With wanderlusts filling their must-go lists in the new year, and foodies their must-try restos, the “theateratis”—or theater aficionados—will not be left wanting for 2016, especially as exciting stage productions are set to alight on stage in this first quarter alone.
What’s there to watch? The Manila Times has it all written down—from local to visiting foreign productions—in this theater special today.
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‘Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical’
Onstage until January 31 at Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila
The musical adaptation of the 1985 hit movie Bituing Walang Ningning is back on its continuing second run, due to popular demand. Still playing the lead is Monica Cuen-co as Dorina Pineda with Cris Villonco as arch-rival La Vinia Arguelles. Sha-ron Cuneta and Cherie Gil portrayed these ico-nic roles for the big screen respectively.
Completing the cast are singers and actors Mark Bautista, Epy Quizon and Ronnie Liang, with the special participation for John Nite, who reprises the role of his uncle, the late German Moreno, on the show.
The musicale is good a must-see for those fond of reliving the 80s, including its vibe and music, as well as the good old drama classic complete with the trademark biting dialogues.
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Repertory Philippines’ ‘The Games Afoot’
January 15 to February 7 at Onstage Theatre in Greenbelt 1
Set in 1936, Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot follows Broadway star William Gillette, who is known for his brilliant portrayal of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. After a show, he invites his castmates to his castle for a weekend of revelry, until one of them turns up dead. Gillette must channel his inner Sherlock and figure out who the killer is before he strikes again.
Repertory Philippines brings together Paul Holme, Joy Virata, Jay Valencia Glorioso, Jeremy Domingo, Christine Flores, Hans Eckstein, Mica Pineda, Pinky Amador and Natalie Everett to play the characters of this show, which was first staged in Cleveland Play House in November 2011.
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PETA Theater’s ‘3 Stars and a Sun’
February 4 to March 6 at PETA Theater Center in New Manila, QC
A dystopian rap musical that features the songs of Pinoy rap legend Francis Magalona, 3 Stars and a Sun is set in 2096 inside The Stormdome—a fallout shelter created to protect the entire archipelago from global warfare and extreme weather.
Inside The Stormdome are two warring groups: kids from the glossy and developed city Luminos City, and youths from the rough streets of Di-liman. Together these two very different gangs will realize that there are bigger issues in the world besides their diversity.
What’s exciting about the production is that it threads together the most popular songs of the Master Rapper as sung by a talented cast comprised of Paolo Valenciano, Nicco Manalo, Gio Gahol, Gold Villar, Che Ramos-Cosio, Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Bodjie Pascua, Raffy Tejada, Giannina Ocampo and Justine Peña, among others. Moreover, in a yet to be revealed stage setup, the same group behind the hit Rak of Aegis is making a water city out of the PETA Theater.
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Red Turnip Theater’s ‘Constellations’
February 12 to March 6 at Power Mac Spotlight, Circuit Makati
Currently known as one of the few, if not the only theater company in Manila producing nothing but straight plays, Red Turnip is back with a though-provoking and conversation-initiating play.
In Constellations, Cris Villonco and JC Santos play lovers Marianne, a theoretical physicist and beekeeper Roland in a story where science and romance collide. Best couples who want a cosmic spin on their Valentine’s date.
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‘50 Shades! The Musical Parody’
February 12, 13, 14, 19, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Makati
Filipinos are in for a good laugh with the arrival of the international audience favorite 50 Shades! The Musical Parody. It is the sexy and hilarious parody of Fifty Shades of Grey, the infamous novel that follows the naïve girl Anastasia Steel who unexpectedly enters the world of BDSM-practitioner Christian Grey. [The Urban Dictionary defines BDSM as "An overlapping abbreviation of Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM)].”
The show promises to have audience rolling on the floor and dancing in the aisles with uninhibited performances and loads of a different kind of BDSM—which, according to original producers Marshall Cordell, Albert Samuels and Emily Dorezas mean “Best Damn Songs and Music.”
A foreign cast comprised of Eileen Patterson, BJ Gruber, Jack Boice, Alexis Field, Sheila O’ Connor, Tiffany Dissette, Nick Semar, Caroline Reade, and Datus Puryear brings the musicale to the Philippine stage.
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March 11 to 29 at The Theatre at Solaire
When the news that the Australian cast of the critically-acclaimed Les Miserables is coming to Manila, theater fans have been restless and excited to finally see the Broadway and West End classic unravel on the local stage. They turned frantic too when it was announced that the Philippines latest star in the international theater circuit, Rachel Anne Go, would be coming home to give life to the role of Fantine, for which she cast in the West End during the 30th anniversary staging of Les Miserables.
The play is a must for hardcore theater lovers and for those who want to see for themselves just how our kababayan has been making waves overseas. As such, eight more show dates were added to the original announced run of the Cameron Macintosh production, which has been seen by over 70 million people worldwide in 42 countries and in 22 languages.
Joining Go onstage for what is undoubtedly the biggest production of the season are Australia’s Simon Gleeson, Helpmann Award-winner Kerrie Anne Greenland as Éponine, along with Chris Durling as Enjolras and Emily Langridge as Cosette.