MANILA -- Two original Filipino musicals, a new generation of headliners, and a new corporate partnership highlight the 82nd season of Repertory Philippines.
“This season of Rep is incredibly special for a number of reasons,” Rep president and CEO Mindy Perez-Rubio said at a recent preview for the media. “We’ll be working extensively with some of the most iconic Rep talents, as well as several fresh new faces who each embody Rep’s brand of world-class quality. As the foremost theater company in the Philippines that stages Broadway and West End plays as well as local originals, we steadfastly commit ourselves to giving audiences a topnotch theater experience that celebrates all kinds of genres.”
Perez-Rubio was particularly excited about the two original Filipino musicals this 82nd season. “Miong,” an original musical with book and lyrics by Joy Virata first staged for the Philippine Centennial, makes its return to mark Emilio Aguinaldo’s 150th birth anniversary.
The other one, “The Quest for Adarna,” based on the Filipino epic “Ibong Adarna,” will be Repertory’s Theater for Young Audiences’ offering this year.
A number of new faces will grace the Repertory’s stage this season. Timmy Pavino, a contestant on the second season of "The Voice of the Philippines," will play Emilio Aguinaldo in "Miong." Another new talent, Andres Borromeo, will be featured in "Father’s Day."
Lastly, Perez-Rubio announced a strategic partnership between Rep and Cignal TV, starting with a documentary centered around "Miong" for the Aguinaldo sesquicentennial. Cignal will also professionally record Repertory plays with plans for future broadcast. Perez-Rubio remarked that this will be done to reach Filipinos from the provinces who have no access to live theater.
Here’s a preview of Repertory Philippines 82nd season:
"Miong" (February 15 to March 10)
I was able to catch "Miong" when it was staged back in 1998. I felt it was Repertory’s homage to "Les Misérables" by weaving marches and music to Philippine history. Timmy Pavino (in photo) did justice to Emilio Aguinaldo in the short preview.
"Father’s Day" (March 22 to April 14)
Miguel Faustman’s trademark cranky old Englishman makes a return to the stage in this play about a dysfunctional father-son relationship. Directed by Rep veteran Baby Barredo, this comedy that “looks at the modern family unit with unforgiving eyes” is the type of comedy that Rep does best.
"The Dresser" (May 3 to May 26)
Staging a West End-caliber production locally is no mean feat. But this is how Joy Virata excitedly described “The Dresser.” Rep casts theatrical powerhouses Audie Gemora and Teroy Guzman in this play set in World War II England that throws aside the curtain to reveal what drama goes on backstage. Directed by Obie and Drama Desk awardee Loy Arcenas, this is one play to catch if you like powerful and thought-provoking material.
"The Quest for the Adarna" (September 14, 2019 to January 12, 2020)
Rep’s Theater for Young Audiences presents this musical based on “Ibong Adarna” penned by Luna Griño Inocian with music by Rony Fortich. The story revolves three princes’ quest to find the mythical “Adarna” to cure their father from a mysterious illness. Rep hasn’t announced the final cast yet, but here’s hoping that Topper Fabregas, Noel Rayos, and Jef Flores who performed during the preview end up as the three princes in the actual run.