Dancing Lessons is about regular people falling in love. No billionaire with a penchant for BDSM falling for a college senior, or the captain of the basketball team and a member of the decathlon team sharing sparks in a school musical. Dancing Lessons proves that if you have a good story, it doesn’t matter that one is an injured Broadway dancer and the other has autism.
After announcing the return of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking 2015 Olivier award-nominated musical Cats to Manila, producers have just revealed the full cast for the Manila season. The musical will play for a strictly limited season at The Theatre at Solaire beginning November 6, 2019.
Just last month, a lesbian couple was attacked on a bus in London when a group of men saw them kissing. It’s surprising that this would happen in the year of our lord, twenty bi-teen, but it’s instances like this that makes Stop Kiss a necessary watch. In what could only be described as a coincidence, the play is having its second run in Manila this month, and it mirrors the horrific accident that happened in the United Kingdom.
Chinese culture is a part of Filipino life. We eat siomai and tikoy, celebrate Chinese New Year, and create movies about it (the Mano Po franchise had seven films). So it makes sense that somebody would want to create a musical about it. But given the current tension between the Philippines and China, do we really need one? The answer is yes.
One of the musicals I’m looking forward to this year is Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical. I wasn’t able to see when it was first staged in 2018, so I was excited when I heard it’s returning. This time I won’t miss it when it makes it comeback this July.
Binondo tells the love story of Lily, a Filipina nightclub singer, and Ah Tiong, a mainland Chinese scholar. It spans two decades in two countries, and is set against China’s cultural revolution and the 1971 Mid Autumn Festival in Manila’s Chinatown.
Every family has its dysfunction but it’s only discussed during reunions and Christmas dinners, when grudges are brought up and plates thrown across the room. Rare is the occasion when a family would openly broadcast their neuroses, which explains the popularity of reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
From March 22 to April 14, we get a peek into the lives of the Willows in Repertory Philippines’ Father’s Day, a West End play about a separated family that “enjoys” a reunion after a crisis. Henry receives an unexpected visit from his estranged son, Matthew, and his goth girlfriend, Christine. Still bitter from the divorce that tore his family apart, Henry treats them unkindly. After discovering that Matthew has run away, he decides to call his ex-wife, Sue. The result is a stellar cast exchanging witty banter filled with dry humor.
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!