MANILA, Philippines—Tanghalang Pilipino opens ”Pahimakas Sa Isang Ahente,” a Tinio translation of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” this September 26 and runs until October 19, Thursdays to Sundays, at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute. Before you catch the Tanghalang Pilipino production, here are eight interesting things to know:
- Death of a Salesman is on its 65th Performance year! It was first performed on Broadway in February 1949.
- Two Modern Classics opened on Broadway on the same decade. “Death of a Salesman” opened on Broadway in 1949, two years after Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” – the play-turned-into-film featuring the iconic performance of Marlon Brando – opened in 1947.
- Top 1 Play. “Death of a Salesman” figured number 1 in the Top 50 Plays of the past 100 years by Entertainment Weekly in 2013.
- Modern tragedy. Death of a Salesman to Modern Tragedy (The Tragedy of the Common Man) is Oedipus Rex to Greek Tragedy.
- Famous Actors and Willy Loman. The famous “Willy Loman” character was played by Oscar-winning actors Dustin Hoffman in a 1985 CBS television film and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a 2012 Broadway revival. Fernando Josef and Jonathan Tadioan alternate in the Filipino production, “Pahimakas Sa Isang Ahente”.
- Famous Actors and Biff Loman. The famous “Biff Loman” character on the other hand, was played by Hollywood actors: John Malkovich (also in the same 1985 CBS television film with Dustin Hoffman) and Andrew Garfield in the 2012 Broadway revival with Philip Seymour Hoffman. Yul Servo and Marco Viaña alternate in the Filipino production.
- Willy’s age and the “younger” actors who play him. Philip Seymour Hoffman was 44 when he played the 63 year-old “Willy Loman” in the 2012 Broadway revival. Lee J. Cob, (“the most heralded of all Willy Lomans”) was six years younger than Hoffman when he originated the role in 1949 at 38 years old. Tadioan plays the role this September 2014 at 29 years old! Fernando Josef age-appropriately plays the role at 66.
- From Happy to Willy. Josef, who plays “Willy Loman” this September, was originally slated to play “Happy Loman” (now to be played by Actors’ Company scholar Nicolo Magno) in a production of “Pahimakas Ng Isang Ahente” for PETA to be directed by Lino Brocka; with Vic Silayan as “Willy Loman”; Anita Linda as “Linda” (now to be played by Gina Pareño alternating with her daughter 2013 Gawad Buhay “Best Featured Actress” winner Racquel Pareño); and Mario O’Hara as “Biff Loman” (now to be played alternately by Yul Servo and Actors Company’ member Marco Viaña). The production had begun its initial reading and blocking at the Philam Theater along UN Avenue before it was cancelled due to the untimely demise of Vic Silayan.
“Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” runs at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater), from September 26 until October 19, Thursday to Sundays, with 3 p.m. (matinee) and 8 p.m. (gala) shows. Tickets are priced at Php800.00 and Php600.00. Discount is available for students, senior citizens, government employees, military employees and PWDs. (Please present valid ID). Tickets are available at Ticketworld outlets (891-9999), CCP Box Office (832-3704). For more details, call Tanghalang Pilipino (832-1125, local 1620-1621 or 0971-750-0107).
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