Theater in Manila: Exciting Shows to See Onstage This November

november theater

( After more than two years of hiatus, Philippine theater is now more alive than ever as plays and musicals return to the physical space. Theater companies are slowly (and surely) welcoming back the audience with open arms (and disinfected hands), artists and creatives are all fired up, and tickets are selling out.

Also read: Art Exhibits by Toym Imao, Jomike Tejido + More to Check Out This November

Here are the shows we're excited to see this November in Philippine theater:

We Will Rock You

We Will Rock You
PHOTO BY Facebook/GMG Productions

We Will Rock You, which features Queen's songs in the backdrop of a fictional plot by Ben Elton, tells the story of a group of Bohemians living for free thought, no-holds-barred fashion sense, and all-original live music in a futuristic setting where rock-and-roll doesn't exist. It features 24 of Queen's smash hits, including "Killer Queen," "Under Pressure," "We Are the Champions," "Radio Ga Ga," "I Want to Break Free," "Don’t Stop Me Now," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Another One Bites the Dust," and "We Will Rock You." This is the global premiere of this international production.

We Will Rock You runs until November 20 at Samsung Performing Arts Theatre, Hippodrimo Street, Circuit Makati, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P1,900 to P5,800, are available through Ticketworld.

S.O.S.: Showcase of Original Shorts

PHOTO BY Facebook/Upstart Productions
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Upstart Productions returns to live theater with five short comedies written and directed by Joel Trinidad and Nicky Triviño. It also stars Mica Pineda and Neo Rivera. The five shorts include Take That, Sucker; The Falcon; Helen's Funeral; Fairy Tale Fail; and Food Fight.

S.O.S.: Showcase of Original Shorts is on November 10 and 17, 8 p.m., at Empty Stomach Cafe, 2/F Fort Pointe Building, Fort Strip, 28th Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, which are priced at P700, are available through Upstart Production's Facebook.

Joseph, the Dreamer

Joseph the Dreamer
PHOTO BY Facebook/Trumpets

After a successful post-pandemic run in July, Joseph, the Dreamer returns to the stage this November. The modern version of Trumpets' longest-running musical first ran in 1989 with Audie Gemora in the titular role. Gemora starred in the musical for a whole decade before having Gary Valenciano as his alternate in 1999. Fast forward to 2020, Valenciano's son—Paolo—directed a fresh (and dance-filled) take on Joseph, the Dreamer with Sam Concepcion playing Joseph. For the 2022 restaging, Concepcion alternates with Neo Rivera. Gary Valenciano and Audie Gemora play Joseph's father, Jacob.

Joseph, the Dreamer runs from November 12 to 27 at Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced from P1,700 to P2,800, are available through Ticketworld.

CCP's Special Concert Series

ccp concert series
PHOTO BY Facebook/Cultural Center of the Philippines

On November 16, the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Special Concert Series brings guitarist Ivar Fojas under the spotlight. He is a Fulbright scholar who completed his doctorate at the Bolton Guitar Studies Program at the University of Arizona in 2011. Fojar was previously featured as a soloist in concerts of The Manila Symphony Orchestra and The Peace of Philharmonic Philippines.

CCP's Special Concert Series III is on November 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City. Tickets, priced at P500, are available through the CCP Box Office and Ticketworld.

The Reconciliation Dinner

The Reconciliation Dinner
PHOTO BY Facebook/Dulaang UP

Opening Dulaang UP's 45th season is Floy Quintos' one-act play The Reconciliation Dinner. It is directed by Dexter M. Santos. The Reconciliation Dinner looks at a group of friends with different political leanings in the aftermath of the 2022 elections. It features performances by Frances Makil-Ignacio, Stella Cañete-Mendoza, Nelsito Gomez, Julienne Mendoza, Randy Medel Villarama, Phi Palmos, and Hariette Mozelle.

The Reconciliation Dinner runs from November 18 to 20 at the UP Theater Main Hall Stage, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City. Tickets, which are priced at P550, are available through Ticket2Me.


PHOTO BY Facebook/Repertory Philippines

Carousel follows the story of carousel barker Billy Bigelow (Gian Magdangal), who falls in love with millworker Julie Jordan (Karylle Tatlonghari). The Repertory Philippines production was originally scheduled to open on May 1, 2020, with the intention of rescheduling in July or August of the same year—which, of course, didn't happen.

Carousel runs from November 26 to December 18 at Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P3,000, are available through the CCP Box Office and Ticketworld.

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