Theater in Manila: The Shows You Should Watch This January

Start the year right with an amazing lineup!


( It's shaping up to be a busy year for theater! For January, we have musicals that will make us teary-eyed, a minimalist play with a cause, and a couple of operas. Get your tickets now and catch these shows.




Twenty Questions

You may have come across the script of Juan Ekis's Twenty Questions online after it won in the one-act play category at the 2003 Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. It tells the story of the night when Jigs and Yumi are locked in a room together as part of a barkada tradition. They would have to play the game of asking anything and everything about each other—20 questions plus a bottle of wine.


Twenty Questions runs until January 15 at The Axon, Green Sun Hotel, 2285 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City. Tickets, priced at P650, are available through Twenty Questions ni Juan Ekis Facebook page.





Sa Wakas

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 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.

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La Voix Humaine

La voix humaine or The Human Voice is a one-act opera that was first performed in Paris in 1959. The Francis Poulenc composition is based on the play with the same title written by Jean Cocteau. The Manila production is directed by Anton Juan and stars soprano Kay Balajadia-Liggayu and pianist Rudolf Golez. The story follows the last phone conversation between a woman and her former lover, who now loves someone else.



La Voix Humaine is on January 14, 6 p.m. at Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced at P1,045, are available through Ticketworld.




Suicide, Incorporated

Missed the first run of Andrew Hinderaker's Suicide, Incorporated? Here's your chance to catch this dark comedy. It follows the story of Jason, a new hire at Legacy Letters, a company that was created to help those prone to suicidal thoughts. Employees are expected to write heart-wrenching suicide letters to be left to their loved ones by those who'll take their lives. But Jason is on a different mission. This production is directed by Steven Conde.


Suicide, Incorporated is on January 15, 2 p.m. at Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced at P950, 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 featuring a fictional '80s male group called The Bench Boys. After being apart for some time, they find themselves together again for a one-time concert to raise funds 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 at the Music Museum, Greenhills, San Juan City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.





Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress is a funny modern fairy tale musical that looks into the life of King Sextimus who is unable to speak, his terror-of-a-wife Queen Aggravain, and their son Prince Dauntless who's under strict rules to remain single forever. It is up to one Princess Winnifred the Woebegone to win the prince's heart.


Once Upon a Mattress runs from January 20 to 22 at Tanghalang Yaman Lahi, Emilio Aguinaldo College, 1221 Gen. Luna Street, Ermita, Manila. Tickets, priced at P1,000, 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 to their childhood home for a visit. Bart Guingona directs 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.




Buwan at Baril sa Eb Major

Set at the height of the anti-dictatorship struggle, Chris Millado's Buwan at Baril sa Eb Major is a vignette of various people. The characters who live separate lives find that they are in a common movement at a critical period in Philippine contemporary history.


Buwan at Baril sa Eb Major runs from January 26 to February 12 at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, Diliman, Quezon City. Tickets, priced at P1,500, are available through 0917-845-6200.





Noli Me Tangere, The Opera

After well-received runs in New York in 2013 and Washington D.C. in 2014 as well as the first staging at Resorts World Manila's Newport Performing Arts Theater in 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 features 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.

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