THE SPIRIT of Western theater, especially the works of the great Anton Chekhov, and that of Japan’s Kabuki theater, animated “Ang Dressing Room,” an outstanding production of the 40th theater season of Dulaang UP at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater at UP-Diliman.
The work was written by Japanese playwright Shimuzu Kunio, translated from the English version (“The Dressing Room,” also presented by DUP) by Nicolas Pichay, directed with brio by Alexander Cortez.
The leads were four actors: Aktres A and Aktres B (played with gay abandon by an unrecognizable Roeder Camañag and Andoy Ranay), and Aktres C (Gwyn Guanzon), and Aktres D (Ian Ignacio alternating with Jon Abella).
Aktres A and B, dressed in traditional Japanese costumes, haunt the dressing room where they once played glorious roles from Japanese and Western plays while Aktres C and D are living contemporary actresses.
“Ang Dressing Room” was a riot of a play, with crackling dialogue. Kudos to the directors, the players and the ensemble who looked like Ninja warriors then morphed into ballroom dancers! It demands a repeat run for the next DUP season.
Italian soprano Elena Monti started cold in the first act of her concert at the Cultural center of the Philippines (CCP) Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino, although she was accompanied by pianist Raul Sunico, no less, and at one point by tenor Ronan Ferrer. But in the second act, she morphed into a first-class opera diva, the kind that stars in “La Scala” (which she does).
The Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) led by Arturo Molina held a highly successful concert of delectable Russian music, “Russian Romanticism,” at a new venue, the Power Mac Center Spotlight, a small intimate black theater with good acoustics, at Circuit Makati (the former Santa Ana Racetrack).
The festival “Dance Mnl” was a smashing success, judging by the highlight event “The Winners’ Circle,” where the young ones were just as dazzling as the more mature, award-winning dancers.
The dancing—notably by the young Jasmine Cruz, the young Rench Isaac Soriano, Katherine Barkman and Elpidio Magat, Regina Magbitang and Matthew Davo, Xiao Mitchao and Akira Lydia Abao, and Veronica Ylagan and Jared Tan—left one breathless. Organizers are planning a bigger second festival in 2018.