I was invited to the press night of Rak of Aegis, the closing production of PETA’s 46th season. A few weeks prior, I got to watch the preview, a 20-minute sneak peek of what to expect on the actual run. During the preview, I was already impressed with the vocal prowess of the three leads – Aicelle Santos, Isay Alvarez-Seña, and Robert Seña. But I wasn’t prepared for the brilliance of the actual play.
I was already expecting the electrifying performances of Santos and the Señas, but I got to experience the extent of their vocal range in full that night. I was especially blown away by Robert, whose powerful tenor voice literally gave me the chills. His nuanced performance as Kiel was amazing. At times, Santos was overpowered by Robert and Isay, but their voices are otherworldly so it’s forgivable.
Rak of Aegis is set in Villa Venizia (referencing Venice), a town recovering from a flood. The town is still submerged and local businesses are floundering, but the locals are getting by with the world-famous Filipino spirit. Aileen (Santos) wants to change all that by uploading a video of herself singing, hoping Ellen would discover her and give her money. She instantly becomes a YouTube sensation, and the town capitalizes her singing prowess amidst the tragedy.
Because the press night coincided with the opening performance, Aegis was there as special guests. As the cast took their curtain call, the band suddenly appeared on stage, making a dramatic entrance on the boat that was used as one of the props. The set designer actually put a flooded area on the stage to make it look realistic, and boy was it realistic – the water didn’t look clean.