Theater in Manila: Exciting Shows to See Onstage This November

From singing cats to dancing toys.

(SPOT.ph) While the last couple of months gave us Stephen Sondheim classics and a couple of local musicals, November’s lineup of plays is bringing us to otherworldly places. We see a theater filled with singing and dancing cats, a village put under the red moon’s curse, and a home with a life-sized nutcracker. It’s a magical season after all, and this month’s roster is a good way to start our Christmas celebrations.

Here are the shows to catch this November:

Cats

PHOTO BY Stephen Frak
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You may already be excited for the opening of Cats' movie adaptation, but before it hits the big screen, the musical's international tour is hitting Manila this November. Based on T.S. Eliot's 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Cats tells the story of one special night when a tribe of cats called the Jellicles are given the chance to be reborn. It stars Filipino actress Joanna Ampil as Grizabella and an equally talented set of foreign cast members, including Luke Fraser Yates as Munkustrap, George Hinson as Rum Tum Tugger, Gavin Eden as SkimbleShanks, Kirsty Ingram as Rumpelteazer, Elizabeth Futter as Jellylorum, and Sally Frith as Bombalurina.

Cats runs from November 6 to December 1 at The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City. Tickets, priced from P1,500 to P7,300, are available through Ticketworld.

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Stella Abrera and The Rising Stars of American Ballet Theatre

Stella Abrera is the acclaimed American Ballet Theatre's first Filipino-American principal dancer, and she's coming home for a fundraising event initiated by the Ayala Foundation and STEPS Scholarship Foundation. Joining her is principal dancer James Whiteside and the 12-member American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. It is directed by Sascha Radetsky.

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Stella Abrera and The Rising Stars of American Ballet Theatre is on November 7 and 8, 7 p.m. at Globe Auditorium, Maybank Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced from P2,000 to P8,000, are available through Ticketworld.

Fuente Ovejuna

Tony Mabesa may have passed away on October 4, but he did leave us his final work as the director of Fuente Ovejuna—a Spanish play by renowned dramatist Lope De Vega. It will be staged in English and in its Filipino translation by Nicolas Pichay. Fuente Ovejuna looks at how one village, through the leadership of their women, toppled the tyrannical reign of Commendador Fernan Gomez De Guzman.

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Fuente Ovejuna runs from November 8 to December 1 at Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2/F Palma Hall, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City. Tickets, priced at P500, are available through Ticket2Me.

Macbeth

Theatre Titas brings us their version of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, which follows a brave but troubled Scottish general who murders the king and takes over the throne. With Carlos S. Cariño at the helm, this production follows the rhyme and meter of the five acts but with musical accompaniment by Andy Gruet and choreography by Joanna Foz Castro. Jeremy Domingo and Tarek El Tayech alternate for the titular role, while Issa Litton and Anne Gauthier Das Neves alternately play the part of Lady Macbeth.

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Macbeth runs from November 9 to 23 at Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Makati, Makati City. Tickets, priced at P1,000, are available through Ticket2Me.

Breakups and Breakdowns

Breakups and Breakdowns is a romantic musical comedy that takes a look at dating and relationships. An all too familiar story, it follows four people: Mark, a playwright who wrote about the girl who broke his heart; Nina, a heartbreaker who's now full of regrets; Derek, a has-been playboy; and Sandy, a theater actress and the newest prospect of Derek. This original musical is written by Joel Trinidad.

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Breakups and Breakdowns runs from November 15 to 16 at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced at P500, are available through bgcpassioncollective@gmail.com.

The Nutcracker

You can never go wrong with a ballet classic to kick off Christmas festivities. The Nutcracker, a well-loved dance production that opens with a Christmas Eve scene, is a two-act piece that premiered in 1892. The score, which was by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is one of the Russian composer's most famous creations. Its libretto is adapted from The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Prussian author E.T.A. Hoffmann.

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The Nutcracker runs from November 23 to 24 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P125 to P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.

La Luna Roja

Emma Estrada's La Luna Roja is the Philippines' first original full-length flamenco ballet. It tells the tale of a village put under the curse of the red moon and, as most passionate love stories go, only true love can break the spell.

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La Luna Roja is on November 23 and 24 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, 4/F RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue corner Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.

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