viernes, 28 de febrero de 2014

Philippines opened Cock - Red Turnip Theater

Cock is a funny name for a gay theater play, or isn't it gay?

Rem Zamora makes his debut as a director with a hit!

Attended the press night thanks to the always lovable PR Mr. Toots Tolentino at White Space in Pasong Tamo Extension Makati, Philippines. The place chosen to debut Cock.

The title promises interest, doesn't it? I imagined a bold modern contemporary piece and nobody took of their clothes (crying face emoticon should go here). Joking!

I'm so glad I went. 'Coz certainly it is contemporary theater and it says a lot about the new theater wave spreading in Manila.

Theater theater and pure theater, 'coz there are no props, no sets or no fancy costume changes. Simply the actors telling the story on "stage".

White Space is an art gallery turned into an improvised off Broadway style of theater. The audience sits all around the stage, which is down in the center. So for a start it's a different experience for most theater goers of the Philippines, so go experience the space and a new kind of theater proposal.

At the beginning I disapproved the use of microphones in theater once again, but then when I heard voices from the hall I realized it's not an isolated space and it needs the sound system in order to maintain the attention inside.

So after scene 3 I was inside the play and totally interested as it got more and more intense until the last moment.

I can't spoil much from the content so you can really enjoy it yourself.

I found interesting that director Rem Zamora chose to use only the power of actors with no extra help in order to tell this story about sex preferences and how much we humans tend to complicate our lives 'till the point of making us unhappy. 

And also about how other people try to manipulate us in order to achieve their own goals.

Made me think. 

Very contemporary 'coz now more than ever things are not anymore black or white and people need not to choose or give so many explanations to anyone anymore.

The actors did a fantastic realistic job. Congrats to Audie Gemora, Topper Fabregas, Niccolo Manahan and Jenny Jamora.

It's very intense, full of emotions and strategies that force the actor to think and output sincerity and full concentration. They all certainly did.

This is good quality theater and I look forward to more productions of Red Turnip Theater.

Catch COCK on the following dates:
Friday 9pm shows on March 7, 14, 21, 28 & April 4
Saturday 8pm shows on March 8, 15, 29 & April 5
Saturday 4pm show on April 5
Sunday 4pm shows on March 9, 16, 23 & April 6
Special Closing Gala at 8pm on April 6

Venue: Whitespace, Chino Roces Ave. Ext. Makati City

Visit TicketWorld (  to grab your tickets now!

lunes, 24 de febrero de 2014

Recommended theater experience: Osage County by Repertory Philippines

Part of the job of an actor is to watch a lot of theater. I give the play an 8 out of 10.

So I went to watch last production of Repertory Philippines, the number one English theater company of the Philippines.

I was glad to see it was a North American play instead of a British one coz I have a hard time understanding the British accent when I watch regularly to be sincere.

A British man who visited the Philippines told me that us Filipinos have a weird way of faking the British accent. He said we sound like Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins coz actors tend to imitate the accent of those days, which differs a lot from the accent of nowadays English citizens. 

Not me tho, coz I can't catch a British accent at all. I guess that's why I'm normally type casted as I hear a thousand times. Happy playing my Spanish characters in Filipino films tho. Keep them coming.

I was happy also to see the theater packed with teenager students. Very cool. That means there's interest among young people, there is hope for straight theater plays in Manila!

The play takes three hours and a half with intermissions, two of them. And you know what? It didn't seem too long nor I fell asleep even when I went being sleepy.

I still feel it's weird to watch straight plays with microphones used. I wish the actors could just project their voices and fill up the theater in the natural traditional theater acting way. Coz you know? The acting is different this way. The delivery is theatrical, which differs from TV acting.

I guess there's not enough actors in the Philippines with enough training to project their voices for theater. Coz I encountered a lot during these two years and a half working here that act with small voices or even whisper in theater as they do in life or screen acting. So I guess directors don't really miss the projection.

Acting was fantastic. And the stage design by Miguel Faustmann is super realistic and pleasant to see.

Some actors smoke on stage real cigarettes while others have electronic cigars, which is a weird contrast. I propose direction decides one only way for all.

And there was an actor, Richard Cunanan, who I didn't know and did a fantastic job. Just thought it might be a miss cast coz he is supposed to be at least 60 years old, but seems he's 30-40. Think it's a director's decision tho not to age him probably. A little weird. And I repeat, great believable acting.

A very intense play, a lot of conflicts, tension, I almost even cried with some interpretations from the actors who were concentrated and kept the character intense almost all the time.

A pool of experienced actors really. 

Thankful to see Pinky Amador back on the stage of Rep after 7 years of absence.

Do I recommend it? Yes. Go watch it. And soon you'll be ablle to compare it with the screen version with Merryl Streep.