is the production's choral director, Jason Quitane is the musical arranger, Van Manalo is the choreographer, Tuxqs Rutaquio is the set designer, Luther Gumia is the lights designer, Brian Arda is the sound designer and Paolo Santillan is the graphic designer.
Alternating as Pepe are Franco Laurel and Joel Molina, with Onyl Torres and Eric Dela Cruz playing the part of Tunying. Also in the cast are Stella Canete, Ces Quesada, Meynard Penalosa, Greg De Leon, Jacques Borlaza, Peter Serrano, JC Santos, JM De Guzman, Mica Pineda, Delfine Buencamino, Astarte Abraham and the Dulaang UP ensemble.
"Isang Panaginip na Fili" opens on September 10 and will run till September 28, 2008 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd Floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
For ticket inquiries, call Dulaang UP Office at 9261349, 4337840, 9818500 loc 2449, 0922-8206224 or 0917-6206224. Visit http://www.upd.edu.ph/~dup.