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!
There’s one show you shouldn’t dare miss if you’re a fan of both the Harry Potter franchise and theater. Potted Potter is returning to Manila this 2019!
Potted Potter condenses all seven Harry Potter books (and a real-life game of Quidditch) into 70 minutes. The show features all your favorite characters, a fire-breathing dragon, costumes, songs, props, and lots of Hogwarts magic!
The show premiered in Manila in 2012, followed by sold-out performances in 2013 and 2014. Now it’ll be back with nine shows beginning March 20 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater.
One of the things I’m looking forward to this 2019 is the return of The Phantom of the Opera in Manila, which captivated audiences in 2012. I’m sad that I missed it during its first run but the musical will be back in two months and I will definitely not miss it this time. Tickets are now on sale so go buy if you haven’t yet!
I’m also excited because Concertus Manila announced the cast bringing the timeless story to life.
The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) has always produced material that reflects social issues. It’s something that they’ll push for in their 51th season, which will be entitled Stage of the Nation. This season, the company will utilize the arts and engage artists to contribute to the discourses that concern the Philippines.
The season will focus on topics like truth, historical revisionism, human rights, extrajudicial killings, martial law, the elections, and people’s participation.
It has already started with performances of Ang Buhay ni Galileo, A Game of Trolls, Jon Santos’s Trumperte, and the album launch of Buklod, but you can check out the upcoming shows. Better plan your social calendar already!