Tag Archives: theater manila

Recommended theater experience: Osage County by Repertory Philippines

Part of the job of an actor is to watch a lot of theater. I give the play an 8 out of 10.

So I went to watch last production of Repertory Philippines, the number one English theater company of the Philippines.

I was glad to see it was a North American play instead of a British one coz I have a hard time understanding the British accent when I watch regularly to be sincere.
A British man who visited the Philippines told me that us Filipinos have a weird way of faking the British accent. He said we sound like Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins coz actors tend to imitate the accent of those days, which differs a lot from the accent of nowadays English citizens. 
Not me tho, coz I can’t catch a British accent at all. I guess that’s why I’m normally type casted as I hear a thousand times. Happy playing my Spanish characters in Filipino films tho. Keep them coming.
I was happy also to see the theater packed with teenager students. Very cool. That means there’s interest among young people, there is hope for straight theater plays in Manila!

The play takes three hours and a half with intermissions, two of them. And you know what? It didn’t seem too long nor I fell asleep even when I went being sleepy.
I still feel it’s weird to watch straight plays with microphones used. I wish the actors could just project their voices and fill up the theater in the natural traditional theater acting way. Coz you know? The acting is different this way. The delivery is theatrical, which differs from TV acting.
I guess there’s not enough actors in the Philippines with enough training to project their voices for theater. Coz I encountered a lot during these two years and a half working here that act with small voices or even whisper in theater as they do in life or screen acting. So I guess directors don’t really miss the projection.
Acting was fantastic. And the stage design by Miguel Faustmann is super realistic and pleasant to see.

Some actors smoke on stage real cigarettes while others have electronic cigars, which is a weird contrast. I propose direction decides one only way for all.
And there was an actor, Richard Cunanan, who I didn’t know and did a fantastic job. Just thought it might be a miss cast coz he is supposed to be at least 60 years old, but seems he’s 30-40. Think it’s a director’s decision tho not to age him probably. A little weird. And I repeat, great believable acting.
A very intense play, a lot of conflicts, tension, I almost even cried with some interpretations from the actors who were concentrated and kept the character intense almost all the time.
A pool of experienced actors really. 
Thankful to see Pinky Amador back on the stage of Rep after 7 years of absence.
Do I recommend it? Yes. Go watch it. And soon you’ll be ablle to compare it with the screen version with Merryl Streep.

Grease the musical in the Philippines by 9 Works theater company

9 Works Theatrical brings us the original High School musical: Grease!

Got in excited to watch a classic we all know very well. I guess it’s hard to revisit a play that everyone knows so well. Tho I guess the younger audiences still didn’t even watch the movie probably 😀
The producer Santi Santamaría told me before entering that it was a bad show haha. He used some irony but for a second I believed him and thought I was going to watch something he wasn’t convinced about. But not at all.
I was offered a back seat and requested for the front row. I always say I want to have the actors spitting at me as they sing 😀
Total blast of energy from the company as curtain goes up! Dancing, singing and really enjoying the classic musical.
Congrats director Robbie Guevara for achieving this in an original way. Glad ‘coz I’ve seen Grease the musical in several countries and it’s always different and fresh like this time. He really sharpened up the intentions of individual actors. I really appreciate that! Some would say… duh! But I can tell you it’s just some directors who do this and give consistency to the whole play.
Lucky enough I don’t know who are celebrities and who not in the cast (promise to catch up with that some day) there are some actors that super stand out.
Reb Atadero does a great job from the beginning. While dancing, singing and acting he always has his character. And you can see how he enjoyed mooning us, oh yes, showing his butt to the whole world many times hahaha. Had seen him before perform in the Woman in Black where he was also great.
And the female Oscar goes for Carla Dunareanu. German and now for good Filipina actress, radio host, model and anything she feels like ‘coz she is a true performer and determined person who takes her job super seriously. Just check any of her works. She starred in Repertory Philippines’ Boeing Boeing last season and totally stole the show.
Her role in Grease was Marty and she really squeezed the life out of it, including deep motivations that were probably not required and only a very observant audience member will catch. That’s why I love being in the first row J
Great energy from actress Ciara Sotto, daughter of the politician I was told. Good performing family! She can make you laugh with her original contributions, congrats!
Iya Villania has a beautiful singing voice for musicals, solid! And as an actress she really had the character from the beginning. Hope I can work together in some moment. Seems like a strong personality to deal with, at least on stage haha. Scary and powerful.
Musical direction by Joseph Tolentino. Another bravo! Risky to visit a classic and hard to direct from behind the singers and with the orchestra divided on both sides of the stage. Sounded great.
Congrats all company and crew!

December 2013, Manila.