Artist Playground restages ‘Happiness Is A Pearl’

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The intertwining lives of a poverty-stricken Filipina entertainer in Japan, a gigolo and a billionaire’s wife are tackled in the original play “Happiness Is A Pearl” by Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Famer Rody Vera.

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First staged in June last year, Artist Playground is restaging it from August 25 until September 17 at Arts Above, Artist Playground II, 112 West Venue Building, West Avenue, Quezon City.

Happiness Is A Pearl tells the story of Mari, who was married to a wealthy businessman before becoming a prostitute in a club in Kabukicho, Tokyo but gets dumped when the husband learns she has become attached to a gigolo named Kenji, who has a pearl stitched under the skin of his manhood. But Kenji has set his eyes on Maria, a poor but beautiful girl from the Philippines.

How the three central characters find the true meaning of love and happiness and felt by the audience is the challenge for director Paul Jake Paulate, who himself is an esteemed stage actor and an Aliw Awards nominee.

Alternating as Kenji are Glen Asaytona, TJ dela Paz, Julian Roxas and Arvin Trinidad. Playing Mari are Catherine Go, Micah Musa and April Jasmin Rosales while Maria is personified by Ahlyxon Leyva, Sheena Ramos and Ira Ruzz.

Composing the ensemble are Star Alferez, Jessa Bisnar, Rey Ann Guilas, Joyan Kiu, Beaulah Mae Saycon, Sheneill Solis and Princess Tuason.

Besides Paule, the artistic team is composed of Roeder Camañag, Jesse Lucas, Lezlie Dailisan, Mailes Kanapi, Jeffrey Camañag, Ma. Fatima Cadiz, John Mark Yap, Aly Mondonedo, Sem Pabion, Rowena Jarito, Glenn Caspe and Reynoso Mercado.

The production team is led by Kimberly Claire Somoza with members Joselito Tolentino, Pat Gajes, Jeremy Cabansag, Arjie Rebuldela, Saycon, Alferez, Bisnar, Guilas, Rowena Jarito, Glenn Caspe, Jayson Garcia, Paul Candor and Kiu.

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