Culture calendar: 8 events to watch out for


Posted at Aug 16 2017 08:14 PM

MANILA -- Here are some of the shows you should look out for. 

1. “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag” The Musical

Arman Ferrer (in photo) will be playing Julio Madiaga, while Shiela Valderrama-Martinez and Lara Maigue will be alternating as Ligaya Paraiso in this musical adaptation of National Artist for Film Lino Brocka’s classic “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag.”

The musical is mainly about a distant love story, a loss of innocence and why pure love is not given room to grow and thrive in a dark, downtrodden big city. The musical is set to soaring music and meticulously choreographed dance under the direction of Joel Lamangan.

Tapped to play the other important characters in the musical are Floyd Tena, Noel Rayos, Rafa Seguion-Reyna, Aicelle Santos, and Dulce and Ima Castro alternating as Mrs. Cruz. 

The performances are slated for September 30, October 1, 4, 5 and October 6.

2. "Blackbird"

The winner of the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Play is set to surprise Filipino viewers next month. Written by David Harrower and directed by Topper Fabregas, "Blackbird" stars Bart Guingona and Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante in a "deeply complex portrayal of two people whose ruined lives are inextricably intertwined."

Performances dates will be on the first two weekends of September at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

3. "Matilda"

Following the highly successful run of "Kinky Boots," Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group is staging the musical "Matilda," with three talented girls -- Esang De Torres, Uma Martin, and Felicity Kyle Napuli -- alternating in the title role. 

The evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull will be played by Jamie Wilson, and Cris Villonco, who was recently seen as the lead in Atlantis’ "Fun Home," takes on the role of the lovable Miss Honey. The show is directed by Bobby Garcia.

Based on the beloved children’s novel by Roald Dahl, "Matilda" tells the story of a 5-year-old girl with psychokinetic powers who is ignored and unloved by her parents. As if things at home aren’t bad enough, Matilda and her classmates have to deal with the school headmistress Miss Trunchbull who hates children. 

The fun musical goes on stage at the Meralco Theater from November 10 to December 10. 

4. “Happiness is a Pearl”

“Happiness is a Pearl," written by Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Famer Rody Vera, will be having a rerun starting August 25 until September 17.

Direction by Paul Jake Paule, the play revolves around Kenji, a male courtesan; Maria, a poor Pinay Japayuki; and Mari, a married woman who falls in love with Kenji.

Shows will all be held at Arts Above, Artist Playground II, 112 West Venue Bldg., West Avenue, Quezon City.

5. Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) Youth Concert

The Cultural Center of the Philippines invites young people (ages 10-13 years old) to watch the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) with guest artists Joaquin Maria "Chino" Gutierrez and Adrian Nicolas C. Ong (in photo).

The concert aims to stimulate the children’s creativity as well as develop their understanding of symphonic music in a concert setting. The young audience will also have the chance to acquaint themselves with the four major families of instruments. Certain musical terms will also be explained during the concert.

Program includes J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus – Overture, and Pizzicato Polka, C. Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, R. Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves, Leroy Anderson’s Serenata and Arturo Marques’ Danzon No.2.

The show will be under the baton of Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura on August 24 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the CCP’s Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater). Concert ticket price is P200. 

6. PPO's 35th Concert Season

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra kicks off its 35th concert season with “Romancing the Classics” under the baton of Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura with pianist Yury Shadrin as soloist. This will be held on September 15 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater.

The program includes G. Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims Overture, F. Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat, and S. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.2 in E minor. 

As a soloist with orchestras, as well as in solo recitals, Russian-born Shadrin is widely known through South America, Asia, and the US as a formidable young talent.

7. Ballet Philippines’ “A Gala Celebration”

Ballet Philippines revives choreographic gems in “A Gala Celebration,” which features Filipino stars from various international dance companies. Among the guest artists are Candice Adea (formerly of BalletMet and Hong Kong Ballet), Marcelino Libao (Hamburg Ballet), Kris-Belle Paclibar (formerly of Cirque du Soleil), Ronelson Yadao (formerly of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre), Paul Ocampo and Chien-Ying Wang (OcampoWang Dance), and Jean Marc Cordero and Rita Angela Winder (Ballett

This production also marks the return of Alice Reyes, National Artist for Dance, as the company’s artistic director.

The featured works include Agnes Locsin’s “Salome,” Bam Damian’s “Minamahal, Sinasamba” (in photo), Edna Vida’s “Vision of Fire,” Norman Walker’s “Summer’s End” and an excerpt from the classical ballet “Raymonda.” 

“A Gala Celebration” runs at the CCP Main Theater from August 18-20.

8. Ballet Manila's 'Ibong Adarna'

Ballet Manila kicks off its 22nd performance season opening with the world premiere of Gerardo Francisco’s "Ibong Adarna." 

Inspired by the popular legend about a mythical bird whose singing can cure the sick, the two-act ballet casts principal dancer Katherine Barkman and soloist Abigail Oliveiro (in photo) alternating in the lead role, with West End musical theater actress Gia Macuja Atchison as the singing Adarna.

The show will feature flying sequences, innovative costumes and set design and most important, a well-envisioned choreography that breathes life to a one-of-a-kind Adarna.

"Ibong Adarna" will have shows on August 26-27 and September 2-3 at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.