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Friday, August 10, 2007

PILIPINAS CIRCA 1907


PILIPINAS CIRCA 1907


The landmark sarswela by Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson is revived in a new production as Tanghalang Pilipinos 21st theater season opener. PILIPINAS CIRCA 1907 will run at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino from August 10 to September 2, 2007. The production, set in the period prior to the national elections in 1907, tells about political conflict and family relations getting in the way of two pairs of star-crossed lovers when America was more in the heart.

Leading the remarkable cast are two of Manilas finest sopranos alternating as Leonor, Ana Feleo and Lani Mabilangan Ligot. Theaters most beloved leading men, Arnold Reyes and Miguel Castro, alternate as Leonors lover, the poet-journalist Emilio. Classical singer Nazer Salcedo and Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company member Bong Cabrera alternately play Andres, the supervisor of the familys tobacco factory. Alternating as Pura, Andres object of affection, are Aliw Best Supporting Actress nominee, Wenah Nagales and Sugar Hiccup lead vocalist Jeanette Reyna. The bane to the star-crossed lovers is Don Pardo, played by character actor Dido dela Paz, the Federalista whos at political odds with his family. Doa Pilar, the family matriarch, is alternately played by Mia Bolaos and Clotilde Lucero. Veteran actor Lu Veloso and comedian Garry Lim lend their comic talents as the balikbayan trumpet player Porong. Also in the cast is Andrew Cruz and Bong Embile (Juan/Pedro) , Eric dela Cruz and Roeder Camaag (Robert), Jean Judith Javier (Dorothy), and the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company.

The libretto is by Nicanor Tiongson, with music by Lutgardo Labad, Louie Pascasio, Chino Toledo, Lucien Letaba, Nicanor Abelardo, Scott Joplin and Barry Fagan. Musical direction is by Chino Toledo, with production design by Leo Abaya. Notable fashion designer, Danilo Franco, creates fabulous ternos for the production. Legendary Dance artist Edna Vida Froilan provides the choreography while Barbie Tan Tiongco handles technical direction. At the directors helm is Dennis Marasigan. The production is his first directorial assignment with Tanghalang Pilipino after assuming the companys Artistic Director seat. He also doubles as the productions lighting designer.

PILIPINAS CIRCA 1907 has all the elements that made the sarswela very popular with audiences love between gallant heroes and beautiful heroines, poignant solos and lavish choruses, comic songs and characters, period manners and domestic situations. But more than these, PILIPINAS CIRCA 1907 also has contemporary themes politics and tradition, human tragedy and conflict, and the search for realistic solutions that make a point for today while retaining the sarswelas old charms. This production caters to all ages and persuasions, but more specifically for music theater enthusiasts and students of Philippine history, literature, political science, and humanities. And plain old romantic lovers, too.



PILIPINAS CIRCA 1907

Libretto by Nicanor G.Tiogson

Music by Lutgardo Labad, Louie Pascasio,Chino Toledo,et al.

Directed by Dennis Marasigan
Political conflict and family relations get in the way of two pairs of star-crossed lovers when America was more than in the heart, in a new production of the landmark sarwela set in the period prior to the natioinal elections in 1907.

This production caters to all ages and persuasions, but more specifically for music theater enthuasiasts and students of Philippine history, literature, political science, and humanities.


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