The incredible wonders of technology enable us to digitally work while being on vacation anywhere in the world. I’m in Melbourne, Australia together with my youngest daughter Athena and her classmates from the Beacon School attending the Global Round of the World Scholars Cup. A robust internet connection allows me to work on this column while balancing mommy duties and of course, shopping.
The week before we left was filled with exciting highlights. I was particularly excited to do a digital promotion video for “M Butterfly” together with comedian Jervi Lee, with his on-screen persona KaladKaren Davila. Jervi does an incredible impersonation of ABS-CBN newscaster Karen Davila. The digital clip promotes the upcoming production of “M Butterfly,” David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play.
“M Butterfly” is produced by Tony Award-winning, Filipino theater producer Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. This staging of the 1988 Tony Best Play Awardee features the theater comeback of RS Francisco, and will be directed by internationally acclaimed Kanakan-Balintagos aka Auraeus Solito.
Raymond Francisco, then known in theater circles as RS Francisco, became the toast of the Manila theater scene in 1990 when he portrayed the demanding role of Song Liling in the play, produced back then by Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. This time, Raymond is both co-producer and actor. He also announced the numerous other organizations that will benefit from the fifteen-show run of “M. Butterfly.”
This is a spoiler alert, so skip this paragraph if you must. Most theatergoers already know though that “M Butterfly” is about Song Liling, a Chinese opera diva, and René Gallimard, a French diplomat, who fall in love, except that the diva is a he.
Acting opposite Francisco as Gallimard is Olivier Borten. They are joined in the cast by Norm Mc Leod as Toulon, Lee O’Brian as Marc, Rebecca Chuaunsu as Comrade Chin, Pinky Amador as Helga, and Maya Encila as Renee. “MButterfly” in Manila runs at Maybank Performing Arts Theater from September 13 to 30. Tickets available at www.ticketworld.com.ph.
Another interesting upcoming production is the contemporary dramedy, “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” by Lucas Hnath. After a year long hiatus, Red Turnip Theater is back with its Fifth Season. The pioneering theater company, devoted to its vision of “championing the straight play,” returns to its roots with this production. Founded by actors Ana Abad Santos, Topper Fabregas, Jenny Jamora, Cris Villonco and Rem Zamora in 2013, Red Turnip is now celebrating five years of critically acclaimed productions, cementing its place as one of Manila’s premier theater companies.
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo makes her Red Turnip debut as Nora and is sure to deliver another super-charged performance in the title role. Hailed as “The First Lady of Philippine Theater,” Menchu’s long list of leading lady roles includes award-winning turns in “Next to Normal,” “Annie,” and “Sweeney Todd.”
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” marks the directorial debut of Cris Villonco. A leading lady in her own right, Cris has bagged multiple awards and recognition for her performances on stage and on film. She holds the distinction of having the most number of Gawad Buhay awards of any actor, bagging five for her performances in “Hamlet,” “D’ Wonder Twins of Boac,” “Noli Me Tangere,” “Bituing Walang Ningning,” and Red Turnip Theater’s “Constellations.”
Red Turnip Theater is moving into a new space with “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” The production will be at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, right at the heart of BGC. The 70-seater Zobel De Ayala Recital Hall is sure to be the perfect, intimate venue to provide the theatrical experience that Red Turnip is known for.
The Gala Night of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” is on September 15, once again sponsored by FILA, as part of their continuous support for the Philippine theater community. Shows run on weekends until October 7. Tickets available at www.ticketworld.com.ph or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, check www.facebook.com/RedTurnipTheater.
FILA has been supporting the arts for many years now. The leading brand in sports shoes also supports the Red Charity Gala.
The hottest and most awaited FILA heritage shoes to date, the comeback of the Disruptor, was officially released by FILA Philippines last Saturday in a pop-up inside Sole Slam store in Poblacion, Makati. Patricia Reyes and Asaf Goren hosted the launch of “FILA Disruptor 2: An All Femme Release Gathering Party.” The party was a blast, rain or not, as fans came to get their hands on the FILA Disruptor 2, as well as dance along with Asaf, an international model, dancer and singer.
Among the many new donors and supporters of the Red Charity Gala is Philippine National Bank. I was at the recent opening of their newest branch at Bonifacio Global City and I was amazed at the growth and vivaciousness of one of our country’s oldest banks. Congratulations to PNB!
September is going to be a very busy month with many social activities. Watch out for the Philippine Cancer Society’s 15th Best Dressed Women of the Philippines Annual Awards Ball. The annual fundraiser of PCS will be held on September 20 at the Grand Ballroom of Okada Manila.
Leading the glamorous fundraising activity are BDWP event chairperson and Honorary Consul of Angola Helen Ong, adviser to the committee Johnny Litton, Roselle Rebano, Mabel Abano, Betty Chua, Roy Gonzales, Mario Katigbak, Marian Ong, Elaine Villar and Antonio Guerrero.
We can all hardly wait to see who will make it to the list this year!
More pics on Instagram @seaprincess888.