Friday, November 11, 2005

Man of La Mancha, Repertory Philippines

Rating: 11111
I watched Repertory Philippines' gala premier of Dale Wasserman's "Man of La Mancha" (a musical based on Miguel de Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote" and directed by Baby Barredo) and what a musical it was!

This play was even more meaningful because it was dedicated to the late Bibot Amador, our very own Woman of La Mancha who requested this as the last show of the season before she passed away.

Everything was beautifully executed! From the very first scene with a rousing Flamenco by
Clara Ramona (plus points for her cool clappers!) to the live musical accompaniment of nothing less than the Manila Symphony Orchestra conducted by master Toti Molina (plus points for the snare drummer), and the choreography (Oh the choreography!) of Douglas Nierras, this play is definitely the best of Rep that I've ever seen (and i've seen the last two seasons!).

The acting of rep veterans
Michael Williams (as Don Quixote), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (as Aldonza/Dulthinea) and Robbie Guevara (as Sancho) were flawless (as usual!) but I could sometimes hear a slight Filipino accent from Sancho. The singing was perfect (plus points to whoever trained the whole cast) They really did justice to the music of Mitch Leigh.

It's hard to say what my favorite parts were because I was enthralled all through-out but I remember "Dulcinea" for its boisterous feel and "I'm Only Thinking Of Him" for its vocals.

It seems that each moment was engineered to be a photo-op as the blocking/choreography was always picture perfect. This play is total, absolute eye candy (thanks to
the lush sets by Jun Cumagun and the stage lighting of Lito Borromeo.)

The five pawikan points i'm giving this play doesn't do it any justice. They say it's madness-- "to see life as it is, and not as it should be!" but I think it would be a greater tragedy if you don't come out and see this play.

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