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Early birds: 5 shows to begin your 2017 theater habit

/ 02:30 AM January 07, 2017

‘Sa Wakas,’ Jan. 12-Feb. 5, Power Mac Center Spotlight, Makati City

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The critically acclaimed homegrown musical featuring the music of the rock band Sugarfree returns with a fresh cast. First presented in 2013, the show—created and produced by Charissa Pammit and written by Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan and Mariane Abuan—is copresented this year with the Manila Fringe Festival.

The story, set in current-day Manila about a young photographer and the two women he falls in love with, unreels to the virtual hit catalogue of Sugarfree (music and lyrics by lead vocalist Ebe Dancel), including the songs “Mariposa,” “Burnout,” “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak,” “Tulog Na,” “Hari ng Sablay,” “Makita Kang Muli”—and a new one created for the musical, “Bawat Daan.” Musical direction is by Ejay Yatco.

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“Sa Wakas” stars Pepe Herrera, Vic Robinson III, Caisa Borromeo, Justine Peña, Maronne Cruz and Cara Barredo, and is directed by Pamintuan. In the ensemble are Abi Sulit, Hans Dimayuga, Laui Guico and Moira Lozada.

Visit sawakasmusical.com.

Twin Bill Productions’ ‘Suicide, Incorporated,’ Jan. 15, Maybank Theater, Globe Auditorium, BGC Arts Center

Steven Conde’s well-received production of Andrew Hinderaker’s 2010 off-Broadway tragicomedy “Suicide, Incorporated,” which first ran in July 2016 at the Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 494 Lt. Artiaga St., San Juan City, returns for a one-time performance, this time at the newly opened Maybank Theater at the Globe Auditorium, BGC Arts Center in Taguig.

The play, about a fictional company whose main business is drafting suicide letters, features the returning cast of Mako Alonzo, Jeremy Domingo, Hans Eckstein, Bibo Reyes and Chino Veguillas.

Call 8919999.

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Spotlight Artists Centre’s ‘Dirty Old Musical,’ Jan. 19-28, Music Museum

The classic Manila Sound of the ’70s is the featured music of the jukebox musical “Dirty Old Musical,” written by Rody Vera and directed by Dexter Santos with musical direction by Myke Salomon, that was first presented by Spotlight Artists Centre in September last year. The show starred Robert Seña, John Arcilla, Michael Williams, Bimbo Cerrudo and Nonie Buencamino.

All four lead stars return for the musical’s rerun on Jan. 19-28, again at the Music Museum, with Carlo Orosa stepping in this time for Williams. Other cast members include Ima Castro, Fred Lo, Kitkat, Irra Cenina, Shalee Vicencio and Gabriela Pangilinan.

The musical, which pokes lighthearted fun at Filipino men’s midlife crisis, features OPM hits such as “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika,” “Nakapagtataka,” “Nais Ko,” “Kastilyong Buhangin” and “Pag Tumatagal Lalong Tumitibay,” among others.

Call 09199114444 or 8919999.

Ephesus Teatron Group’s ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ Jan. 20-22, Tanghalang Yaman Lahi Theater, Emilio Aguinaldo College

“Once Upon a Mattress,” a Broadway musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” is presented by Ephesus Teatron Group with Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Cara Barredo alternating as the Princess and Nino Alejandro playing the Prince. The show is directed by Steven Conde.

Running Jan. 20-22 (Friday-Sunday) at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Tanghalang Yaman Lahi Theater, Emilio Aguinaldo College, 1221 Gen. Luna St. Ermita, Manila, the show also stars, among others, Hans Eckstein, Chino Veguillas, Raymund Concepcion, Yanah Laurel, Onyl Torres and Jill Ita-as. Musical arrangements by Jill Pangilinan.

“Once Upon a Mattress” has music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer,  and book by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer and Dean Fuller. The original 1959 Broadway production featured the debut of Carol Burnett, and received two Tony Award nominations for Best Musical and Best Leading Actress. In 1996, Sarah Jessica Parker starred in a Broadway revival together with Jane Krakowski; the show was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

Call 8919999, 6321330 or 6469330;  visit www.ephesusteatron.com or e-mail sweetbutler@gmail.com.

Repertory Philippines’  ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,’ Jan. 20-Feb. 12, Onstage, Greenbelt 1

Repertory Philippines turns 50 this year, and opens its golden season with Christopher Durang’s enduring comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013.

The show—about three middle-aged unmarried siblings sorting out their tangled relationships in a takeoff on Chekhovian themes—is directed by Bart Guingona and stars Rep alumni Cherie Gil, Michael Williams, Roselyn Perez, Joaquin Valdes, Natalie Everett and Mica Pineda.

Call 8433570 or 8919999.

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TAGS: "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike", “Sa Wakas”, Bart Guingona, Dexter Santos, Dirty Old Musical, Ebe Dancel, musical, Once Upon a Mattress, Repertory Philippines, Rody Vera, Spotlight Artists Centre, Steven Conde, Sugarfree, Suicide Incorporated, Theater
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