5 reasons to go to the theater this month

By Fidea Encarnacion, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 12 2014 03:15 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2014 10:44 PM

MANILA – Last year's super busy theater calendar extends to 2014 with five productions kicking off the new year, including the much-awaited international touring production of the Broadway hit "Wicked."

Here's what you should watch out for in January alone.

Wait Until Dark

Liesl Batucan in "Wait Until Dark." Photo: Handout

What: "Wait Until Dark," from Repertory Philippines, is about a blind housewife Suzy who finds herself being terrorized by three strange men who were looking for a doll that is in Suzy’s possession. Little does she know that the reason the men wanted the doll her husband gave her was because it contained heroin. Follow Suzy as she tries to outwit the strangers and protect her life despite her handicap.

Who: Liesl Batucan in the role played by Audrey Hepburn on the big screen

Where and when: Onstage at Greenbelt 1 from January 17 to February 9


A scene from "Rivalry." Photo: Handout

What: This original Filipino musical from 4th Wall Theater Company revolves around two families in the year 1968, when Ateneo and La Salle were still part of the NCAA with other schools such as Letran, San Beda, Mapua and Jose Rizal. "Rivalry" ran for 38 performances in 2012, with 16 additional shows in 2013, both at the Meralco Theater. It won best music for a Filipino musical for composer Ed Gatchalian in the 2012 BroadwayWorld Awards, and also won Best Musical Direction for Gatchalian and Best Stage Direction for Jaime Del Mundo at the 26th Aliw Awards.

Read our review of the original run here.

Who: Athena Tibi, Fred Lo, Red Concepcion, OJ Mariano, Juliene Mendoza, Pinky Marquez, Raymund Concepcion, Sheila Francisco and Noel Trinidad.

Where and when: Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) on January 17 (8 p.m.), January 18 (3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and January 19 (3 p.m).


A scene from "Red." Photo: Handout

What: Abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko was commissioned to paint murals for the Seagram Building on Park Avenue. After completing the work, he decided to keep the paintings and return the payment he has received for making it. He later donated his art to Tate Gallery in London, and killed himself. "Red," which was first mounted by The Necessary Theatre in early 2013, revolves on the conversations between Rothko and his assistant, revealing the reasons why he decided to keep the commissioned paintings instead.

Read our review of the original run here.

Who: Bart Guingona and Joaquin Valdes

Where and when: Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater) from January 31 to February 9

Rak of Aegis

The cast of "Rak of Aegis." Photo: Handout

What: From the flooded village of Villa Venizia, follow Aileen as she discovers love while finding ways to support her family. "Rak of Aegis" from the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) centers on the Filipino’s ability to cope with calamities and how music changes their perception during hard times. Featuring the chart-topping hits of the rock band Aegis like “Luha,” “Halik” and “Basang Basa sa Ulan,” this musical packs a lot of fun and classic Pinoy music.

Read more about "Rak of Aegis" here.

Who: Isay Alvarez, Robert Sena, Ro Alfonso, Jet Barrun, Kakai Bautista, Poppert Bernadas, Gimbey Dela Cruz, Neomi Gonzales, Pepe Herrera, Carlon Matobato, Julienne Mendoza, John Moran, Jerald Napoles, Gie Onida, Phillip Palmos, Myke Salomon, Paeng Sudayan, and Gold Villar

Where and when: PETA Theatre Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City from January 31 to March 9 (Fridays to Sundays).



What: A re-imagining of the classic children's book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Wicked, the Broadway musical "Wicked" is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Set in the Land of Oz, way before Dorothy stared her adventure, the Australian touring production centers on two sisters -- Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch -- who meet in sorcery school as they discover more about themselves and each other.

Who: The 70-member Australian touring company is led by Jemma Rix as Elphaba and Suzie Mathers as Glinda.

Where and when: Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater from January 22 to February 23.