Teatro Tomasino staged a twin-bill production, Pasakalye, last Feb. 10 to 12 in the Albertus Magnus Auditorium, dwelled on the themes of unrequited love and mixed motives.

Trabaho Soliloquies, written by Jologs scriptwriter Ned Trespeces and directed by Teatro’s Gervin Paulo Macion, revolves around four job interviewees stuck with each other inside a room, waiting for the big announcement on who gets the managerial position they are applying for. Fighting tooth and nail for the job are Doming (Nursing student Richard Gozum and Teatro alumni Jim Paolo Salvador alternating), who badly needs the money from the job to augment the shoestring budget of his family in the province; the brawny, rich Joaquin (Arts and Letters’ Eduardo Siman and Commerce’s Bernardino Lim), who wants to earn enough money for night-outs with club girls; Carmen (Artlets’ Nina Belle Gavan and Fine Arts’ Trisha Erika Gesilva), an ex-junkie who wants to redeem her self-worth; and stiff, pompous Jervis (Teatro alumnus Carlos Buendia Jr. and Roland Angelo Navarro).

The actors did justice to Trespeces’ story, which relies much on the controlled delivery of the soliloquies, which accentuate the comic antics of Gervis, the machismo of Joaquin, the disturbed behavior of Carmen, and the cluelessness of Doming.

The play showed the desperation of Filipino job-seekers. And as in the play’s ending, most Filipinos end up not having the job at all.

Kuwan, written by multi-awarded Thomasian writer Rodolfo “Jun” Lana and directed by Zoelle Cate Damag, deals with the mutual quandary between Alel (Communication Arts’ Anna Angeli Dee and Teatro alumna Jacqueline Nacu) and her gay best friend, Leonard (Artlets’ Gino Ramirez and Teatro alumnus Carlos Buendia Jr.), who suddenly falls in love with Aleli. But when Aleli is set to tie the knot with another man, Leonard attempts to shift their five years of friendship to a romantic relationship by convincing Aleli that he has changed and that he is hopelessly in love with her.

Catholic vote is conscience vote

Considering the spate of unconventional gay love stories, Kuwan probably has unconsciously patterned itself after the trend, which makes it a bit predictable. Since it’s mainly a dialogue between two characters, the play nearly drags. But the actors’ convincing portrayals save most of the scenes from being boring.

Technicolor dreamcoat

After mounting celebrated musicals such as Aida, West Side Story, and Lés Misérables, Mediartrix takes on another show of stellar proportions with Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Albertus Magnus Auditorium last Feb. 5 and 6.

Who does not know the story of Joseph? This is the question that plays in the mind of the teacher-narrator (Kirstene Galvez and Catherine Gutierrez) as she faces a number of eager schoolchildren. She happily sings out the answer to her question.

Joseph (Anjo Resurreccion) is one of the 11 sons of the faithful Jacob, who gives his favored son a beautiful, rainbow-hued coat, much to the envy of his brothers. So they strip Joseph off his treasured coat and drop him in a well, and later sell him to slave traders under the Pharaoh Potiphar. But Joseph endears himself to the Pharaoh by divining the meaning of the former’s dream, prophesying seven years of famine for Egypt.

The pharaoh forthwith appoints Joseph overseer and the young man successfully steers Egypt through the years of famine. It’s only a matter of time for Joseph to be reunited with his father and brothers.

The cast performed the numbers well, provoking laughter and delight from the audience at the right junctures. But the makeshift props and threadbare set reinforced the impression that this was a low-budget student production.

To the death of the sign

No matter. Mediartrix and Teatro Tomasino showed that despite the paucity of resources, their productions didn’t lack for talent and verve in music and theater. Andrew Isiah P. Bonifacio and F. C. Garcia


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