Theater in Manila: Exciting Shows to See Onstage This October

From a gruesome musical to a hopeful story about life.

(SPOT.ph) While the month of September wowed us with two Stephen Sondheim masterpieces—Company by Upstart Productions and Passion by Philippine Opera Company, October is bringing in another Sondheim original: the gruesome Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group. This production is complemented by all-original Filipino plays written by our equally talented homegrown playwrights, from one that looks into the paralyzing culture of hazing and blind obedience, to a religious story we’re all familiar with.

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

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens in Manila just in time for the classic musical's 40th anniversary, having first opened on Broadway in 1979. It is based on the 1973 play of the same title by Christopher Bond, which tells the disturbing tale of Sweeney Todd (Jett Pangan) and Mrs. Lovett (Lea Salonga), whose barber shop and bakery are not what they seem.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street runs from October 11 to 27 at The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City. Tickets, priced from P1,500 to P5,000, are available through Ticketworld.

Katsuri

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John Steinbeck's classic novella Of Mice and Men gets a Hiligaynon adaptation through playwright Bibeth Orteza. "Katsuri" is a Visayan word for mouse, and the play follows two unlikely friends who are forced to move from one place to another in search of a new job, their friendship tested along the way. It features Jonathan Tadioan as Lennie and is directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna.

Katsuri runs from October 4 to 27 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P800 to P1,000, are available through Ticketworld.

Bombita

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This Tony Perez original follows five new cadets who are sent out by their commander for a mission: to deliver a secret package. Turns out, the whole thing is a prank. Bombita is a black comedy that looks into the culture of blind obedience in the military.

Bombita runs until October 12 at Rizal Mini Theater, Faber Hall, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. Tickets, priced at P350, are available through Ateneo Entablado's Facebook page.

Giselle

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Experience the joy and pain of first love with Ballet Manila's Giselle. This romantic ballet in two acts tells the tragic story of a peasant girl who falls in love with Albrecht. The deceitful nobleman eventually reveals that it was all just an act, leaving Giselle heartbroken.

Giselle is on October 17, 8 p.m. at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P300 to P3,000, are available through Ticketworld.

Makikitawag Lang Ako

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Makikitawag Lang Ako, which is based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short story I Only Came to Use the Phone, follows the story of Maria dela Luz Cervantes, who is mistakenly admitted into a mental institute. Her husband, convinced that she just ran off with another man, abandons her in the hospital, where she eventually becomes insane. Adapted by Teresa Lorena Jopson, Makikitawag Lang Ako was first staged in 2014 at the FEU Auditorium.

Makikitawag Lang Ako runs from October 2 to 26 at PCC Center Studio, Far Eastern University, Nicanor Reyes Street, Sampaloc, Manila City. Tickets, priced a P200, are available through FEU Theater Guild.

Magnificat

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Magnificat, written by Nestor Torre with music composed by Ryan Cayabyab, is a sung-through musical about the life of Jesus told through the eyes of Mary. It was first staged in 1996 and has since been produced more than 200 times. Al Gatmaitan plays the role of Jesus, while Ana Feleo and Pinky Marquez-Cancio alternate as Mary.

Magnificat runs until October 12 at Music Museum, Greenhills, San Juan City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P3,000, are available through Ticketworld.

Ang Dakilang Teatro ng Daigdig

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Based on Pedro Calderon de la Barca's El gran teatro del mundo and Tony Perez's Hoy, Boyet, Tinatawag Ka Na, Hatinggabi Na’y Gising Ka Pa Pala, Ang Dakilang Teatro ng Daigdig explores themes of fate, consequences, and existence. It follows a group of actors who are about to put on the greatest performance of their lives. A question continuously echoes in the minds of the characters: What do you live for?

Ang Dakilang Teatro ng Daigdig runs from October 17 to 26 at SDA Theater, College of Saint Benilde's School of Design and Arts, 950 Ocampo Street, Malate, Manila City. Tickets, priced at P350, are available through Ticketworld.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Ballet Philippines stages a classical dance adaptation of William Shakespeare’s lauded comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Watch this magical story come to life as fairies dance mid-air and lovers fall in love in the most romantic choreography.

A Midsummer Night's Dream runs from October 11 to 13 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P500 to P3,000, are available through Ticketworld.

UPDATE (October 9): This article has been updated to indicate new schedule of Ballet Manila's Giselle.

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