The Bible in burlesque

Theater Review
Presented by MusicArtes
Directed by Anton Juan
May 6-21
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave. corner
Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City

By Sujata S. Mukhi

Growing up in Malate, sandwiched between two edifice complexes of Catholic education, it seemed inevitable, and even quite natural that I spent many Saturday afternoons with my siblings re-enacting the only two existing religious musicals of the time: Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, both released as films in 1973. I was diehard JCS: you could not take away my intense, brooding, slightly wall-eyed Ted Neeley, who played JC, from my night time reveries of being his Mary Magdalene in the desert. My sister, on the other hand, liked the light hearted musicality of Godspell, the clown persona of Jesus alias Victor Garber — yes Alias’ Victor Garber! — that made spiritual teachings a performance. To this day, the six-line song “Day by Day” (which actually is five sentences because of a repeated line) is the only song she knows the full lyrics to. My brother on the other hand would not be caught dead with a shawl around his head to play Mary Magdalene (or maybe he did, once? A pioneer of cross-gender casting?), and took on JCS’ JC, sometimes Pontius Pilate, and many times the heinous Roman soldier crucifying anything and anyone in sight: my mom’s arm laid on the back of a sofa; my dad’s feet on the floor; a cat lying on its back, too hot to protest with the accompanying sound effect of “tak tak tak” as its paws were “nailed” to the bed. (Note please before the slacktivists descend that no human nor animals were ever harmed in that ’70s pasyon.)

Continue reading “The Bible in burlesque”

Asexual Healing

Asexual Healing

Theater Review
In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
By Sarah Ruhl
Presented by Repertory Philippines
April 7 to 23, with 8 p.m. performances on Fridays to Sundays, and 3:30 p.m. shows on Saturdays and Sundays.
There are no performances on Holy Week.
Onstage Theater, Greenbelt Mall 1, Paseo de Roxas St., Makati City

By Sujata Mukhi

I really should stop reacting to my own perceptions of things. Just based on the title, not knowing anything about this third offering in Repertory Philippines’ 80th season, I thought this was going to be a period farce featuring a cast of philandering partners playing musical beds. In the next room. Using a vibrator. While navigating the hoop skirt or crinoline, and undressing layers and layers of underthings. Imagine the imagery in my mind, and maybe you would be enticed to watch that play instead.

Continue reading “Asexual Healing”

Red Turnip’s virtual reality play reflects real world issues

Red Turnip’s virtual reality play reflects real world issues

The Nether
Produced by Red Turnip Theater
Directed by Ana Abad Santos
Weekends until April 9
The Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater, Circuit Makati

IN A THEATER landscape dominated by musicals, Red Turnip Theater has focused on staging contemporary straight plays. It ends its fourth season in an unusual manner, with a science fiction crime drama, The Nether.

Continue reading “Red Turnip’s virtual reality play reflects real world issues”

Fun Home returns for a limited run

Fun Home returns for a limited run

Fun Home
Presented by Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
March 10 to 19
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza,
Ayala cor. Buendia Aves., Makati City

AFTER its successful staging in November last year — during which it received standing ovations and mostly sold out performances — the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home will be returning for a limited two-week run of 12 performances.

Continue reading “Fun Home returns for a limited run”