Chris Millado, E.J.
Nor Domingo, Skin-Deep
Arthur Cassanova, Pippin
Dexter Santos, Orosman at Zafira
Best Stage Director--Non-Musical Play
Cris Lim, Bangkay sa Corintho
Niel de Mesa, I Laugh You
Ricky Abad, The Death of Memory
Floy Quintos, Ang Kalungkutan ng Mga Reyna
Leo Rialp, Ang Dalawa Niyang Libing
Best Non-Musical Production
Bangkay sa Corintho
Romeo and Juliet
I Laugh You
The Death of Memory
Ang Kalungkutan ng Mga Reyna
Best Musical Production
Ang Pagong at ang Matsing
Isang Dosenang Sapatos
Orosman at Zafira
Best Stage Actress--Musical
May Bayot, Skin-Deep
Isay Alvarez, Skin-Deep
Rachel Alejandro, Avenue Q
Aiza Seguerra, Avenue Q
Cris Villonco, Orosman at Zafira
Best Stage Actress--Non-Musical
Glory Ann Nacional, Bangkay sa Corintho
Monica Llamas, Romeo and Juliet
Shamaine Buencamino, Ang Kalungkutan ng Mga Reyna
Kimberly Diaz, Florante at Laura
Best Stage Actor--Musical
Joel Trinidad, Avenue Q
Robert Sena, Skin-Deep
Bodjie Pascua, Isang Dosenang Sapatos
Francis Ong, Ang Pagong at ang Matsing
Jet Pangan, E.J.
Roeder Camanag, Orosman at Zafira
Best Stage Actor--Non-Musical
Vince Tanada, Bangkay sa Corintho
Lance Raymundo, Romeo and Juliet
Joey Paras, Ang Bayot, and Maranao at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakakabagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte
Arnold Reyes, Ang Bayot, and Maranao at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakakabagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte
I copied this list from a press release (“The 21st Aliw Awards nominees”) published in the September 20, 2008 issue of the Philippine Star. Since the nominees in the Entertainment categories don't concern me at this time, I've only excerpted those for theater. And what a list it is.
Let's deal with the time frame first. Actually, it's not clear to me what the nomination period is, just by looking at the list. Most of the big-name entries come from productions done this year, i.e., Skin-Deep, Romeo and Juliet, Orosman at Zafira, E.J. all happened in the early part of 2008, and three plays--Ang Kalungkutan ng Mga Reyna, Ang Dalawa Niyang Libing and the kilometrically titled Ang Bayot, Ang Maranaw...--all came from the Virgin Labfest, which was held only in June.
However, since Rachel Alejandro's turn in Avenue Q is also mentioned, the nomination period must reach farther back, at least up to late last year. Because Rachel appeared only in the October and December 2007 runs of the musical, while Carla Guevara took over the role during the “final” run this year.
Okay, perhaps the last six months of last year and the first six months of this year, to make for one full qualifying year? So far, gets ko.
But then, this: a Best Actor-Musical nomination for Jay-R, for Footloose. JAY-R, FOOTLOOSE. If the Aliw people meant the musical Footloose staged by Chari Arespacochaga for Stages at the Meralco Theater, I've got news for them. That show opened and closed back in 2005, or three years ago. My review of it came out on September 12, 2005 in the Inquirer (Sept. 11 in our archives)--here.
Did Jay-R and Stages do a repeat of Footloose this year or last year that we didn't hear of and that should explain their inclusion in the list? I texted Oliver Oliveros, Stages' PR guy, to confirm this; his response was the equivalent of one big belly laugh. Uh-oh.
Re the other nominees--I won't second-guess Aliw's selection criteria or its jury members' capabilities. But I would assume that the acting categories at least would have something to do with thespic prowess, acting chops, standout performances during the qualifying period. Like, duh. Some nominees, especially the female contingent--Shamaine Buencamino, May Bayot, Cris Villonco, yes, Rachel Alejandro--do have very strong arguments to their citations. And, in the final analysis, who gets in based on what benchmark is really the Aliw jury's call.
Still--no Jose Mari Avellana or Bart Guingona (Tuesdays With Morrie)? Mario O'Hara (Kudeta)? Felix Rivera (Avenue Q) or Red Concepcion (Altar Boyz)? And I saw Gantimpala Theater's Romeo and Juliet. Monica Llamas' nomination I can somehow grasp, but Lance Raymundo's? If his dim, mediocre attempt at Shakespeare qualifies, then Niccolo Manahan's vastly superior Hamlet for Rep (despite my misgivings about it) should be a shoo-in. Where is he in the list?
Or should I just throw up my hands, bellow “IS A PUZZLEMENT!” and move on?