I can still remember the day I discovered the magical world of Harry Potter. It was 1997 and I was browsing for something new to read at a bookstore in Alabang Town Center. I saw a promotional shelf brimming with copies of The Sorcerer’s Stone and was instantly intrigued by its cover: a small boy on a broom, trying to catch a tiny golden ball with wings. I got a copy and was hooked. Fast forward to 2019 and I’m obviously still a fan, because I had so much fun watching Potted Potter.
One of the most enduring classics of Broadway is The Phantom of the Opera, the musical that reveals the perils of love and obsession. I missed it the first time it was staged in Manila but I’m glad they returned. I fell in love with the story, the lush production, and the powerful cast. I had chills the entire evening!
Repertory Philippines is giving us a play that examines the shared journey of a family in the most relatable way. Father’s Day is a fitting tribute to imperfect families, so prepare yourself for a fresh and unique theater experience.
There’s a sudden surge of interest in our history. Maybe it was the success of Heneral Luna but we’re beginning to see more stories set during our country’s pivotal moments. And it’s great because we have a rich past filled with fascinating tales and characters. The latest in the entertainment landscape? Repertory Philippines‘ Miong, a musical based on the life of Emilio Aguinaldo, the country’s first president. Here’s my Miong review.
You don’t have to be born in the ‘70s to appreciate Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! You can be born in the ‘80s, the ‘90s, and even the ‘00s and still appreciate the story of the musical, where seven college students join a song-writing and singing contest during the time of Martial Law. The musical is set to the songs of APO Hiking Society, a legendary Filipino band.
It also doesn’t matter that you weren’t born when the band first released its singles. APO’s songs are such a classic that those born in later decades will still recognize them. And what a great repertoire to create a story from.
The current state of Philippine politics is in limbo. Outrageous statements are dropped like bombs, suspicious alliances are formed, and shady dealings are brought into the light. How do we react to it? We answer with laughter, the same way we respond to things that are out of our control. PETA’s Charot takes advantage of this quirk by turning it into a musical and it is entertaining.
One of my favorite discoveries of 2017 is that the Philippines has a full-length opera and it’s based on the famous Jose Rizal novel Noli Me Tangere. Now, it’s set to return to to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from March 8 to 10, 2019. This year’s run will coincide with the CCP’s 50th anniversary.
One of my theater regrets in 2018 was not seeing M. Butterfly. The play, adapted from the Tony Award-winning piece by David Henry Hwang, was a hit when it was staged in Manila, winning three out of its six nominations at last year’s Aliw Awards. I also have a personal stake since my first literary work was a screenplay of Giaccomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which I wrote when I was in the fifth grade. I’m not going to let it pass this time since it’s being staged again, and it’s going on a national tour!