The toughest, coldest, least-likely-to-care-about-it person deep inside wants a partner to love. Someone to show interest in him, shower him with attention, spend energy and time to understand him, and to have sex with.
Opera superstar Tito Merelli pauses midway through opening the bedroom door to eavesdrop on a hushed, rushed conversation between his wife, Maria and another man (who, unbeknownst to him, is Carlo Nucci — newest opera darling and boyfriend of his daughter, Mimi). Tito tarries till he confirms his great fear: Maria is having an affair.
This is not true, however. What Tito has witnessed are passionate gestures, words and escape stratagems taken out of their proper context and into his own unassailable betrayal narrative.
Ken Ludwig enjoys this game of hide-and-seek in A comedy of tenors, currently staged by Repertory Philippines under the direction of Miguel Faustmann. A Paris concert featuring the world's leading tenors — Merelli, Nucci, and Jussi Björling — is about to start in three hours. As farce would have it, Björling has to withdraw from the performance due to his mother’s sudden death, forcing producer Henry Saunders to hire his assistant-slash-son-in-law, Max (whom he has …
Lauren Gunderson is a rather demanding playwright. To put it another way, her imagination demands an equally creative team of artists to translate her decades-spanning, locations-shifting story — that centers on astronomer, Henrietta Leavitt — from the page onto the stage.
Silent sky moves between 1900 to 1920, and back and forth the Harvard Observatory, Wisconsin, Cambridge, an ocean liner on the Atlantic, and a star field. Bridging the gaps in time and space are Gunderson's cinematic directions: "Margaret fades away;" "Peter and the Harvard Observatory are swept away from her as the Leavitt home takes its place;" "The room falls away as they run off;" "Time is passing as the sky fills up in swatches." A curious heroine and compelling script aside, how the set will transition from scene to scene is something to look forward to in any staging of this drama.
Joy Virata takes on the mantle of re-building Silent sky's dream-like world as she…
That was a long first act. When Berger (Michael Schulze) introduced himself—his version of a handshake: asking a kind lady to hold the trousers he just took off—I thought we were off to a good start. Schulze's frenetic ways were captivating, and his openness, infectious. There's a hippie, I said to myself.
Excitement, however, dissolved into dizzying confusion. Tribe leader, Claude (Markki Stroem) entered with faux—not to mention annoying but maybe that was the point—Manchester accent, and Sheila (Caisa Borromeo) convinced everyone that she believes in love. Tried to. More tribe members walked onto and away from center-stage, dropping a thought or two about life, sex, war, race, pills, grass, hair... They rambled on and on until the curtains closed for intermission.
Repertory Philippines culminates its 50th anniversary celebrations with 1960's musical, Hair, directed by Chris Millado. For someone who hasn't seen any of the show's previous incarnations, Hair appe…
Sometimes I think about dance. Not that thing we poor souls do at the club, but that which is conceived by a choreographer and realized by a dancer. How the art form seems to evade preservation and discovery.
Stumbling upon a great modern ballet piece is not as easy as stumbling upon, say, a great novel by an obscure author or great music from a band in the ‘70s. Sure there are licensed recordings of performances available in stores — limited as they may be — and there’s YouTube and other video-streaming services to scour (if you want something recorded by naughty, rule-bending audiences), but my impression is that dance doesn’t bother as much with reproduction and distribution the way other popular art forms do.
From where I am, there’s no better person to ask whether or not this is an actual problem of the industry than National Artist for Dance, Alice Reyes. “It’s not a problem, it’s a fact. It’s something we have to live with,” a fired up Reyes told me during an open rehearsal of …
I was already having my chicken empanada heated when I saw at the bottom shelf a familiar figure in an unfamiliar, but expected price (guess what, from Php40 to Php65.)
My candid self almost asked the barista, "Did you bring it back, because I kept asking for it?")
What stopped me from asking was, I didn't need an answer. But more practically, I did not want to embarrass the barista--and my self.
But I always need that. That feeling, I mean, that every event in the now, I have a hand on. Because it's as if all has been a machination of chance. And while most of the time I believe in what they say about you engineering your chances, the universe has a way of making you see your self so little. So little you squint your eyes trying to find your self, trying to find your self, the universe disappears.
UPDATE (5 Feb, 2343): I finally asked the barista last night (at the Starbucks, Taft branch--I always feel at home there.) …
An audience member asked on opening night why the iconic (her word) Beauty and the Beast theme was left out of the Repertory Philippines production of the musical. She was, of course, referring to the Alan Menken hit from the Walt Disney label. Rep could sigh in dismay, having categorically stated that their show adopts a different version of the fairy tale; but maybe, just maybe, no one would miss the popular movie tracks had the Michael Valenti score been equally enchanting.
The Laughter Song has got quite a hook (that’s still lodged in my head). As for the rest of the songs, they barely excite the ear, however pleasant-sounding. It doesn’t help that the cast — led by Alana Vicente (Beauty) and Jos Jalbuena (Beast) — seem to be in short supply of energy, unconvinced themselves of what they’re crooning about.
What Rep’s Beauty and the Beast has going for it is: everything else. Bonsai Cielo’s costumes are visual puzzles (Do you put on, slip or morph into a table dress? Is that actua…
'Absolute attention is prayer.'
Over lunch I was reading Alan Bradley's 'A red herring without mustard' and the main character, Flavia, said something similar: Thinking and prayer are much the same thing… Prayer goes up and thought comes down—or so it seems. As far as I can tell, that’s the only difference.My own thoughts switched between the food, the book, and the window. It was a nice meal of chicken roulade I was having while outside the skies were drab for two o’clock. It didn't take long before rain fell.
Back to the book, now dessert. A few bites and pages after, my head turned again to the window. The rain stopped, but I squinted at the grounds, checking for traces of water.
There appeared to be none and before I could even spot a mirage, my view gradually shone yellow.
It was the first time nature made me smile the way a human being does—slowly, unexpectedly.
So, had a little photo shoot today. Whenever I meet someone new and they say, "Where have I seen you before?" or "Have we met before?", I reply with, "I used to be a print model," because I have a sense of humor, and to check if I could actually pass for an ex-cover girl.
I never understood remixes. My literary background had me believing in ultimate, untouchable forms. Any rework or editing is a step toward that final draft. Not to say that I don't enjoy a good remix when I hear one. But now that I think about it, I am fascinated by this open and pliant nature of the song—something counter to literature, in particular the tyrannical art of poetry.
Erol Alkan is making me think about it. Sometime in 2012, six years since its release, I don't feel like dancin' found its way to my player, looped for weeks. Five more years passed till I discovered Alkan's Carnival of light rework. What I heard was something subdued but exciting. How he stretched a pleasant moment, toyed with it, built on it. And when I thought it would simply go on for ever—which I didn't mind—he brought the best bit of lyrics out, leaving me with nostalgic aftertaste.
This month he shared a playlist containing songs in his "Reworks Volume 1" compilation. W…
18. “The way to get things done [is] to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens,” says Richard in the Alex Garland novel, The Beach. That bit didn’t need underlining; it was stuck in my head since. For the longest time I dreamed of traveling to Japan and of taking a proper vacation: something completely mine, well-planned but also aimless. I never thought that I had the resources nor the guts to fly to a land which language I don’t speak, until Justice announced a world tour, with appearances at Summer Sonic 2017.
19. Last April, Coachella streamed Justice’s full set, giving me a taste of Woman Worldwide. What I digested was theater, where each element — may it be aural, visual, lexical — meant something to another element to another element. Everyone talked and will talk about the lights: because they don’t just dazzle, they communicate.
20. Once you hear the live version of a Justice song, you’ll forget about t…