Theater in Manila: Exciting Shows to See Onstage This September

From a Shakespeare tragedy to a kid-friendly musical.

( The rainy season may be upon us, but we shouldn’t let the intermittent weather stop us from booking our weekends solid to catch the latest theater shows. Thanks to musicals and plays worth seeing, we have every reason to get out of the house and brave the traffic—from Shakespeare's tragedy and comedy to a couple of Sondheim's well-loved musicals.

Here's your lineup of shows to catch this September:

Shakespeare Rose Theatre's Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Macbeth by William Shakespeare Courtesy of Shakespeare's Rose Theatre

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre—Europe's first-ever pop-up Shakespearean theater—is coming from Yorkshire to Manila to bring us a tragedy and a comedy by the Bard of Avon. Macbeth, which was first performed in 1606, follows the story of how one Scottish general puts the life of the King of Scotland in his hands. It was inspired by historic accounts about Duncan, King of Scotland from 1034 to 1040; and Macbeth, King of Scots from 1040 until his death in 1057.

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Courtesy of Shakespeare's Rose Theater

A Midsummer Night's Dream, on the other hand, is a fantastical tale involving love, jealousy, and some very mischievous fairies. It follows four plot lines, which are all connected by the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and Hippolyta of the Amazons. The setting is incredibly whimsical—a complete opposite of the bloody story of Macbeth.

Macbeth runs on September 17 and 19, 7:30 p.m.; September 21, 2:30 p.m.; and September 22, 6:30 p.m.; while A Midsummer Night's Dream runs on September 18, 20, and 21, 7:30 p.m.; September 19, 2:30 p.m.; and September 22, 1:30 p.m at The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, 1 Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P6,000, are available through Ticketworld.


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Passion is one of the three Stephen Sondheim plays that are being staged in Manila in 2019—the other two being Company by Upstart Productions starting on September 13 and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group in October. Given the 1994 Tony Award for Best Musical, Passion—based on the 1981 Italian film Passione d'amore—follows the story of love, sex, and passion between Italian officer Giorgio (Vien King), his married lover Clara (Jasmine Fitgerald), and a woman who's obsessed with him—Fosca (Shiela Valderrama-Martinez). It is directed by Robbie Guevara.

Passion runs from September 14 to 29 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, 4/F RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue corner Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P900 to P3,500, are available through Ticketworld.

Snow White

See this childhood fairy tale come alive through dance in a special presentation by Ballet Manila. Snow White, which is choreographed by Lisa Macuja-Elizaldeone of the most celebrated Filipino ballerinas, is part of the ballet company's 24th season.


Snow White runs from September 7 to 8 at Aliw Theater, Vicente Sotto Street, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P300 to P3,000, are available through Ticketworld.


Stephen Sondheim's Company follows a story that almost every adult can relate to. At the center is Bobbie (OJ Mariano), a bachelor who hates commitment, while the characters around him—his  friends—are dealing with their own happily married lives (or not). This musical is told through a series of vignettes, which is linked through a celebration of the lead character's 35th birthday. It is directed by Topper Fabregas.

Company runs from September 13 to 22 at Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced from P1,500 to P3,500, are available through Ticketworld.

The Quest for the Adarna


If you studied in the Philippines, you've most likely read a version of Ibong Adarna—whether it's the original 16th-century epic poem, an illustrated children's book, or even a graphic novel. Starting on September 14, this colorful tale about a magical bird will be told through an all-original English musical The Quest for the Adarna, which is penned by Luna Griño-Inocian (script and lyrics) and Rony Fortich (music). The role of Adarna is played alternately by Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Andrea Monique Alvarado, and Cara Barredo. It is directed by Joy Virata.

The Quest for the Adarna runs from September 14 to January 26, 2020 at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P500 to 800, are available through Ticketworld.

Himala: Isang Musikal

If you missed the 2018 run of Himala: Isang Musikal, then you’re in for a treat. This musical, which was based on the 1982 Ishmael Bernal film of the same title, is returning to the stage in September. It was written by Ricky Lee in collaboration with Vincent De Jesus for the music and lyrics. Himala follows the story of Elsa (played by Nora Aunor in the movie) who reports seeing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and being able to heal the sick in the small town of Cupang. The movie's (and the play's) claim-to-fame? The now-immortal lines: "Walang himala!"


Himala: Isang Musikal runs from September 20 to October 20 at Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Makati, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P1,100 to P2,400, are available through Ticketworld.

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