Monday, January 05, 2009

Rep begins 72nd season with Nick Joaquin's A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino

Repertory Philippines’ 2009 Season begins with a gem of an offering: Nick Joaquin’s classic “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.”

Set in pre-war Manila, it tells of two spinster sisters who stay on in their ancestral home with their frail artist father, in spite of conflicts that arise among family members to abandon the old house.

The production brings together some of the country's best actors to flesh out this much-loved work, first staged in early 1955 by the Barangay Theatre Guild in the open-air theater among the ruins of Intramuros. It was Daisy Avellana who first read the play in 1952 in the Weekly Women’s Magazine, and forthwith got Joaquin’s permission to present it, first on radio.

BTG later adapted it for the stage, and it ran for an unprecedented two years. Nick Joaquin’s remembrance of old Manila, resplendent in his prose, was made more luminous by BTG’s actors: Armando Goyena, Koko Trinidad, Nick Agudo, Alfred X. Burgos, Sarah Joaquin, and, of course, Daisy Avellana--whose electric portrayal of Candida is unforgettable.

Repertory’s “Portrait” is directed by no less than Jose Mari Avellana, Daisy’s son, who is a formidable actor in his own right. The music is by another Avellana--Jose Mari's brother Lamberto Jr.

The cast includes Irma Adlawan, Ana Abad Santos, Liesl Batucan, Joel Trinidad, Randy Villarama, Jeremy Domingo, Jay Glorioso, Dido de la Paz, Jenny Jamora, Astarte Abraham, Baby Barredo, Chinggoy Alonso, Lorna Lopez, Oliver Usison, Bonggoy Manahan, Celso Ylagan, Ernie Zarate, Jejie Esguerra and Dingdong Rosales.

Performances are on January 16-February 8, 2009 at Onstage Greenbelt One Theater, Ayala Malls, Makati City, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:30 p.m.

Call the Rep office 8870710 or Ticketworld 8919999 for ticket inquiries.

PLUS: Portrait in sepia--The publicity shots are out, and, as usual with the work of ace actor-photographer Jojit Lorenzo, they're inspired.

Irma Adlawan as Candida, Ana Abad Santos as the alternate Candida and Liesl Batucan as Paula

With Randy Villarama as Tony Javier, Jeremy Domingo as Don Manolo and Jay Glorioso as Dona Pepang

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