THEATER REVIEW: Cherie Gil in Full Gallop on March 14, 15, 21, and 23

An icon for an icon, Gil as Vreeland is a must-watch for fans of theater and fashion.

( The title is the rhythm of the play. Full Gallop is a solo mission that only a thespian who has enough momentum can accomplish. You may not know who Diana Vreeland is, but hopefully, you know who Cherie Gil is, and you feel the same discomfort we do when you see her promoting regular, er, bathroom visits. Not that we shouldn't be concerned with good digestion, but it’s very strange to watch a lion trying to be a domesticated kitten.





Under the direction of Bart Guingona, let this portrait of the legendary columnist and editor of both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue by Mary Louise Wilson and Mark Hampton cleanse your palate and remind you of the power under Cherie Gil's skin. In some ways, this play also allowed the actress to do something for herself-to display her passion for acting without abandon, everything else be damned.


In Full Gallop, Gil is clad in all black (as Vreeland was for most of her life), moving in a lavish red set that matches her perfectly done nails and lips. Luscious ruby lipstick lines her mouth, which serves as a frame for the legato stream of consciousness hurrying out of her mind. At times, it trips on the way out but Gil never breaks character. This is no mimicry-Gil is embodying passion.



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Gil and Guingona post-performance


Post-performance, Gil shared her current personal quest to absorb more of the world and Vreeland's passion and sensibilities became Gil's passport to a broader perspective on life. The audience is invited to take the journey with her.


The play itself will resonate for people who have had the pleasure and misfortune of working for a magazine. But even if you have never experienced what it's like to show up for work having to sell yourself through your ideas and opinion (and above all, style!), Diana Vreeland was an interesting character who knew exactly what she wanted and how to make it happen. That's a quote directly from her, and she lived by it religiously. She has a fascinating way of describing colors-revealing how much of the world she sees. Who else describes red as "Rococo with a spot of Gothic and a bit of Buddhist in it" but her? We have to raise our glasses to Joey Mendoza, for a spectacular rendition of that description in his set design.



Once the curtains go up, you are immediately thrust into her mind. How often can one take a tour that intimate? Take this chance and explore what a giant is like on the inside.


Catch Cherie Gil in Full Gallop on March 14, 15, 21, and 23 (8 p.m.) at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza. Tickets available through TicketWorld.

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