(SPOT.ph) Installation artist Leeroy New is known for his quirky and colorful creations, from floating installation art to costume designs, all made from household items like industrial pipes, plastic ties, and water bottles. His wearable art series "Aliens of Manila" has particularly piqued the interest of many because of the out-of-this-world attire of models just walking around the city. He brings this to the stage of Philippine Educational Theater Association in Quezon City as costume designer of the children's musical Tagu-taguan Nasaan angBuwan?, which premieres on August 18.
Tagu-taguan Nasaan ang Buwan follows Popoy (Noel Comia, Albert Silos, Omar Uddin), a young boy who—like most millennials—loves playing video games and has difficulty speaking in Filipino. Much to his dismay, his father Jeffrey (John Moran, Vien Alen King, Eric Dela Cruz) sends him to stay with his grandmother Luna (Joann Co, Marichu Belarmino, Upeng Galang-Fernandez). Little does he know that his lola has an alternate ego named Inang Buwan who leads a magical world of stories called Dilim-Dilim Land, which is under the curse of Papaw Halimaw. It is now up to Popoy to save this enchanted kingdom and all of his grandmother’s friends: Ngo, Ang Dagang Patay (Roi Calilong, Phil Noble); Prinsesa Mina (Joan Bugcat, Gab Pangilinan); Little Match Girl (Yeyin Dela Cruz, Teetin Villanueva); Ismail (Angelo Lantaco) and Isabel (Raven Relavo, Julia Enriquez); and Pepe (Lemuel Silvestre, Gerhard Krysstopher) and Pepito (Vic Robinson, Norbs Portales). It is written by J-mee Katanyag and directed by Dudz Teraña.
If these names and tandems sound familiar, that’s because they’re all from PETA’s well-loved children’s plays since the 1980s. Ngo was inspired by Ikabod Bubwit, an iconic comic character created by ‘80s cartoonist Nonoy Marcelo, Prinsesa Mina—who suffers from a split personality disorder—is from Ang Tiririt ng Ibong Adarna, Little Match Girl is from Hans Christian Andersen Must Be Filipino, Ismail (a Muslim) and Isabel (a Catholic) is from a 2009 story about the plight of children caught in war, and Pepe and Pepito are from Batang Rizal (2007).
New recreates all these characters through his costume designs that scream bright pink, polka dots, and—of course—his signature plastic cables. Don’t miss Ngo’s tail made of pink water bottles! This complements Tagu-taguan Nasaan ang Buwan’s central theme of the power of stories and the importance of imagination (repetitively said in the play as haraya) to combat all the monsters in our lives. It is a reminder to never lose the child in all of us, the child who dreams and believes that he or she has the power to change the world.
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Tagu-taguan Nasaan ang Buwan? runs from August 18 to 27 at the PETA Theater Center, Sunnyside Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. Tickets, priced from P600 to P900, are available through 0917-539-1112.