Theater Preview: 10 Plays and Musicals to Watch in 2017

Buy your tickets in advance!


( It was hard to keep up with all the scheduled shows and previews in 2016, from a mini-festival of plays in Circuit Makati, to Filipino musicals in the country's Cultural Center, to bold and moving plays at PETA. It doesn't help that all these are scattered in the traffic-stricken city. But, of course, we're not complaining as this means that the marvelous world of the stage is alive and kicking.


We're pretty excited about what 2017 will bring us so we round up some shows that you shouldn't miss next year.





Wicked, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and theatrical adaptation by Winnie Holzman, is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. The story is a retelling of the tale and characters once created by L. Frank Baum in the children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It follows the unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students—popular girl Glinda (Carly Anderson) and green-skinned girl Elphaba (Jacqueline Hughes).



Wicked opens on February 2, 2017 at The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City. Tickets, priced from P1,750 to P7,000, are available through Ticketworld.



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Sa Wakas

Less than four years after its first limited run, Sa Wakas goes back onstage to make fans cry through the Pinoy rock musical featuring the songs of Sugarfree. The story revolves around Topper (Vic Robinson, Pepe Herrera), a photographer, who lives with his partner Lexi (Caisa Borromeo, Cara Barredo), a doctor. Like any typical love triangle, the third party is a fun-loving character: Gabbie (Justine Peña, Maronne Cruz), a magazine writer. It raises the timeless question of why relationships fall apart.


Sa Wakas runs from January 12 to February 12, 2017 at Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P700 to P1,500, are available through the Sa Wakas website.





Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon

Edgar Calabia Samar's popular young adult novel, Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon, is brought to life through a theatrical adaptation by Tanghalang Ateneo. It follows the titular character, Janus Silang, who is fond of playing the online game TALA (Terra Anima Legion of Anitos). Unknown to him, this world of anitos, tiyanak, and manananggal goes beyond the Internet and leads to a parallel universe. Charles Yee directs the production.


Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon runs from February 1 to 25, 2017 at Rizal Mini Theater, Faber Hall, Ateneo de Manila University. For inquiries, visit Tanghalang Ateneo on Facebook.




Mula sa Buwan

Cited with an honorable mention for 2016 Best Musical (Original Filipino Material or Adaptation) in Gibbs Cadiz's annual theater roundup, Mula sa Buwan makes a comeback in February with more play dates. It takes on the challenge of adapting the well-loved play Cyrano de Bergerac and the titular character’s unrequited and unending love for Roxane. The Edmond Rostand original is now set in 1940s Manila where Cyrano (Nicco Manalo) is an ROTC cadet and Roxane (KL Dizon) is a blushing colegiala. The character of Christian, the lead's best friend who falls in love with the beautiful damsel, is still retained, but the whole tale is put side-by-side with the nation's struggle during World War II. Best of all, the lyrics carefully crafted by Pat Valera and William Manzano could easily be your favorite hugot pieces.



Mula sa Buwan runs from February 18 to 26 at Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo de Manila University Quezon City. Tickets are priced at P600 and P800. For more information, visit Mula sa Buwan on Facebook.




Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady

Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady was first staged as a one-act play by Carlo Vergara at the Virgin Labfest in 2013, then later as a musical by Dalanghita Productions in 2015, and now as a university production by Ateneo Blue Repertory. This crowd-pleaser tells the story of Mely, a maid for the superhero team Fuwerza Pilipinas. She later finds that this task is more complicated than she expected.


Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady runs from March 23 to April 8, 2017 at the Ateneo de Manila University. Tickets are priced at P300. For inquiries, visit Ateneo Blue Repertory on Facebook.





Noli Me Tangere, The Opera

After well-received runs in New York (2013) and Washington D.C. (2014) and the first staging at Resorts World Manila's Newport Performing Arts Theater (September 2014), Noli Me Tangere, The Opera once again presents the theatrical adaptation of Dr. Jose Rizal's pivotal novel about love, betrayal, oppression, vengeance, and hope. It presents an opera in three acts and depicts the tumultuous history of our country under Spanish colonial rule.


Noli Me Tangere, The Opera runs from January 28 to February 3, 2017 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P3,500, are available through Ticketworld.




A Game of Trolls

Staged in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, A Game of Trolls is a timely and educational production about Martial Law meant for students and millennials. It follows Hector who works as a troll and heckles anyone who comments against the Martial Law days. He works for Marcos loyalist Bimbam who put up a call center called Marshalls of History.



A Game of Trolls runs from April 1 to April 2, 2017. Tickets, priced from P500 to P800, are available through Ticketworld.




Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Cherie Gil, Michael Williams, Roselyn Perez, and Joaquin Valdes come together in this comedy play written by Christopher Durang. It follows the relationships of three middle-aged siblings—Vanya, Sonia, and Spike—and how their lives take a turn when Masha comes over to their childhood home for a visit. Bart Guingona is at the helm of the production.


Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs from January 20 to February 12, 2017 at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P600 to P1,000, are available through Ticketworld.






Philippine Educational Theater Association opens its 50th theater season with a restaging of Caredivas, a funny musical about five transgender Overseas Filipino Workers in Israel. Desperate to make ends meet, they work as caregivers in the morning then transform into glamorous drag queens at night. The musical written by Liza Magtoto dominated the Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards in 2011 and bagged seven trophies.


Caredivas runs from February 3 to March 19, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center, Sunnyside Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. Tickets are available through Ticketworld.




Dirty Old Musical

Back by popular demand, John Arcilla, Nonie Buencamino, Carlo Orosa, Bo Cerrudo, and Robert Seña rock the stage once again in a theatrical biopic of the fictional '80s male group band The Bench Boys. After being apart for some time, they have to do a one-time concert for an ailing member. Now in their '50s, the question is, can they still do it?



Dirty Old Musical runs from January 19 to 28, 2017 at the Music Museum, Greenhills, San Juan City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.

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