Friday, October 03, 2008

Going, going...

1. A new batch of theater people are set to leave this October for extended performing stints abroad. Jean Judith Javier, the fierce Gulnara of Dulaang UP's Orosman at Zafira early this year, and Amiel Mendoza, who appeared in New Voice Company's Into the Woods last year, are bound for The Venetian Hotel in Macau (where Noel Rayos, Nazer Salcedo and Pheona Barranda also performed for a year or so. Noel is back in town, by the way--he's appearing next in Gantimpala Theater's Sleeping Beauty and Atlantis Productions' Hairspray later this year.) The two Zafiras, meanwhile, Cris Villonco and Maita Ponce, are off to Hong Kong Disneyland with one of Rep's Altar Boyz, Chevy Mercado.

Five young talents gone from our stage again. On the one hand, talent drain like this is always a dispiriting thing. Obviously, when the country can't provide enough nurturing opportunities for its hungry, eager artists, we can't blame those artists if they seek to apply their skills elsewhere--at least for a while.

On the other hand, something positive might also arise from this development. Like their colleagues before them, Cris, Maita and company can further the country's name abroad as the birthing place of the best performers this side of the world, while also soaking up on new experiences and skills that could only make them better artists. When they come back--and we're hoping they would, of course--then they can share with the Filipino audience the fruits of the invaluable exposure they've earned abroad.

In the meantime, while they're gone, new talents will also get the chance to step up and fill the void, renewing and enlarging once again our local pool of fresh, young thespians. Miss Saigon didn't permanently cripple Filipino theater, and neither did Hong Kong Disneyland. Disruptive as they were, the temporary drains eventually led to the emergence of newly-minted talents in our midst, as well as the infusion of world-class ones when many of our international artists inevitably came home.

So--to Amiel, Judith, Cris, Maita and Chevy, break a leg! And see you soon!

2. Stages' West Side Story will close next weekend, originally with a last show scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 12, 3 p.m. An 8 p.m. show has now been added, and for that closing performance, the triumphant tag team of Joanna Ampil as Maria and Rowena Vilar as Anita will make their final curtain call, along with Christian Bautista as Tony and Jake Macapagal as Bernardo. If you haven't seen the show, you've got only this weekend and the next to make up for it. [For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or Stages at 818-1111 loc. 225.]

3. Dulaang UP's Isang Panaginip na Fili, likewise playing to packed houses at the Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman, is having its last four additional performances today, Friday, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and tomorrow, Saturday, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The best reason for watching this fervid, feverish take on Fili? It throws the rickety, cobweb-covered book we've become familiar with up in the air, and reassembles the scattered pieces into a thumping musical panorama that blends history, conjecture, fantasy and imagination. If it interests you to look at Rizal's life and work (specifically through his darker, more violent second novel) with a fresh pair of eyes, this Fili is a good place to start. [For tickets, call or text 0917-8874868.]

Here, courtesy of composer Ceejay Javier, is a live recording of the stirring finale track of Isang Panaginip na Fili, with Onyl Torres as Rizal's fictional friend Tunying and Franco Laurel as Pepe Rizal. The heartfelt lyrics are by director Floy Quintos. (Chorus to a fallen Rizal: “Salamat, kaibigan. Sige na, humimlay. Mithi mong bayan susubukang makamtan.”)


TheBachelorGirl said...

Congrats to Amiel, Judith, Cris, Maita and Chevy! BTW, have they left? Chevy said he and Cris will perform in Mulan till they have to go. :-)

David said...

Ang alam ko, Maita leaves today (Oct.5) for HK. She had her last show (Sinta!) last Friday.

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