“KABUGAN,” the title of Teatro Tomasino’s twinbill production this school year, means ruckus. But two plays, “Kulay Rosas ang Dapit-hapon Minsan sa Isang Taon” and “Anino,” had little connection with the title.

“Kulay Rosas” is a translation by the late TV art director and actor RJ Leyran of American playwright John Guare’s “The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year,” an absurdist romantic drama about “lalaki” and “babae” (boy and girl). They meet one Sunday afternoon in a zoo. After telling the girl a series of outrageous lies, the boy makes her fall in love with him and the two proceed to see each other afterwards on the same place and time.

One afternoon, the girl asks the boy about the story he made about having a wife, but the boy ignores her question, but the boy’s wife turns out to be real and she sees the couple together and shoots the boy. Horrified, the girl cradles the dying boy in her arms before she too gets shot.

Director John Paul Gonzales said the play has really no resolution.

“It doesn’t really have a plot. It’s just their dream of being together,” he told the Varsitarian. “If you look beyond the character of the girl, she’s pitiful. When she saw the guy, she was hoping that maybe he was her savior.”

The acting (with Judilen Eduvane as the girl and Gexter Abad as the boy; alternates were Hazelyn Pereira and Sarah Lei Mortell as the girl, and Martin Joseph Remos and Richard Gozum as the boy) was mainly commendable. But the terror of the characters even as the boy’s wife was getting the gun from her bag was not convincing. There were problems with blocking; particularly clumsy was the climax, when an otherwise tense scene became comical because the characters were blocking one another.

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The stage design and lighting were not impressive. The papier-mâché props did not give enough verisimilitude to show a zoo setting. The lighting failed to enhance the dramatic atmosphere. But the set changes were smooth.

Sins of the faithful

“Anino,” (Shadow) is an original play written by Writersbloc member Allan Lopez and directed by Avengel Joseph Federis.

As the title suggests, the play is about the darkness of the past, about terrible secrets and lies. It is a play about religious fanaticism and hypocrisy trying to mask a terrible past of incest and parricide.

“(The) play seeks to show the flaws of the faithful,” Federis said. “Misguided faith can be dangerous.”

For a very dramatic play, the acting left much to be desired. There were instances in which the actors choked on the large chunks of dialogue.

But the stage design was well made. The lighting contrasted light and dark, evoking the play’s somber mood.

Enhancing the play was multimedia. A video in the center showed the events in the past and assisted in the development of the play.

But then again, the use of multimedia might indicate the rather inadequate stagecraft of the play itself, which tried to tell too many things at the same time. To some extent, the play was sensationalistic, reveling in the taboos it tried to expose. For example, aside from incest and parricide, watch out for infanticide. Apparently, this was what they meant by “ruckus” or “commotion.” Alphonsus Luigi E. Alfonso

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