Theater in Manila: Exciting Shows to See Onstage This April
Aside from The Lion King!
(SPOT.ph) Most of you may have seen Disney's The Lion King live at Solaire Theater in March (still running until May, by the way) and have since hungered for more theatrical performances. This month, theatergoers have a whole buffet to choose from—a Broadway play, a Filipino rock musical, a dark comedy, and a number of all-original one-act shows.
Rent, The Musical
No need to wait for "five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes" to watch this Tony Award-winning musical as Ateneo Blue Repertory stages Rent for the theater group's season finale. Set in the '90s, it follows the lives of struggling artists in New York amid gentrification and the AIDS epidemic.
Rent, The Musical runs from April 4 to 21 at the Rizal Mini Theater, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. Tickets, priced at P400, are available through KTX.
Completing Repertory Philippines' smorgasbord of theater shows, Arsenic and Old Lace is an American dark comedy that revolves around the Brewsters who descended from the first English Puritans and has now spiraled into a family of insane homicidal maniacs. It's up to Mortimer (Nelsito Gomez) to figure things out before his two spinster aunts—Abby (Joy Virata) and Martha (Jay Valencia Glorioso)—murder another lonely old man with their arsenic-laden homemade wine.
Arsenic and Old Lace runs from April 6 to 29 at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P1,200 to P1,500, are available through Ticketworld.
First staged in April 2013 then again in January 2017, Sa Wakas draws a conclusion through its last ever run this April 2018. The musical based on songs by Sugarfree and Ebe Dancel follows Topper (Vic Robinson, Pepe Herrera) who lives with long-time partner Lexi (Kyla Rivera, Cara Barredo). With unsolvable arguments taking their toll on the relationship, it was only a matter of time before a third party comes into the picture: Gabbi (Justine Peña, Maronne Cruz), a fun-loving and artsy-magazine writer. Sounds familiar?
Sa Wakas runs from April 7 to May 27 at Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Makati, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P800 to P1,500, are available through Ticketworld.
Spamalot, based on the British slapstick comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, follows the classic medieval legend of King Arthur's quest alongside his knights. The difference? There are annoying Frenchmen, a make-shift horse making clappity-clap sounds, and a killer rabbit.
Monty Python's Spamalot runs from April 13 to 22 at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced from P700 to P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.
The Kundiman Party
How can art start a revolution? Let The Kundiman Party show you the way. Now as relevant as ever, it follows retired singer Maestra Adela Dolores (Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino)—who believes in the transformative power of the kundiman—and young tech-savvy activist Bobby (Kalil Almonte) in an eccentric form of protest.
The Kundiman Party runs from April 11 to 29 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2/F Palma Hall, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City. Tickets, priced at P500, are available through 0917-823-9531.
Inspired by the works of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, Feed is a multimedia performance of citizens-turned-netizens who are widely dependent on social media in the digital era. It is written and directed by Dudz Teraña.
Feed runs from April 19 to May 5 at PCC Center Studio, G/F Technology Building, Far Eastern University, Nicanor Reyes Street, Sampaloc, Manila. Tickets, priced at P150, are available through 0997-076-5168.
Dalawang Gabi, first staged in 2015 at the Virgin Labfest, focuses on the complicated love story between middle-aged teacher Debbie and her former student Lester. It is set on two scenes that are two years apart, thus the title.
Are You Having Fun Yet?
UP Repertory Company's devised performance of Are You Having Fun Yet? delves into the dynamics of the Filipinos’ favorite pastime—videoke. It tries to answer the questions that are otherwise ignored about this intriguing device: Why are there always women dancing or running by the beach? Why is the voice saying the numbers that of a female? Why do we pay coins in the videoke?
Dalawang Gabi and Are You Having Fun Yet? are part of Saliw ng Araw's first set, which runs on April 6, 13, and 14 at DITO: Bahay ng Sining, J. Molina Street, Marikina City. Tickets, priced at P300, are available through 0917-863-2364.
Bukas Na Lang
Storyboard Junkies' Bukas Na Lang is an exploration of how dreams are made and achieved. It follows the story of three women and the almost impossible task of completing their life-long journey.
Also from the Virgin Labfest in 2015, Kublihan looks into the ups and downs of a high school friendship. Two boys—one a freshman, the other a senior—painfully say goodbye while cherishing their last moments together in a secret hiding spot before graduation day.
Bukas Na Lang and Kublihan are part of Saliw ng Araw's second set, which runs on April 7, 8, and 15 at DITO: Bahay ng Sining, J. Molina Street, Marikina City. Tickets, priced at P300, are available through 0917-863-2364.
Carlo Pacolor Garcia's Tatlong Monologo presents a series of soliloquies—a man playing with death while holding a knife by the window, a naked man reading on a chair, and a woman that you can only see through a keyhole. Each monologue tries to knock some sense into the audience through a torrent of angered words.
Mixkaela Villalon's Streetlight Manifesto looks into the subjective nature of truth and justice—which still rings true years after the play was first staged at the Virgin Labfest in 2011. Every night, a streetlight is the lone witness to secret meetings between two hired killers responsible for the string of murders in Manila. Every day, a dead body turns up at the same lamppost. The investigations remain unsolved and the body count continues to rise.
Tatlong Monologo and Streetlight Manifesto are part of Monologo/Manifesto which runs from April 11 to 13 at Tomato Kick, 32 Scout Madriñan Street, Diliman, Quezon City; April 20 at MullenLowe Philippines, 16/F Rufino Pacific Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City; and from April 25 to 27 at Catch 272, 41-B T. Gener Street, Kamuning, Quezon City. There's a surprise location for the April 18 to 19 run. For updates, follow QC Tambay Times Kids on Facebook.
Lysistrata ng Bakwit
The new Doreen Black Box at Areté in Ateneo de Manila University opens its doors with the staging of Lysistrata ng Bakwit. Inspired by Aristophanes' Greek classic Lysistrata, the play is set in an imaginary war-torn Philippine province where women evacuees fight for their ancestral lands and commit to stop the ongoing calamity.
Lysistrata ng Bakwit runs from April 17 to May 5 at The Doreen Black Box, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. Tickets are available through Tanghalang Ateneo.