In the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) latest musical comedy-drama titled “Care Divas,” five transvestite overseas workers travel to the historic land of Israel in the time of the intifada (the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation), bringing with them the unique brand of warm Pinoy nurturing to care for elderly Jews.
Every day, they wash, feed and entertain their employers as loving caregivers. Come nighttime, the five whip out their make-up and sky-high heels to perform as glamorous drag queens in a Tel Aviv club.
The day after, they go back to playing the role of caregiver, once again tending to the aged Jews who depend on them for food, human connection and survival.
At the core of the story is Chelsea (Melvin Lee), who seems to have it all--blessed with a kind employer who teaches him Hebrew and a potential lover who accepts him for what he is. Shai (Vincent De Jesus) the leader of the group, is always haunted by the image of his mother who rejected him for his sexuality. The two are joined by Kayla (Jerald Napoles), Thalia (Dudz Teraña, Jason Barcial) and Jonee (Phil Noble, Buddy Caramat) who also release their creativity through performing.
The five strive to adapt to Israeli culture. Their Filipino tongues struggle to learn Hebrew while silently battling the orthodox view on gays. They are always alert, constantly fearing deportation and war.
Armed by their aspirations (and their pointed stilettos), their true spirits and creativity shine through in their performances. They dream of becoming big-time divas while encountering problems along the way. But it is through their journey that they are able to share the valuable experiences and friendships that bind strangers like them in a strange land.
The creative team behind “Care Divas” includes acclaimed writer Liza Magtoto, multi-awarded composer Vincent De Jesus, prolific director Maribel Legarda, costume designer John Abul, events and theater lighting designer Jon Jon Villareal, visual artist and award-winning set designer Leo Abaya and contemporary dancer and choreographer Carlon Matobato.
The cast includes some of the biggest and brightest theater and television actors today: Melvin Lee, Vincent De Jesus, Ricci Chan, Jerald Napoles, Phil Noble, Buddy Caramat, Dudz Teraña, Jason Barcial, Cecilia Garrucho, Paul Holme, Myke Solomon, Angeli Bayani, Eric Dela Cruz and Dom Miclat-Jansen.
“Care Divas” runs at the PETA Theater Center every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 A.M. and 3 P.M., February 4-March 13, 2011. For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations Office 7256244, 4100821 or 0917-5644233. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.