MANILA, Philippines - A new take on National Artist Nick Joaquin's "Larawan" leads Tanghalang Pilipino's upcoming productions for its 25th anniversary.
Sixties movie greats Helen Gamboa and Gina Pareño were chosen to play the feuding sisters Paula and Candida in the February 2012 restaging of the Joaquin classic about pre-World War II Manila.
The Gamboa and Pareño tandem is the latest combination of actresses playing the leads in "Larawan" following Daisy Avellana and Naty Crame Rogers, Lolita Rodriguez and Charito Solis, Celeste Legaspi and Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Mikee Cojuangco and Dawn Zulueta.
Cris Villonco as Maria Clara, and Mark Bautista and Gian Magdangal, alternating as Crisostomo Ibarra, will open the Tanghalang Pilipino season this August with “Noli Me Tangere, The Musical.”
Also slated later this September are the re-stagings of Tony Perez's “Bombita,” “Sierra Lakes” and “Nobyembre, Noong Akala Ko'y Mahal Kita.”
The theater arm of the Cultural Center of the Philippines will also do a Filipino adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's “The Emperor's New Clothes.”
Of special interest is Tanghalang Pilipino's special production of “Walang Kukurap,” a suspense thriller which delves into graft and corruption in the Philippines based on research and interviews with whistle blowers and syndicate insiders.
Among those who did excerpts of the productions on Wednesday at Casino Español, Manila were Villonco, Bautista and Magdangal, as well as Roeder, Shamaine Centenera, Nonie Buencamino and the TP Actors Company.
Tanghalang Pilipino's board members Tony Boy Cojuangco and Tessa Prieto, as well as its artistic director, Nanding Josef, hope for a wider patronage for theater, even as they thanked artists for lending their talent for meager talent fees.