An All-Original Filipino Musical Is Off to Wow the World

Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad will be staged in Russia this month.

( When Tanghalang Pilipino's Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad had its theatrical run in February at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, fans were surprised by how prolific playwright Rody Vera turned Nick Joaquin's children's story into a for-adults-only musical. The theater company modernized the hugot love story between the anthropomorphic figures of Mt. Makiling and Mt. Banahaw and the ever-notorious Juan Tamad. This hilarious show is now on its way to Russia for the 12th World Theater Congress in Moscow, happening from August 20 to 24.

Tanghalang Pilipino, the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, will be representing the country in a major forum that discusses issues regarding the development of university theaters and the role of theater in the world. A total of 50 countries are expected to participate in the congress, including theater companies from Latvia, Belarus, and Bulgaria.

PHOTO BY Kyle Venturillo, Courtesy of Tanghalang Pilipino

Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad will be shown on August 23 at the Vishnevy Sad Theater in Moscow, Russia. The musical expounds on what we know (and may not know) about our folk legends, including why Maria Makiling forever nurses a broken heart and why Juan Tamad remains a model for the youth despite his notorious laziness. References to millennial terms, memes, and jokes also pop up in the script to cater to young audiences. This old-meets-new vibe is complemented by colorful costume design by Marco Viaña, music by TJ Ramos, and choreography by Ronelson Yadao. It is directed by Jonathan Tadioan.

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Former Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director Dennis Marasigan is also presenting his paper on "The Practice of Theatre in the Philippines" as part of the international forum.

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