Now open for showbuyers: Philippine Opera Company's "Harana" re-run in 2012

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Announcement from Philippine Opera Company

Watch out for the limited return engagement of "ANG BAGONG HARANA" this coming 2012!

Interested show buyers can contact 0917-527-2880 or 881-7168.

Directed by Floy Quintos, "Ang Bagong Harana" showcases the best of Filipino composers from different music genres: Nicanor Abelardo, Ryan Cayabyab, Willy Cruz, Francisco Santiago, Antonio Molina, Resti Umali, George Canseco, Ernani Cuenco, Levi Celerio, Jose Estrella, Constancio De Guzman and  Felipe de Leon, to name a few.

“Ang Bagong Harana” integrates past/present, north/south, colonial/post-colonial experiences and put them into a revue where our whole souls are the source of inspiration. The different suites mixes old songs and new while talking about “who we are Filipinos” and where we have been.

Past shows have featured Philippine opera and theater's celebrated singers: Karla Gutierrez, Aizel Prietos, Charley Magalit, Janine Santos, Marian Santiago, Lawrence Jatayna, Jack Salud, Nazer Salcedo, Marvin Gayramon, Al Gatmaitan, Floyd Tena and Jurgen Unterburg.

Harana, also known as Habanera Filipina, is a form of Philipipne lyrical song from the Spanish colonial period.  It was used as courtship serenades in the Mexican-Spanish tradition based on the Spanish Tango or Habanera rhythm.  While the Spanish version has a lively, seductive tempo; the Filipino version is romantic, lyrical and slow.

Filipino bachelors, accompanied by one or two companions, would bring along a guitar to serenade their ladies under starlit skies.  The lady and her kinsfolk would open the home's window as a polite gesture of appreciation until the set of harana songs were completed.

In the 1920s harana was (re)popularized by performers such as Atang de la Rama, Jovita Fuentes, Conching Rosal, Sylvia La Torre and Ruben Tagalog.

Why harana?
"Today, the young generation may not even know harana's real essence as far as Filipino folk traditions are concerned. And that is the one singular reason why POC is reviving this beautiful Filipino culture," says Karla Gutierrez, POC artistic director.

In 2008, POC staged "Harana" as a vehicle to showcase the evolution of Philippine music through song and movement. Harana went on a tour of Amsterdam in 2009.

It embarked on a Philippine tour in 2010, covering the cities of Cebu, Roxas, Antique, Bohol, Palawan. In 2011, it toured Bacolod, Ormoc, Tacloban, and Samar.  Later in 2011, the show went through some changes and was retitled to "Ang Bagong Harana."

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FREE ADMISSION Sipat Lawin Ensemble's "Strange Pilgrims: Psychopomp Edition" Dec. 13, 2011

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Psychopomp Edition

launch of sculptor Leeroy New's installation
Pyschopomp's Reef
performance of Sipat Lawin Ensemble's
"March of the creatures and attack of the fireflies and bulging, bouncing orange things"


December 13, 2011 Tuesday 5pm
28th Street cor. 7th Ave,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(In front of NBC tent and back of Arts in the City.)

About the performance:
A ball. Performance: Sound + Dance+ Opera+ Play. Join our procession; whistle, hum and slow-dance with us. Wear orange. We'll give you a pipe.

About the Sculpture-Installation:
In Greek mythology, psychopomp literally means a “guide of souls.”  In different religions, they are spirits, angels or deities that guide newly deceased souls to the afterlife.  Visual artist Leeroy New takes on this role  – as a guide of sorts – towards a vibrant landscape at the art strip in Bonifacio Global City.

Psychopomp’s Reef is the first inaugural exhibit of the BGC Offsite Gallery, a new program managed by the Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI).  The program is intended to showcase works by young contemporary artists.  Ephemeral and temporary in nature, it will provide more flexibility and latitude to feature a variety of sculptural works – even the cutting edge and experimental.

From afar, Leeroy New’s organic bright orange “growth” stands out against the flat terrain like large coral clusters.  Up close it is actually made out of plastic conduit tubes and cable ties.  This direction, however, is not at all new to the young artist.  Since completing his Fine Arts degree at the University of the Philippines in 2007, he has been exploring the notion of the “hybrid” in materials chosen and the themes and forms created.

This BAFI project was managed in collaboration with Art Cabinet, Inc and with the assistance of Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation.

Psychopomp’s Reef will be on view at the BGC Offsite Gallery until February 2012.

Artist Profiles:
Leeroy New (b. 1986, General Santos City) is a prolific young artist and designer whose practice overlaps and intersects with film, theater, visual arts and fashion. He is a Visual Arts graduate of the Philippine High School for the Arts and University of the Philippines Fine Arts and has received several citations for his work, including the grand prize for sculpture in the 2005 Metrobank Art Awards and the 2009 Ateneo Art Awards where he received residency grants in Singapore and Australia as prize. Most recently, he has been nominated for the Signature Art Prize 2011.

Primarily a practicing artist, he has done numerous exhibitions and has been invited to participate in the 2008 Singapore Biennale, where he positioned an army of his trademark alien figures on the roof of one of the courtyards of the City Hall, and the 2009 Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, where he installed an eye-shaped vessel on the facade of the FAAM museum. He is the man responsible for the Balete installation(2009) at the Rizal Library in the Ateneo University as well as the otherworldly facade of the Sputnik Comic Bar(2008) in Cubao X.

Leeroy New also works as a production designer and at present has worked on four feature films and a number of music videos and short films. He also applies his artistic practice in the context of fashion and has participated in Philippine Fashion Week. New has also designed sets, puppets and costumes for various theater/dance groups including Ballet Philippines, Dulaang UP and Sipat Lawin Ensemble.A recent ace on his sleeve, one of his rubber-cast bustier was worn by pop icon Lady Gaga as outfit for the video of her recent single release, 'Marry the Night'.

Sipat Lawin Ensemble is an edge work, site-specific theatre company composed of Theatre Arts Alumni from the Philippine High School for the Arts and their collaborators. Changing the landscape of theatre performances in the Philippines, the Ensemble is geared towards developing a contemporary community theater experience shared among artists and audiences inside and/or outside the four walls of the theater.

In 2010, Sipat Lawin Ensemble launched its official and inaugural season billed as SEASON 2000-X opening with Haring +ubu-l, a device- work adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s play UBU ROI. Imperio Animalia, the Ensemble’s devise-work adapation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm was also launched in 2010 as part of SLE’s Theater-in-a-backpack touring performances.

Sipat Lawin Ensemble was featured as performance company for Ani ng Sining & TANGHAL5 Festival in 2010, and Monodrama Manila 2011 by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Ateneo De Manila University’s Company Call 3 Performance lectures.

Crossing and blurring boundaries among different media, in this year's Season 2000-Xi, the Ensemble aims to create and develop new forms of inter-action and communication. 2000-Xi highlights collaborations with top artists from different fields; line-up of performances include ImperioAnimalia (August), Rmeo luvz Julz 2011 (Romeo and Juliet) - Baranggay Fiesta Edition (November), and Battalia Real (February 2012).

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FREE ADMISSION United Artists for Cultural Conservation and Development's "Ang Kasaysayan ni Teodora: Isang Ina" Dec. 12, 2011

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United Artists for Cultural Conservation and Development (UACCD)

in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
and SM City Sta. Rosa

in observance of Teodora Alonso's death centenary


"Ang Kasaysayan ni Teodora: Isang Ina"

A play about Teodora Alonso, the mother of Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal

Dec. 12, 2011 (Monday) 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm
The Event Center, SM City Sta. Rosa, Laguna

Written by Katte Sabate and Raymond Vergara
Directed by BJ Borja
Dramaturgy by Dr. Bimbo Sta. Maria
Production design by Carlo Pagunaling
Lighting design by Loren Rivera
Sound design by Jules dela Paz

The cast features UACCD's Youth Performance Council

Contact 0917-847-2476 or

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CTE Productions' "Love, Loss and What I Wore" Jan. 20-22, 2012

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Announcement from CTE Productions

CTE Productions
will stage a re-run of
"Love, Loss, and What I Wore"

on Jan. 20-22, 2012
at Carlo Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Tower Building, Makati.
Shows are at 8pm with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:30pm.

The Off-Broadway show written by sisters Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) and Delia Ephron (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Hanging Up), vividly recounts a selection of comic and heartwarming stories from different women who remember key moments in their lives through the clothes they wore.

The cast includes:
- veteran theater actress, writer, and emerging director Cathy Azanza-Dy
- current Associate Artistic Director of Repertory Philippines, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo
- TV host, model and performer Teresa Herrera
- thespian and music sensation Bituin Escalante
- acclaimed classical vocalist, theater performer, and executive director for Music Artes Philippines, Jay Valencia-Glorioso

Azanza-Dy, Lauchengco-Yulo, Herrera, Escalante, and Glorioso.
Each milestone in a woman’s life is captured with laughter, tears, and the special piece of clothing she wears during those moments. A woman’s clothes and accessories are not only expressions of her unique tastes and amazing personality but are reflections of the memories that define who she is today. Behind each halter top, faded pair of jeans, cocktail dress, painful set of stilettos, and designer handbag, she has a story to tell.

The show is based on the bestselling book by Ilene Beckerman. Since its debut in 2009 at New York’s Westside Theater, "Love, Loss and What I Wore" has never failed to garner praise from critics and delight audience members who saw themselves or someone they knew in each funny and poignant tale.

The show won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. It has since then been staged in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Scandinavia, Los Angeles, Toronto, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Australia, and Paris.

The show is directed by Theater Down South’s Artistic Director Michael Williams and Cathy Azanza-Dy. Set design is by Gawad Buhay! (Philstage awards for the performing arts) awardee Denis Lagdameo and lighting design is by acclaimed and sought after lighting designer John Batalla.

Tickets are at Php1,500 for orchestra center, Php1,200 for orchestra side, Php1,000 for loge, and Php500 for balcony. Tickets are available at Ticketworld at 8919999 or log on at

Contact 2150788 or 09175378313 or email or "CTE Productions" on Facebook.

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CTE Productions' "Defending the Caveman" Jan 6-15, 2012

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Announcement from CTE Productions

CTE Productions' "Defending the Caveman" will have a rerun on
Jan 6-7, 13-14 8pm
Jan 7-8, 14-15 3:30pm
at the Carlos Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza Building, Makati.

Featuring: Joel Trinidad
Directed by Michael Williams and Cathy Azanza-Dy

Defending the Caveman, the longest running solo one-man show in Broadway history, is a hilariously insightful play about the ways men and women relate.  Couples will roar with laughter and nudge each other as they recognize themselves being described in the play.

Joel  Trinidad stars as the Caveman who will entertain viewers in this one-man show. Trinidad is known for his stints in Avenue Q and Spelling Bee, as a playwright (Breakups and Breakdowns) and founding member of the comedy group "Silly People's Improv Theater" or SPIT.

Stand-up comic Rob Becker wrote Defending the Caveman over a three-year period during which he made an informal study of anthropology, prehistory, psychology, sociology and mythology.  With hilarious  insights on contemporary feminism, masculine sensitivity and the erogenous zones, Defending the Caveman  has found a way to mine the common themes of relationships that goes straight through the funny bone and into the heart.

Recommended for adult audiences only.

Contact 2150788, 09175378313 or
Tickets also available at Ticketworld (891-9999).

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Artistang Artlets' "110" Dec. 7-9, 2011

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Announcement from Artisang Artlets

Artistang Artlets
official theater guild of
the Faculty of Arts and Letters
of University of Santo Tomas

Composer, lyricist and musical director: Arkel Mendoza
Librettist: Katte Sabate

Director: Maria Genieve Edar
Production designer: Tiara Corullo
Technical director: April Joy Amida

The musical revolves around a group of university students' studying in the theater program of the University of the Philippines, from their entry to the program to their practicum, also known as "Theatre 110."

December 7, 8, and 9, 2011

10am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm.
Albertus Magnus Auditorium, University of Santo Tomas

Tickets at P60.

This show is part of its 31st season (2011-2012).
Contact 0926-979-4565 or

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Eating food, speaking words, making theater

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Yay! My article on "the return/rise of dinner theater" in Manila was published by Philippine Daily Inquirer in its Dec. 5, 2011 issue.
Eating food, speaking words, making theater
By Walter Ang

Word of Mouth Theater's
staged reading of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile"
While musicals seem to be the default choice these days of many English-language theater groups in Manila, there are a few groups serving up straight plays—with food and beer.

9 Works Theatrical staged “Sweet Charity” a few months ago and has already announced its “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” for next year.

Repertory Philippines and Stages’ co-production of “Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure” just wrapped up.

Rep’s children’s musical “Suessical” and Resorts World Manila’s staging of “Sound of Music” both run until December.

Atlantis Productions wrapped up its rerun of “Next to Normal” and opened “Disney’s Little Mermaid” last week.

Groups have already announced its musicals for next year: Rep has “Jekyll and Hyde,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical.” Atlantis has “In the Heights,” “Rock of Ages,” “Nine” and “Shrek the Musical.”

On the opposite side of these big musicals, staged in big theaters usually preceded by months of publicity, there have also been several small-scale, stripped-down straight plays usually announced only days or weeks earlier.

And by some strange twist, all these “small” plays have been served together with food.

Actress/director Ana Abad Santos curated “Unlimited Text,” where 19 actors performed excerpts from five plays at Taumbayan Resto-Bar in Quezon City.

Natividad “Naty” Crame-Rogers’ Philippine Drama Company Sala Theater just wrapped up National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s “Portrait of an Artist as Filipino” in a dinner-theater presentation at Ilustrado restaurant in Intramuros.

Word of Mouth (WOM) Theater Philippines presented, under its Play with Your Food (PWYF) series, a staged reading of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” at Quantum Café in Makati. (The restaurant has been home to weekly performances by Silly People’s Improv Theater, more commonly known as SPIT.)
“Unlimited Text” had a one-night-only rerun at Quantum Café a few days after “Picasso’s” premiere.

The three groups didn’t make any plans to perform at dining establishments instead of theaters. Perhaps, though, some unspoken energy within the theater community spoke to the hunger of both artists and audiences for more straight plays—even if they got their fill only through excerpts and readings instead of a full production.

“Theater is not synonymous with musicals! Don’t get me wrong, I love musicals, but it’d be nice if we had a good number of straight plays to balance things out,” says Abad Santos.

“There is nothing like the text and the actor. It’s an opportunity to face your demons whether as artist or audience. A straight play just goes way deeper, this never-ending struggle to unearth all the possibilities in the written word. There is so much power there.”

Reading and risking
“I get a lot of requests from actors to just hang out and read into the wee hours of the morning. We’d read plays we’ll probably never get to do. Just something for the soul,” adds Abad Santos.

“In the end, you need to be heard. ‘Unlimited Text’ materialized along with fellow actors Jenny Jamora and Topper Fabregas. We wanted to celebrate the text. We wanted to share our celebration of the diverse talent of Philippine theater actors.”

“Taumbayan is owned by fellow theater actors. We felt it was best to jump-start the series there. It also gives it that underground indie feel that we want. We’re open to performing in other places though.”

Jeremy Domingo, Word of Mouth Theater artistic director, says WOM’s PWYF is an experimental series that brings together “actors in a scenario fueled by the instinctive rawness and thrill of a first table read. It’s theater that’s more dangerous, more risky and less polished, which becomes a compelling experience for both performer and audience.”

“One of my most memorable experiences was joining Barangay Theater Guild’s (BTG) dramatic reading of Ladislav Fodor’s ‘The Vigil’ in 2006, directed by Daisy Avellana, assisted by her son, the late, great José Mari Avellana. It was evidence that a staged reading, with great material and seasoned performers, can keep an audience riveted for two hours.”

Crame-Rogers originated the role of Paula in BTG’s world premiere of “Portrait,” and acted with Daisy (as Candida) under the direction of Daisy’s husband, Lambert. And she carries on the tradition of sala theater through her group, even staging productions in her own living room.

She uses the opportunity to teach new theater practitioners.  “In our recent staging of ‘Portrait,’ there were five players who’d never performed before! They were shy and nervous, but now they’ve come to be more expressive and daring. They see better what being an actor is like because they’ve met the challenges and now have the ultra-vision of the actor,” says Crame-Rogers.

Domingo says: “We hope to promote staged readings as a viable, legitimate theater genre, as it is in many countries worldwide. This may be a way to bring David Mamet, Neil Simon, Tom Stoppard and other great playwrights, in addition to our local acclaimed and awarded playwrights, to the attention of a new generation of theatergoers.”

Do Filipino audiences (existing and potential) want to watch straight plays in English?

“Yep, they just don’t know it yet, ha-ha!” says Abad Santos. “On a more serious note, it’s not just ‘wanting.’ It’s like water, we need it. Even if sodas taste better.”

Also published online:

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"Disney on Ice" skates back to Manila this Christmas 2011

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Yay! My article on the upcoming "Disney On Ice" show in Manila was published by Philippine Daily Inquirer in its Dec. 4, 2011 issue.
"Disney on Ice" skates back to Manila this Christmas
By Walter Ang

"Disney On Ice: Let's Celebrate!"

“Disney On Ice” returns to Manila with “Disney On Ice: Let’s Celebrate!” from Dec. 25 until Jan. 3, 2012, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The ice-skating show features more than 50 Disney characters dancing and singing to songs from different Disney films. Mickey Mouse will use his “Global Destinator” to bring everyone to different locations around the world to show how holidays are celebrated, like China for the Chinese New Year and Brazil for Carnival.

Filipino-American figure skater Justine Lopez will play Princess Tiana (“Princess and the Frog”). Princess Tiana will be featured in a royal ball with Disney Princesses like Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Snow White, among others.

The boys are part of the show, too. Audiences will see Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Stitch, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, among others.  Even Jack Skellington and several of the Disney villains will have their own number, a Halloween Haunt.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse will both present a winter wonderland to the audience.

Justine Lopez
Lopez began skating at the age of seven and grew up in Sacramento, California.  Her parents are from Batangas City.  She was accepted to Disney On Ice in 2008 after sending in an audition tape and being granted a personal audition on Valentine’s Day.

She’d already started attending college when she joined Disney On Ice. Her education is on hold at the moment as she tours the world to perform with the show.  Lopez has performed in Canada, Japan and China. “This will be my first time performing and visiting the Philippines,” she says.

“Down the line, I would like to take classes while on tour to start attaining my credits,” she says. Lopez aims to attain a double major in English and Mathematics with a minor in Dance.

Her first role was playing Pocahontas. “Since then, I have been on three different shows and this will be my fourth year with the company. I’ve been honored to play several roles and skate with amazing people.

Princess Tiana and Raveen
Visa cardholders can avail of any of the three Visa Exclusive Bundle Packs, especially priced packages exclusive to Visa cardholders, from now until Dec. 18.

The Lower Box Bundle includes four Lower Box tickets, one souvenir program and one Celebration Party Hat (P4,635). The Upper Box A Premium Bundle includes four Upper Box A VIP tickets and one jumbo popcorn (P3,520). The Upper Box A Regular Bundle includes four Upper Box A regular tickets and one jumbo popcorn (P2,530).

“Visa has been a global partner of The Walt Disney Co. for 14 years,” says Iain Jamieson, Visa country manager for Philippines and Guam. “This promotion for the Manila tour of ‘Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate!’ is our year-end gift to cardholders to thank them.”

“Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate!” runs Dec. 25-Jan. 3, 2012, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Visa Exclusive Bundle Packs can be booked at, SM Department Stores and ticket counters of TicketNet (9115555 or Visit

Also published online:

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Jay Españo in third "The King and I" production for 2011

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Filipino actor Jay Españo in third "The King and I" for 2011

Filipino actor Jay Españo is in his third production of "The King and I" for 2011.  He reprises his role as King of Siam and marks his Canadian debut in Sault Symphony Orchestra's production at the Kiwanis Community Theatre Stage Dec 7 to 11, 2011.

In April he was in Chicago for The Drama Group's production (read about it here) and in October he was in Pheonix, Arizona for The Peoria Center for  Performing Arts's production (read about it here.)  Españo had already actually started rehearsing for the Canadian production when he left for three weeks to perform in the Arizona production.

While this may be his third time to portray the same role, Españo says, "Different directors have different visions and interpretations of the text. I actually enjoy that because that's where my work as an actor comes in."

"There is the symbiosis of ideas of how the show should be be. I like giving my thoughts and I very much enjoy working with directors who are open to the actors' input, especially for material like 'The King and I' since I'm Asian and I've lived in Bangkok and worked there, so I'm familiar with the culture."

"And having different actors to perform with, epecailly the Mrs. Annas, gives a different dynamism to my character for every production."

This nine-time Tony Award winning musical has been performed many times since its Broadway debut in 1951. The film version won five Academy Awards.

Meryle Secrest (Rodgers' biographer) summed up the musical as “a celebration of love in all its guises, from the love of Anna for her dead husband; the love of the King's official wife, Lady Thiang, for a man she knows is flawed and also unfaithful; the desperation of forbidden love; and a love that is barely recognized and can never be acted upon.”

Españo has returned to Sault Ste. Marie City in Ontario to rehearse for the show and has also been leading classes in Musical Theatre with hundreds of students aged 5-55. He has visited numerous elementary and high schools, as well as hosting public workshops at Studio Dance Arts in conjunction with Li’l Buds Theatre Company from Chicago.

More than 35 dancers from Studio Dance Arts will be performing in the musical's ballet “The Small House of Uncle Thomas.”

Tickets are available at the Station Mall Box Office. Contact (705) 945-7299 or visit

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Atlantis Productions 2012 line-up of shows

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Announcement from Atlantis Productions

Atlantis Productions announces its line-up of shows for 2012

March 2012
Re-run of
Directed by Bobby Garcia

June to July 2012
To be directed by Chari Arespacochaga
Confirmed cast: Filipino-Australian actor Mig Ayesa reprising his Broadway role as decadent rock star "Stacee Jaxx"

July 2012
To be directed by Bobby Garcia
Confirmed cast: Lea Salonga and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo

September 2012
To be directed by Bobby Garcia

November-December 2012
SHREK The Musical
To be directed by Chari Arespacochaga

Tickets are available from showbuyers, the Atlantis Productions Office, and Ticketworld outlets.

Atlantis Productions offers up to 45% return on investment for showbuyers.
To buy shows or to buy tickets, contact 892-7078 or 840-1187 or

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Repertory Philippines 2012 line-up of shows

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Announcement from Repertory Philippines

Repertory Philippines has announced its line-up for its 2012 season

Season Shows
"Next Fall" (Jan. 13-Feb. 5, 2012)
By Geoffrey Nauffts
A play about a gay couple that reconciles differences in their religious faiths.  Luke believes in God. Adam believes in everything else.
Directed by Audie Gemora
Starring Bart Guingona and David Bianco

"Leading Ladies" (Feb. 10-Mar. 4, 2012)
By Ken Ludwig
Two actors intend to pose as the nephews of a rich heiress to scam her inheritance.  Comedy ensues when they find out she's actually looking for nieces.
Directed by Michael Williams

"Jekyll and Hyde" (Mar. 16-Apr 15, 2012)
Book and Lyrics are by Leslie Bricuse
Music by Frank Wildhorn
The musical that features the hit song "This Is The Moment."
The musical is about Dr. Henry Jekyll and how his experiments with human personality unleash his own dark side.  He wreaks havoc in the streets of late 19th century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde.
Directed by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo
Starring Jett Pangan, Michael Williams, Cris Villonco and Junix Inocian

Children's Musical
"The Wizard of Oz" (Aug. 18-Dec. 16, 2012)
Music by Jeanne Bargy and Jim Eiler
Lyrics by Jim Eiler
Dorothy ends up in the magical land of Oz, teams up with a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion to help her find the mighty Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home, all while avoiding the Wicked Witch Of The West.
Directed by Joy Virata

Year-end Big Musical 
"Disney's Camp Rock: The Musical" (Nov. 16-Dec. 16, 2012)
The musical is a stage adaptation of Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" films which feature the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, where attendees of a summer music camp learn the value of honesty, friendship and teamwork.
Directed by Audie Gemora

All shows will be staged at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1 Mall, Makati City.

For details on showbuying or seat-blockbuying, contact Repertory Philippines at 571-6926 or 571-4941 or email

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Rizal-descendant is lead in "Noli Me Tangere: The Opera"

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Rizal’s descendant, tenor Kuya Manzano, is lead in "Noli Me Tangere: The Opera"

Spanish-Filipino actor Kuya Manzano, a descendant of Jose Rizal, is portraying Crisostomo Ibarra in an opera version of Rizal's novel "Noli Me Tangere."

Staged by Dulaang UP, "Noli" is directed by DUP Artistic Director Alexander Cortez with music supervision by Camille Lopez Molina and Pablo Mariano Molina.

Rizal's novel was published in 1887 in Berlin. The protagonist Ibarra is the son of Spanish Don Rafael Ibarra.

Manzano's lineage:

His great great grandparents: Fausto Barredo married Gabriela Alonso (sister of Teodora Alonso, mother of Jose Rizal)
His great grandparents: Manuel Barredo married Josephine Johnson
His grandparents: Josephine Barredo married Antonio Manzano
His mother: Pinky Manzano

Manzano arrived from Spain five months ago "to find his Filipino side." He’s been performing for the last thirteen years acting and singing in musical theater, zarzuela, opera, spoken theater, television and films in Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and China.

"Noli Me Tangere: The Opera" runs Nov 16-Dec 4, 2011 (Wednesday to Friday, 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10 am and 3pm) at Wilfrido Guerrero Theater, 2/F Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. Contact 0917-750-0107, 981-8500 local 2449, 926-1349 or 433-7840.

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Kalaryot, a Kapampangan sarswela Dec. 2-3, 2011

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Red Curtain Productions
Uyat Artista On Stage

A Kapampangan Sarswela

Kapampangan heroes fought not only for their native land, but for the country as a whole. A story, a lost folklore, of love, fate and tragedy, about someone whose sin is to simply fight for love and go against the dictates of fate.

Dec. 2, 2012 - 10am, 1pm and 4pm.
Dec 3, 2012 - 12 noon, 3pm and 6pm
Holy Angel University Theater

Contact (045) 875-6361 and 0932-470-7200

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Gantimpala Theater's "Si Snow White at Pitong Dwarfs" Dec. 1-18, 2011

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Announcement from Gantimpala Theater

Gantimpala Theater gives cheer and love this holiday season with Snow White at Pitong Dwarfs!

Gantimpala Theater gives cheer and love this holiday season with “Si Snow White at ang Pitong Dwarfs!”

“Si Snow White at ang Pitong Dwarfs” is a modern take on the life of this fairy tale princess, with book and libretto by J. Dennis Teodosio, music by Frederic John Ferraz, and direction of Tony Espejo.

Find out the reasons why Reyna Ines (Ma. Melissa Gigante) gnashes her teeth at the very sight of the lovely Snow White (Rita Iringan) and how Prinsipe Oswald (Ivan Dorschner) discovers first love and the power of true love’s kiss.

Meet Mara (Michael De Vera), the mysterious and entertaining salamin, who never tells a lie, and Badong (Bham Sumooc), the talking pet dog.

“This musical will definitely make you adore and love Snow White even more," says Espejo.  "We love her, not only because of her beauty, but because of her kindness, melodious voice, and believe it or not, because of her mouth-watering dish of adobo.”

Gean Allain de Leon (associate director)
Joseph Matheu (lights designer)
Jose Jeffrey Camañag (set designer)
Albert Figueras (costume designer)
Carlos Niño Percil (choreographer)

Performances are on
December 1 & 2, 10am (AFP Theater, inside Camp Aguinaldo, near MRT-Santolan/Annapolis);
December 10, 9am / 12nn / 3pm (SM Southmall, Las Piñas);
December 17, (8am / 11am / 2pm)
& Decenber 18, (8am), (Expo Pampanga)

Contact 899-5911, 896-6503 or 998-5622
or visit us at: or www.facebook/gantimpala.

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FREE ADMISSION "Teatro ng Kinabukasan, Noon at Ngayon" Dec. 3, 2011

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Announcement from Dulaang Laksambayanan

Dulaang Laksambayanan
PETA-Writers Pool
in collaboration with
De La Salle College of St. Benilde's Center for Social Action

Teatro ng Kinabukasan, Noon at Ngayon
Philippine Theater and the Unfinished Philippine Revolution
on the occasion of
Andres Bonifacio's 48th birth anniversary

Dec. 3, 2011 at 8pm
Blackbox Theater, 6th floor, De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts Building

Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz), Malate, Manila

A Staged Reading of Excerpts from Two Plays and A Chanting of a Poem

by Manny Pambid
A translation and adaptation of Emmanuel Lacaba’s novella with the same title

by Tim Dacanay
Second Prize Winner, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Full-length Play in Filipino


Bing Veloso’s chanting of a poem by Gregoria de Jesus, a.k.a Lakambini ng Katipunan

Concept and Direction by Manny Pambid

Contact 0926-644-1249 or 0916-494-4556.

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Philippine Educational Theater Association's "Care Divas" re-run Dec. 1-11, 2011

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Announcement from Philippine Educational Theater Association

Philippine Educational Theater Association's
Care Divas

December 1 and 8 - 8:00PM
December 2, 3, 4, 9,10, 11 - 3:00PM / 8:00PM

PETA Theater Center
5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City

Contact 725-6244, 410-0821 or 0917-5642433,

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Harlequin Theatre Guild's "Unang Ulan ng Mayo" Dec. 1-3, 2011

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Announcement from Harlequin Theatre Guild

Harlequin Theatre Guild
the resident theater organization of De La Salle University

John Iremil Teodoro's
"Unang Ulan ng Mayo"

1997 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Filipino play
Directed by Raffy Tejada

Dec 1 and 2 - 3pm and 6:30pm
Dec 3 - 10am, 3pm and 6:30pm
Function Room, 2nd floor, Enrique Razon Sports Complex, DLSU, Taft Ave., Manila

Efren arrives during the first rain of May in San Anghel, Antique, a remote farming village, during the planting season. A relationship blossoms between him and Victor, who is wheelchair-bound after a bout with polio. Efren claims to be a godson of Victor's father. They soon discover the truth about their real identities.

Contact 0917-826-2880.

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De La Salle College of St. Benilde's "Siglo: Our Story in Motion" Nov. 29, 2011

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Sinag Productions

De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts'
Arts Management Program and Dance Program
A thesis production of graduating students of the Dance program

Siglo: Our Story in Motion

A theater dance production highlighting 100 years of Lasallian presence in the Philippines

Directed and choreographed by
Marinelle Datu, Cassey Perena, Rita Winder

Libretto: Tim Dacanay
Saint Benilde Romancon Dance Company
Guest artists from Ballet Philippines

Nov. 29, 2011 10:00 am, 3:00pm, and 7:00pm.

De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts Theater
5th floor, De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts Building
905 Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz), Malate, Manila

Bonus! Here's the trailer:

Contact 0917-529-0256 or 0917-598-1104 or

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Auditions for Dulaang UP's "Forsaken House" Dec. 8 and 10, 2011

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Dulaang UP
Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero's
Forsaken House
Directed by Tony Mabesa
(Playdates are February 8-26, 2012)

Prepare an English monologue,  should not exceed two minutes.

December 8, Thurs, 6-9pm
December 10, Sat, 3-6pm
Wilfrido Guerrero Theater
2nd floor, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Quezon City

Contact 0927-837-8507.

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Japanese danseur featured in BP’s ‘Sleeping Beauty'

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Yay! My article on the danseurs of Ballet Philippines' upcoming staging of "Sleeping Beauty" was published by Philippine Daily Inquirer in its Nov. 21, 2011 issue.
Japanese danseur featured in BP’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’
By Walter Ang

Japanese ballet danseur Nobuo Fujino will play Prince Desire in Ballet Philippines' staging of "The Sleeping Beauty" this December. He alternates with BP principal dancer Jean Marc Cordero.

BP principal dancers Carissa Adea, Candice Adea and Katherine Trofeo alternate as Princess Aurora, who is cursed as a baby to die. However, good fairies soften the curse and replaces death with a long, deep sleep, which will end with the kiss of true love.

Fujino will perform in only two performances. He will partner Candice Adea, 2011 USA International Ballet Competition silver medalist, in the Dec. 2 fundraising gala for the benefit of the Noordin Jumalon Dance Scholarship Fund.

Jumalon was the CCP Dance School director and passed away last Sept. 24, 2011. He had been with Ballet Philippines for more than 30 years, mentoring hundreds of dancers.

This is Fujino's first time to perform in the Philippines. Fujino is a principal dancer of the Hong Kong Ballet and was formerly a senior artist of the Australian Ballet.

Fujino has portrayed roles such as the Prince in "Cinderella," "The Sleeping Beauty," and "The Nutcracker;" Albrecht in "Giselle;" Solor in "La Bayadere;" among others.

He had been performing the role of the Prince from "The Sleeping Beauty" when he was promoted to principal dancer for Hong Kong Ballet.

"Technically, it is always challenging to work through all partnering and solos in pure classical style," he says.

Cordero became the first Filipino male to reach the semifinals at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition (touted as the Olympics of ballet) and won best male in a lead role in a Russian Ballet performance category at the 2011 Boston International Ballet Competition.

He partnered Candice Adea at the 2011 BIBC and they both have been invited to by the artistic director of Chelyabinsk State Academy Opera and Ballet Theater to perform lead roles in a full-length production next year.

He won the 2010 Gawad Buhay! Outstanding Male Lead Performer in a Modern Dance Production for his work in BP's "Crisostomo Ibarra."

Since then he's moved up the ranks in BP and has performed in all of BP's productions including principal roles in "La Revolucion Filipina," "Coppelia," "The Nutcracker," "Peter Pan," and "Don Quixote" among others-a long way from when he started ballet training at the late age of 16, just to pass the time while waiting for his girlfriend Candice.

Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa with music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the duo also known for "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker," "The Sleeping Beauty" is based on Charles Perrault's fairy tale "La belle au bois dormant."

BP staged "The Sleeping Beauty" in 1983 with Japanese Prima Ballerina Yoko Morishita and Cecile Sicangco, Nonoy Froilan and Brando Miranda; and in 1988 with Sicangco, Froilan, then CCP Artist-in-Residence Lisa Macuja and Latvian danseur Aivars Leimanis.

BP ballet master Victor Ursabia is restaging the production. Music will be performed by the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Jeffrey Solares.

Holiday option
Candice Adea invites the public to try watching a ballet this holiday season for a change. "It's a different kind of magic," she says.

"December is a time when there will be many forms of entertainment to choose from, in this fast-paced world we live in, it's good to have the chance to watch a live performance with the whole family and revel in a show with grace and beauty."

"The Sleeping Beauty" runs Dec. 2-11, 2011 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines. Visit Contact Ticketworld at 891-9999; Ballet Philippines at 551-1003, 624-5701; CCP Box Office at 8323704.

Also published online:

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Talinhaga Theatre Collaborative's "Pulses" Nov. 30, 2011

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When this play was first performed by DUP's Dulaang Laboratoryo, the playwright Ino Habana used the pseudonym Icarus (see the announcement here). In this restaging by Talinhaga Theatre Collaborative, he is now using his real name.

Announcement from Talinhaga Theatre Collaborative

In celebration of
World AIDS Day

Talinhaga Theatre Collaborative
Take the Test

a play about people living with HIV
by Ino Habana & Iscariot

November 30, 2011 | 6PM to 8PM
The Library Bar, Maria Orosa St., Malate, Manila
Limited seats available

For the benefit of Take the Test, an awareness campaign on HIV.  Take the Test provides FREE HIV antibody testing, pre-test and post-test HIV counseling (one-on-one), effective referral, and follow-up.

PULSES is a play that weaves personal accounts, monologues, scenes, songs and poems. By creating a tapestry of whispers, cries and clamor, PULSES is a play that asks everyone to be aware - and to understand. It is a prayer for love, hope and acceptance.

PULSES is all about the narratives of people with HIV-AIDS. Despite it's simplicity (no spectacle and pretense), the narrative compels me to feel the texture of pain,hope, love acceptance and care - palpable! The play effectively articulates the complexities of body, globalization, home, relationships and sexualities of people with HIV-AIDS. It has its subtle and careful way of revealing the closet of HIV-AIDS epistemology in this country.

Direction | Pat Valera and Katte Sabate
Choreography | Katte Sabate and Al Bernard Velarde Garcia
Music & Sound Design | Teresa Barrozo
Lights Design | Meliton Roxas
Set Design | Sigmund Pecho
Original Song | Fitz Edward Torres Bitana

Contact 0917 812 57 11

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Dulaang Filipino's "Fuente Ovejuna" Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 2011

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Inihahandog ng

Dulaang Filipino
para sa kanilang ika-20 taon ng pagtatanghal
Ni Lope De Vega
Isinalin sa Tagalog ni Jose Victor Torres

Nobyembre 28-Disyembre 1, 2011 (1nh at 7ng)

Direksyon: Riki Benedicto
Sayaw: Christine Crame
Disenyo ng ilaw: Louie Tejuco
Disenyo ng suot: Ysabelle Tantoco at Lia Ramos

De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts Blackbox Theater,
6th floor, De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts Building
905 Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz), Malate, Manila

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Fourth Wall Theater Company's "Ang Tao" Nov. 27, 2011

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Announcement from Philippine Normal University's Fourth Wall Theater Company

Philippine Normal University's
Fourthwall Theater

Ang Tao
a Filipino translation of

Nov 27, 2011 1pm and 3pm

St. Scholastica's College Little Theater, Malate, Manila City

Everyman is a morality play and allegorical drama that teaches a lesson about how Christians should live and what a person must do to save his soul. A morality play was, in effect, a sermon that was acted out. The characters of a typical morality play include personifications of virtues (such as hope and charity), vices (such as pride and sloth), or other qualities, as well as personifications of objects (such as money) or activities (such as death or fellowship).

The group
Fourthwall Theater Company is founded by teacher/artists-manned Drama Education and Theater Arts specialists of Philippine Normal University. It is composed of active youth members, theatre enthusiasts and students who adhere to the precept that theater is a catalyst for educational advancement and personal development.

The group has performed in various schools and universities and rendered workshops to empower education through drama and theater arts by helping out schools and communities to establish their very own theater organization.

Contact 0922-866-6917 or

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Teatro Kolehiyo ng Miriam's "R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)" Nov. 25, 2011

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Announcement from Teatro Kolehiyo ng Miriam

Teatro Kolehiyo ng Miriam
the official theater organization of Miriam College
as part of its 30th year

an adaptation of Karel Capek’s
R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)

Nov. 25, 2011 3pm and 7pm
Miriam College Marian Auditorium, Miriam College, Quezon CIty

In the world of Rossum’s Universal Robots, humans have exceedingly become dependent on robots and Harry and Harriet Rossum, owners of Rossum's Robots, envision a future where robots do everything for humans.  With a click of a button or a status update on Facebook, human beings around the world can order their personal robots to do their bidding.

But as each robot is created and upgraded, more and more seem to experience the mysterious "Robot Cramps". Soon even Harry and Harriet start to wonder if they are as safe around their electronic servants as they thought.

The play features Nicco Manalo, Aly Daculug and Mikee Czarina Jocson and the TKM ensemble.

Directed by Olive Nieto and Nicco Manalo
Video Direction by Nica Miranda and Peachy Policarpio
Animation by Lee Paje
Set Design by Carol Cruz and Koni Santiago
Costume Design by Aly Daculug, Vanya Peralta, Katrina Roxas
Lighting Design by Tagay Galit
Sound Design by Denise Reyes

Teatro Kolehiyo ng Miriam is moderated by actor, director and production designer, Tuxqs Rutaquio.

Tickets P250
Discounts available for students, early buyers and bulk purchases

Contact 0922-878-9015 or 0927-284-8599.

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Auditions for Ateneo Blue Repertory's "Bare" Nov. 19, 2011

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for Ateneo Blue Repertory's
20th year season finale "Bare"

November 19, 2011 Saturday 2-7pm
Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City

Lead roles for 18 and up only
- prepare a pop rock song (20 bars)
- bring comfortable dancing clothes

Callbacks on November 20, 10-7pm.

Contact 0917-541-7681

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FREE ADMISSION Vocal Masterclass with Maestro Alexander Vikulov Nov. 17, 2011

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Lisa Macuja Elizalde
UP Department of Voice, Theater and Dance
Philippine Opera Company

Vocal Masterclass with Maestro Alexander Vikulov
Nov. 17, 2011 Thursday 2pm-5:30pm
UP College of Music Mini Hall


Vikulov is a professor of the Mariinsky Theatre Young Singers' Academy and Conductor at Mariinsky Theatre

Contact Philippine Opera Company at 0917-527-2880 and UP College of Music Office at 929-6963.

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FREE ADMISSION Sipat Lawin Ensemble's "R'MEoW ❤'s JHuLEz" (Romeo and Juliet) Nov. 18-19, 2011

Announcement from Sipat Lawin Ensemble

Sipat Lawin Ensemble
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
Sangguniang Kabataan Council of Brgy. 705

R'MEoW 's JHuLEz

A Tagalog translation and adaptation
of William Shakepeare's
Romeo and Juliet
by Layeta Bucoy
with Kiko Miranda and Sipat Lawin Ensemble

Nov. 18-19, 2011 6:0pm
Barangay Fiesta Basketball Court, Barangay 705, Zone 77,
San Andres, Malate, Manila City

Contact 0917-500-8753.

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Making theater in Cebu for ten years and counting

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Yay! My interview with Hendri Go about the tenth anniversary of his Little Boy Productions was published by Philippine Daily Inquirer for its Nov. 15, 2011 issue. The full interview is below. (The green parts are the parts that the editors had to cut out due to lack of space. Please support coverage of the arts by encouraging advertisers to place ads in newspapers!)
Making theater in Cebu for ten years and counting
By Walter Ang

To cap its tenth anniversary, Cebu's Little Boy Productions is staging a one-day-only performance of Chris Martinez's comedy "Welcome to Intelstar" and Anton Chekhov's farces "The Boor" and "The Proposal."

LBP brings in shows from Manila and stages its own shows with local talent. It's also done co-productions in Manila, including "Once on This Island" and the Filipino translation of "Art" with Actor's Actors Inc., and the Asian premiere of Disney's "High School Musical" with Ateneo Blue Repertory.

"What I'm most proud of is the diversity of shows that we've done," says Hendri Go, the man behind LBP. "In Manila, you have different theater groups with different segmented markets.  In Cebu, we don't have that.  LBP tries to do a little bit of everything."

LBP has also worked with Repertory Philippines and Atlantis Productions to stage musicals ("The Last Five Years," "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"), plays ("Tuesdays with Morrie," "Doubt"), and improv acts (Silly People's Improv Theater).

Little Boy
In 2001, Go helped out a friend with the Cebu tour of New Voice Company's "The Vagina Monologues."  He observed the entire process from backstage to front-of-house, including the business side of logistics and ticket sales.

"I realized that you don't have to be a performer to do theater," he says. Prior to this, Go's theater involvement was limited to a summer workshop with Rep when he was in high school, and acting in a musical comedy revue for De La Salle University's Harlequin Theater Guild.

"I saw how the audience loved the show.  Wouldn't it be great if we could have more of these in Cebu? Wouldn't it be great to make theater more accessible to Cebuanos if the shows were brought here?"

Later that same year, he "brought over" the play "Love Letters" to Cebu.  "I found the script quite moving and the production requirements minimal, meaning it didn't cost so much," he says laughing.

LBP was born.

Manila-based actors Bart Guingona and Pinky Amador were cast for "Love Letters."  "It was a very big deal, getting these well-respected stalwarts to do our very first show.  It established a level of quality for the company."

"Since then, we've worked with the likes of Lea Salonga, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Cherie Gil, Michael Williams, Bituin Escalante, Chari Arespacochaga, Ricky Davao, the late great Jose Mari Avellana, among others."

It eventually started staging productions with local actors, designers, and directors.  "We produced regional premieres of plays by contemporary Filipino playwrights."

Aside from occasionally touring shows to Dumaguete and Ormoc, LBP conducts workshops in Cebu every summer.  "It's important to consistently provide training and theater education. The workshops in Manila, the level of quality, I wanted that in Cebu. So we fly in experienced, qualified teachers from Manila to teach."

Go says that moving productions over to Cebu can cost double of a Manila staging.  "You pay your artists more because there is an out-of-town premium or you have to give them 'per diem' allowance.  You have airfare, board and accommodations.  Sometimes we have to fly in special lights or sound equipment and large set pieces.

"But Cebu ticket prices are often lower than Manila prices. How do you make that work? That's the challenge. We have to fill the seats!

"Cebu audiences are more appreciative than Manila audiences because we don't get as much productions.  We have a lot of first-time theatergoers.  Those who come to watch really make an effort to get into it, to enjoy and appreciate it.

"On the other hand, you can't really be too edgy with the shows that you present because you're going after a general audience, you have to cast a wide net."

Go always has a hand in the productions he stages: from script selection to casting, from selection of collaborators (director, set designer, musical director, etc.) to scheduling.

"I like being a producer, getting involved, exchanging ideas, putting things together, doing the numbers.  It's exciting for me." 

In addition to evaluating production elements such as cast size and set requirements for cost computations, Go has a fairly simple formula in deciding what show to produce: "I ask myself 'Will this work in Cebu? Can I sell it?'"

"I like taking risks and trusting my instincts that a show will work."  Above everything else, "I have to like the show. I produce material I like and believe in, whether it's commercial or not."

"I look back at the ten years of LBP, at what we've done, the workshops, the local shows, the shows from Manila, the shows in Manila, the tours, the people we've worked with, and I feel very, very grateful and happy."

"The Boor" and "The Proposal" 3 pm and "Welcome to Intelstar" 7pm on Nov. 26, 2011 at CAP Art Center, Cebu City.  Contact (032) 254-9320.

Also published online:

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Children's plays by DUP and TP starts Nov. 18, 2011

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Yay! My article on two upcoming children's plays was published by Philippine Daily Inquirer in its Nov. 21, 2011 issue.

There are bonus links after the end of the article for those interested in reading the original text of "The Magic Circle."
Children's plays by DUP and TP
By Walter Ang

Umaaraw, Umuulan
Dulaang UP will stage "Umaaraw, Umuulan, Kinakasal ang Tikbalang" a children's play based on publisher-painter-theater producer and Philippine Daily Inquirer contributing writer Gilda Cordero-Fernando's children's short story "The Magic Circle."

"The Magic Circle" was serialized in PDI's Learning Section in 2009.*  Adapted by Rody Vera and directed by José Estrella, "Umaaraw" is about the adventures of a boy named Jepoy Baybayin and his pet dog, Galis, as they go on a "magical journey bursting with fantastic characters and strange happenings."

Jepoy and Galis are invited to a wedding underneath a balete tree, in the middle of the dark forest. There they meet the Spanish-speaking dwarf maitre d' Pacqui, Tatlong Maria (Makiling, Sinukuan and Cacao), the enormous Doña Geronima with her clean and shiny plates, talking pythons and frogs, tiyanak debutantes, ballroom-dancing aswangs, the four musicians of San Roque, and a woeful kapre named Kap.

"Part of the play's objectives is to remind audiences of the richness of our folk literature that are rendered nearly forgotten by foreign popular culture," says Estrella.

"I had fun adapting the story because the story is quirky in itself," says Vera. "I met with Gilda and we decided to add a situation for the Jepoy to experience in order to add dimension to his characterization.  That situation is lifted from another of her short stories for children. We're happy with the results."

Award-winning sculptor Leeroy New does costume design. Visual artist and Anino Shadowplay Collective member Don Salubayba creates shadow puppetry. Lex Marcos is set designer and lighting designer. TJ Ramos handles music and sound design.

"Umaaraw" runs Nov 23 to Dec 11, 2011 at Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. Contact 0917-7500107 or 926-1349.

Emperor moved to 2012
TP's staging of "D'Emperor," George de Jesus III's Tagalog translation and adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes," originally slated for November, will be moved to Jan. 11-22, 2012.

Director Riki Benedicto says, "Tessa Prieto-Valdes, one of TP's board members has been on board with this production, connecting us with Slims Fashion and Arts School and fashion designers."  Joey Samson, Martin Bautista and James Reyes will do costume designs.

This November, Tanghalang Pilipino is restaging "Pinocchio, Gusto Mo Bang Maging Tao?"

First staged in 2002, this children's play is about the magical adventures of a wooden puppet whose quest to become a real boy leads him to learn about life, love and honesty.  This adaptation by George de Jesus of the well-loved classic tale of Carlo Collodi features Tanghalang Pilipino's Actors Company, its resident pool of actors.

"Through a fun-filled interactive staging, the production also tackles environmental awareness and addresses the urgent need to teach our children to be active participants in environmental protection," says artistic director Fernando "Nanding" Josef.

With music by Nonong Buencamino, costume design by George De Jesus, III, set design by Mel Fernando and lighting design by Haia Castro.

"Pinocchio" runs Nov. 18-20, 2011 at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines. Shows beyond these dates are available for booking. Contact 8323661, 0908-8941384, and 0928-2754747.

Also published online:

*Bonus! Here are the links to "The Magic Circle" by Gilda Cordero-Fernando:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

What do you think of these productions? Share your comments.

St. Paul Seminary Foundation's Communication Fest 2011 Nov. 19, 2011

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St. Paul Seminary Foundation's
Communication Fest 2011
Theme: "Theater: As a medium and art of transformation"
November 19, 2011 (Sat), 8am-5pm
St. Paul Seminary Foundation, Lalaan 1st Silang, Cavite

- Main speaker: Fernando Josef (Artistic Director, Tanghalang Pilipino)
- Re-launching of "Teatro Paolino" in which seminarians will stage a play
- Simultaneous theater workshops:
Production and Stage Management by Wowie Bonto
Voice by Nazer Salcedo
Dance by Edna Vida-Froilan
Set Design by Armando "Tuxqs" Rutaquio
Directing by Roobak Valle
Playwriting by Glenn Mas
Acting by Fernando "Nanding" Josef

Contact 0927-244-9097 or 046-414-2281.

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UP Voice and Music Theater Guild's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" Dec. 5-7, 2011

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Announcement from UP College of Music's Department of Voice, Music Theater and Dance

UP Voice and Music Theater Guild
in cooperation with
UP College of Music's
Extension Program
and Department of Voice, Music Theater and Dance

William Shakespeare's
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Comedy Opera in Three Acts
Music by Otto Nicolai
English Libretto by Josef Blatt

Dec. 5-7, 2011 at 7pm
Abelardo Hall, College of Music, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Ticket Price at P300 with 50% discount for UP Faculty and Students

UP Arco string ensemble, conducted by Prof. Edna Marcil Martinez
UP Dance Company

Sir John Falstaff - Jonathan Velasco
who courts both
Alice Ford - Mia Ariana Tanciongco, soprano and Dixie Lacuesto, soprano
Meg Page - Nicole Roxanne Aldiosa, soprano and Joy Ann Cacayan, soprano
at the same time

They don't like him, play tricks on him and let their husbands in on the joke:
Mr. Ford - Ramon Gabriel Tenefrancia, baritone and Michael Bulaong, baritone
Mr. Page - Jonaf Del Fierro, baritone (also alternating as Sir John Falstaff) and Florentine Dilig, baritone

Meg Page's daughter
Anne Page - Nikka Mae Lopez, soprano and Gerphil-Geraldine Flores, soprano
Fenton - Mark Aldwin Queddeng, tenor and Chris Yu, tenor
but her parents want her to end up with
Slender - Anotonio Ferrer, tenor and Emmanuel Dela Rosam, tenor
Dr. Cajus - Reis Luke Aquino, tenor and Reymil Doydoy, tenor

Concept and Direction by Roselle Pineda
Musical Direction by Edna Marcil Martinez
Visual Design by Laya Roman
Lighting Design by Teta Tulay
Video and Animation by Loujaye Sonido and Teta Tulay
Costume Design by Carlo Villafuerte Pagunaling
Choreography by Angela Lawenko-Baguilat

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Casting announcement for 9 Works Theaterical’s "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

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Announcement from 9 Works Theatrical

Casting announcement for 9 Works Theaterical’s
"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"
Opening February 10, 2012

Robbie Guevara as Charlie Brown
Lorenz Martinez as Snoopy
Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Lucy
Mio Infante as Linus
Sweet Plantado as Sally Brown
Tonipet Gaba as Schroeder

Directed by Michael Williams

Contact 586-7105, 557-5860, 0917-554-5560 or

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24th Aliw Awards 2011 theater and performing arts categories nominees and winners

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Here you have it! This year's winners! And some links to past reactions I've posted on some shows, kekeke.

Theater companies, school organizations and independent producers should start preparing their nomination materials for the 25th Aliw Awards (2012).

Since this year's eligibility covers shows until Oct. 15, 2011, it's assumed that all shows performed from Oct. 16, 2011 onwards until next year's deadline for submission of nominations should be eligible, but best to wait for an official announcement from the Aliw Awards.

Anyway, I've noticed some theater actors shouting out in Facebook that they didn't even know they were nominated (much less having won until someone told them). If I had a chance to interview the president or organizers of the Aliw Awards, I would ask these questions:
- Is Alice H. Reyes still alive?
- What is the process of informing shortlisted nominees? Why do some nominees not know they were nominated? And if they didn't know they were nominated, does this mean they weren't invited to the awarding ceremony?
- If a nominee does not know s/he was nominated, who nominated him/her?  Can anyone submit nominations?
- When will the Aliw Awards make a website that will have sections on its history and archives of all its past winners?


The 24th Aliw Awards (2011) nominees and winners of theater and performing arts categories

The 24th Aliw Awards (2011) announced open nominations last October 2011 and had its awarding ceremony Nov. 8, 2011 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila.

The Aliw Awards "honors the best in Philippine live entertainment" and was founded in 1976 by Alice H. Reyes. Its current president is Jeatte Palabrica.

Here are the nominees and winners of the theater and performing arts categories (information collected from several online sources like and from Theaterbator's select DPAs).

To qualify, performances must have been staged from September 2010 to Oct. 15, 2011.
Aliw Awards members are not voting members except for the president.
The Board of Judges is invited by the Aliw Awards Foundation and it deliberates and chooses the winners.

Tony Mabesa (Theater)
Maniya Barredo (Ballet)
Fides Cuyugan Asencio (Opera)

Roxanne Lapus (Director, Sound of Music, Resorts World Manila)
Integrated Performing Arts Guild (Theater group)
Cris Vertido (Theater)

Roxanne Lapus (Director, The Sound of Music, Resorts World Manila)

Joel Lamangan - Fake (UP Playwrights Theater) [Theaterbatoring UPPT's "Fake"]
Other nominees:
Chase Cervera - Lam-ang (Tanghalang SLU, St. Louis University)
Teroy Guzman - Screen: Macbeth (College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines) [Theaterbatoring "Screen: Macbeth"]
Mario O'Hara - American Hwangap (Tanghalang Pilipino) [Review of "American Hwangap"]
Cris Pasturan - Kawala (Virgin Labfest 7)
Bembol Roco - American Hwangap (Tanghalang Pilipino) [Review of "American Hwangap"]

Vince Tanada - Cory ng Edsa (Philippine Stagers Foundation)
Other nominees:
Redgie Jimenez - Alibugha (Pro.Pro)
Jett Pangan - Next to Normal (Atlantis Productions)
Gerald Santos - Sino ka ba Jose Rizal? (Gantimpala Theater)
Nyoy Volante - In the Heights (Atlantis Productions)

Frances Makil Ignacio - Joy Luck Club (Repertory Philippines)
Other nominees:
Ana Abad Santos - Evening at the Opera (Virgin Labfest 7)
Shamaine Buencamino - Fake (UP Playwrights Theater)  [Theaterbatoring "Fake"]
Gina Pareno - American Hwangap (Tanghalang Pilipino)  [Review of "American Hwangap"]
Joanne Salazar - Tatlong Tao sa Isang Libo (Pro.Pro)

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo- Next to Normal (Atlantis Productions)
Other nominees:
Rachel Alejandro - Xanadu (Atlantis Productions)
Nikki Gil - Sweet Charity (9 Works Theatrical) [Theaterbatoring "Sweet Charity"]
Pinky Marquez - Little Women (Repertory Philippines)
K La Rivera - In the Heights (Atlantis Productions)
Cris Villongco - Noli Me Tangere (Tanghalang Pilipino) [Theaterbatoring "Nolie Me Tangere"]

Joel Trinidad - Kaos (Resorts World Manila)
Other nominees:
Bodgie Pascua - Noli Me Tangere (Tanghalang Pilipino) [Theaterbatoring "Nolie Me Tangere"]
Jerald Napoles - Care Divas (Philippine Educational Theater Association) [Theaterbatoring "Care Divas"]
Joe Gruta - El Filibusterismo (Gantimpala Theater)
Romnick Sarmenta - Screen:Macbeth (College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines)
Note: Sarmenta and Gruta are listed in the program but their names were not called during the show and were not included in the list of nominees flashed on the screen. 

Jay Valencia Glorioso - In the Heights/ A Little Night of Music (Atlantis Productions)
Other nominees:
Rachel Alejandro - Aida (Atlantis Productions)
Cindy Maree Liper - Cory ng Edsa (Philippine Stagers Foundation)
Tanya Manalang - Kaos (Resorts World Manila)
Glory Ann Nacional - Cory ng Edsa (Philippine Stagers Foundation)
Sheree - Sweet Charity (9 Works Theatrical) [Theaterbatoring "Sweet Charity"]

Note: This category was listed in the program but not included in the show. 
In the Heights - Atlantis Productions
Sino ka ba Jose Rizal? - Gantimpala Theater
Hinilawod - Hiyas Kayumanggi
Cory ng Edsa - Philippine Stagers Foundation
Noli Me Tangere - Tanghalang Pilipino  [Theaterbatoring "Nolie Me Tangere"]

Tony Mabesa - Fake (UP Playwrights Theater) [Theaterbatoring "Fake"]
Other nominees:
Ronaldo Bertubin - Tatlong Tao sa Isang Libo (Pro.Pro)
Jomari Jose - Evening at the Opera (Virgin Labfest 7)
Paolo O'Hara - Kawala (Virgin Labfest 7)
Dan Rommel Riopay - Florante at Laura/ Lam Ang (Tanghalang SLU, St. Louis University)
Pepito Sumayan - Rajah Indarapatra (Mindanao State University)

Audie Gemora - Noli Me Tangere (Tanghalang Pilipino) [Theaterbatoring "Nolie Me Tangere"]
Other nominees:
Arthur Casanova - Once on this Island (Brent School)
Bobby Garcia - Next to Normal (Atlantis Production)
Menchu Lauchengco - Little Women (Repertory Philippines)
Robert Sena - Magsimula Ka (Spotlight Artist Center)
Vince Tandada - Cory ng Edsa (Philippine Stagers Foundation)

Rajah Indarapata - Mindanao State University
Other nominees:
Tatlong Tao sa Isang Libo - Pro.Pro
Joy Luck Club - Repertory Philippines
American Hwangap - Tanghalang Pilipino [Review of "American Hwangap"]
Kagilagilalas na Buhay ni Lam Ang - Tanghalang SLU, St. Louis University
Fake - UP Playwrights Theater [Theaterbatoring "Fake"]

Cory the Musical - Philippines Stagers Foundation
Other nominees:
Next to Normal - Atlantis Productions
Hinilawod- Hiyas Kayumanggi
Magsimula Ka- Spotlight Artist Center

Dondi Ong
Other Nominees:
Al Gatmaitan
Andrew Fernando
Randy Gilongo

Camille Lopez Molina
Other Nominees:
Fame Flores
Karla Gutierrez
Clarissa Ocampo

Philippine Ballet Theater
Other nominees:
Ballet Manila
Bungkos Palay
Liceo de Cagayan de Oro Folkloric Dance Troupe
Salinlahi Dance Company
Sining Katutubo Dance Assembly

Noli Me Tangere - Tanghalang Pilipino
Rizal X - Dulaang UP
Sino Ka Ba, Jose Rizal? - Gantimpala Theater Foundation
Pagsaulog ni Rizal sa Dapitan - Local Gov't of Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte 

The Screening Committee Chair
2011 Aliw Awards
39 Kirishima St., BF THAI, BF International,
Las Piñas City, Metro Manila 1740

What do you think of this award-giving body?  Share your comments.