Opening at the PETA Theater Center this October is “Changing Partners,” an intimate peek inside a challenging May-December relationship, and how a double-standard exists which is the basis of whether or not it might be judged with skepticism, or deemed as acceptable.
Originally a staged-reading entry for the 2016 Virgin Labfest, Vince de Jesus, who wrote the book, libretto and music for “Changing Partners,” has reconfigured the material into a torch musical that explores the alchemy of relationships, questions the nature of fidelity, and grapples with the complex issues partners face regardless of gender.
Used to doing commissioned local theater musicals, “Changing Partners” is a specifically personal project for de Jesus. “With other productions you have to arm yourself with facts and information. You can’t just wing through topics,” he says. For this project though, the process might have been different. “I’ve lived it. I know the topic very well.”
The decision to do a torch musical meanwhile might have come from de Jesus’ experience as a composer. “A torch song is a love song, a very sentimental love song. The singer usually tells a story about an unrequited love or a dying love or a lost love,” de Jesus explains. “Torch is not a music genre but more of a way of singing, which focuses more on the words and emotions rather than the melody of the song. That’s how I wrote the songs of the musical—these are more felt, than performed.”
“Changing Partners” is directed by Rem Zamora with lighting design by Ian Torqueza. It features an ensemble of accomplished actors composed of Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Anna Luna, and Sandino Martin. De Jesus will play his composition on the piano for each staging.
The limited run of “Changing Partners” will be at the PETA Theater Center Studios on October 21 to 23, with 7 p.m. shows. Contact 725-6244 or 0927-3917379 for details. ***