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Exciting threesome revisits groundbreaking feminist play

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MARAMARA, BARANDA AND SIETEREALES. Breathe new life into “The Vagina Monologues.”

HOMECOMINGS AND new beginnings are always memorable. The past year has given us the opportunity to revisit some plays that are close to our heart—and rekindle our love affair with the theater:

It began with Spotlight’s spirited restaging of the classic Filipino pop musical, “Magsimula Ka,” followed by the revival of Ryan Cayabyab and Nestor Torre’s hit religious musical, “Magnificat,” which began touring in Mindoro last month.

On May 27, Friday, our theatrical trip down memory lane continues with the latest incarnation of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” starring the exciting young trio of Missy Maramara, Pheona Baranda and Amparo Sietereales, who will perform for Thomson Reuters’ Diversity program at McKinley Hill.

MARAMARA, BARANDA AND SIETEREALES. Breathe new life into “The Vagina Monologues.”

Ampy and Pheona are back in the country after their respective stints with Universal Studios Singapore and Hong Kong Disneyland, while Missy is set to leave for the US on a Fulbright scholarship in acting.

The groundbreaking feminist play is important to us, not only because its 2001 staging marked our first foray into directing, but also because it proved to us that there’s more to theater than mere entertainment.

Resistance

Initially, the play was met with a lot of resistance. We couldn’t find sponsors, nor could we promote “TVM” anywhere, and the production was besieged with threats —but, Monique Wilson and NVC persevered.

The play advocates woman empowerment and helps fight misogyny and the patriarchal culture’s abusive practices against women and children. It has since been performed in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and all over the Philippines.

Speaking of sweet homecomings, we were glad to run into Trixie Wilson-Cascella, her daughter Phoebe and Tita Mila Esteva during one of “TVM’s” rehearsals at the NVC Actors Studio early this week. Trixie is the eldest sister of Jamie, Gina and Monique Wilson who has come home—after 20 years of living in the US!

Ironic backdrop

On the indie film scene, director Archie del Mundo makes an auspicious debut by way of the gripping adult drama, “Taksikab” (showing at Galleria’s IndieSine this week). Using the euphoric presidential inauguration of Noynoy Aquino as an ironic backdrop, the movie follows the roundelay narrative device utilized by David Hare’s “The Blue Room” and Arthur Schnitzler’s “La Ronde” to expose the amoral decadence that results from the horrors of unrelenting poverty.

MARAMARA, BARANDA AND SIETEREALES. Breathe new life into “The Vagina Monologues.”

Well-acted and appropriately cast, the metaphor-rich movie follows the awkward romance between gay taxi driver, David (Kristoffer King) and his callboy-best friend, Bodji (Adrian Sebastian), who has decided to leave his hard life in the city behind for a fresh start in the province.

As their story unfolds, we are introduced to a slew of colorful characters, like an aging prostitute (Marife Necesito) who dotes on a young cigarette vendor cum pimp, Toto (Martin de los Santos)—who doesn’t know that his link to the helpful hooker and the distraught driver goes beyond friendship!

Jess Mendoza, Ray An Dulay, Tony Lapena, Jonas Gruet, Marcus Cabrera and Dustin Jose join King and Necesito in this daisy chain of dramatic (and explicit) encounters that unsurprisingly ends in unspeakable tragedy.


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Tags: Entertainment , Music , Theatre , Women



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