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New original Filipino productions you need to watch out for

New original Filipino productions you need to watch out for

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  • Six new works from different theater production companies are already slated to premiere within the first half of the year
Theater productions 2024

This year is shaping up to be a year of originals, as we already have four productions lined up until March that feature original stories and music. 

March kicks off with Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Pingkian: Isang Musikal,” an original musical on the life and work of Emilio Jacinto. It features some of the biggest and most in-demand names in theater today: Vic Robinson as the eponymous Pingkian, Gab Pangilinan as his wife Catalina de Jesus, Bituin Escalante as Jacinto’s mother Josefa Dizon, Kakki Teodoro as Jose Rizal, and Paw Castillo as Andres Bonifacio. 

The musical, directed by Jenny Jamora, was created by playwright Juan Ekis and with music by Ejay Yatco. It is set to run from Mar. 1 to 24.

Also in time for Women’s Month, Ballet Philippines (BP) will be staging an original ballet entitled “Limang Daan,” featuring a libretto by filmmaker Moira Lang, and music by Erwin Romulo. The ballet covers various points in five centuries of Philippine history, highlighting the role women have played throughout. It is a celebration as well as a reclamation of “herstory,” as it tells our story through a feminist lens.

“It’s about the struggles, joy, and hopes of Filipinas then and now. It is about how we have transcended the unforgiving patriarchy to become the Filipinas we are today,” says BP president Kathleen Liechtenstein. “Limang Daan” opens on International Women’s Day, Mar. 8.

Come April, theater-goers will be treated to two jukebox musicals from two iconic OPM bands: Parokya ni Edgar and Ben&Ben. 

The Parokya ni Edgar musical, entitled “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy” will be staged by the Full House Theater Company starting April 26 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. Interestingly, it will feature four female leads: Felicity Kyle Napuli, Marynor Madamesila, Natasha Cabrera, and Tex Ordoñez-De Leon. The story revolves around the four women whose fates intertwine as they each find themselves at a “crossroads” in their lives.

Meanwhile, Ben&Ben’s emotive folk-pop tunes will accompany the stage adaptation of the iconic film “One More Chance” in the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) production. Set to open on April 12, the “One More Chance” musical is set to star Sam Concepcion and CJ Navato alternating for the role of Popoy, and Anna Luna and Nicole Omillo alternating for the role of Basha.

Barefoot Theatre Collaborative is also presenting a film-to-stage adaptation, this time of Kip Oebanda’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017 entry “Bar Boys.” The adaptation follows the lives of four friends in their journey to become defenders of justice in the country. The adaptation is written and directed by Pat Valera, with music by Myke Salomon. “Bar Boys” will run from May 3 to 19.

Rounding up the original productions for the first half of the year is the Company of Actors in Streamlined Theatre (C.A.S.T.) with their first original production, “Patintero sa Ayala Avenue,” written and directed by Rafael Jimenez. The play will open in June.

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