On Tanghalang Pilipino's Madonna Brava ng Mindanao: Tanghalang Pilipino had another winner in “Madonna Brava ng Mindanao,” an adaptation by Don Pagusara of Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” transplanted to the war in Mindanao during the Marcos and Estrada regimes, and directed by Nestor Horfilla (at CCP’s Tanghalang Huseng Batute).
There were intense performances from the cast, led by Shamaine Centenera as Madonna; Bong Cabrera as a runaway priest; Kathlyn Castillo as the mute daughter and an array of Mindanao talents speaking in authentic Visayan and Muslim accents.
The production was enhanced by neo-ethnic music from the Davao-based Mebuyan Band, appropriate songs and martial arts-ceremonial choreography.
On Atlantis Productions’ Spring Awakening:... An intense, melodramatic and at times shocking musical about flaming German youth during the late 19th century, with parents and schoolmasters depicted as insensitive and unenlightened.
The emoting (Joaqui Valdes, Kelly Lati, et al.), singing and dancing (choreography by Dexter Santos) met one’s expectations.
The music was gripping and lyrical by turns, but not the kind that would produce standards. It was not something you could bring home, to paraphrase what music lover Eggie D. Apostol once said (about another production years ago).
On Tanghalang Pilipino’s Flores para los Muertos: Sparks flew between Eula Valdes and Neil Ryan Sese as Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski, respectively, in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Flores para los Muertos” (at CCP’s Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, directed by Floy Quintos).
Valdes and Sese did justice to their emotionally wrenching roles, with able support from the ensemble, notably Meryll Soriano as Stella, the gutsy wife; and Jonathan Tadioan as Blanche’s “mama’s boy” suitor, Mitch.
Seen once again after 30 years, this Filipino translation (by the late Orlando Nadres) of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” remains an experience, a showcase for acting.
The complete write-up here.
Any blogger/s out there with his or her own theater round-up? (The farther from my choices, the better!) Buzz me up, I'll repost it here--with your permission, of course.