As part of its 27th season, the Philippine Drama Company-Sala Theater is staging Nick Joaquin’s elegy in three scenes, “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino”, on October 26 (8 p.m.) and October 27-28 (7 p.m.) at The Philippine Drama Company’s Amingtahanan Sala Theater, located at #40 Stella Maris St., Bo. Kapitolyo, Pasig.
What makes this production different from all other productions of the same play? Naty Crame-Rogers, who has dedicated her lifetime to the cause of Philippine theater--and who played Paula to the original Candida, National Artist for Theater Daisy Hontiveros-Avellana, in the original 1950s production as well as the 1965 movie version--is turning 90 this year. And she has announced that she will be playing Candida for the last time in this production.
Crame Rogers, PDC-Sala Theater founder and directress, also directs the play, now with Lala Castillo as Paula. Kenn Cayunda plays the swaggering boarder Tony Javier, and Gaby Castillo as Bitoy Camacho, the young journalist and family friend of the Marasigans.
Others in the cast are Rina Reinoso, Chrissie Legaspi, Jordeene Lagare, Krix Untalan, Jake Alejandrino, Claude Despabiladeras, Danny Escasa, Cecille Valenzuela, Raul Dumlao, Ramer dela Cruz, LA Caguioa, Andre Lagoy, Elsa Mapua, and Mr. Robert Lane.
Set in the living room of the Marasigan house in Intramuros just before the Second World War, “Portrait” tells the story of sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan, both old maids, and their dying old father, a great painter, who leaves them with what is his last and greatest work of art. With times changing and everybody wanting to get a piece of what wealth the old house and painting could gather if sold, the sisters are being shaken by relatives and people surrounding them to let go of their sentiments in exchange for money.
Where this “Portrait” will be held also adds to its uniqueness--in the place where the play is most loved and appreciated: in Crame-Rogers' home.
In the words of Castillo, executive director of PDC Sala Theater: “In this setting, Don Lorenzo’s room IS the room once shared with Joe Rogers or Daddy Joe, the man Crame-Rogers married. And the rat that Candida so skillfully puts to death is indeed in the kitchen. And the confrontation between the Marasigan siblings happens in the sala, and the fiesta scene happens around a beautifully inlaid table covered with a quaint crocheted table cloth. And the few invited guests shall sit quietly within the proverbial fourth wall, sometimes watching the play, sometimes being almost part of it.”
Cocktails will be served after the show.
For inquiries, please contact 0917-3146003. For more information about the play, like https://www.facebook.com/ThePhilippineDramaCompany and follow on twitter @PhilDramaCo.