Exclusive First Look at FILIPINAS 1941 by Philippine Stagers Foundation
Manila, Philippines--BroadwayWorld.com brings you a first glimpse at the Commission of Higher Education (CHED)-endorsed new original musical in Tagalog FILIPINAS 1941: Isang Dulayawit, produced by the prolific, commercially successful grassroots theater company Philippine Stagers Foundation ("Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela," "Cory ng EDSA").
FILIPINAS 1941, which unlocks the controversy surrounding the relationship between Manuel L. Quezon, president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935-1944) and Douglas MacArthur, an American five-star general and field marshal of the Philippine Army during the Second World War (1939-1945), is historical fiction in form. At the core of it are two fictional characters, Filipino brothers Nestor and Felipe. Nestor, played by Patrick Adrian Libao and Kenneth Sadsad, is a well-educated businessman who runs a shoe factory, which supplies boots to the Imperial Japanese Army. Felipe, on the other hand, played by Vincent M. Tañada and Kevin Posadas, is an illiterate farmer who becomes a guerilla leader.
Just like in previous productions of the theater group, Tañada, who also writes the libretto and directs the new musical, capitalizes on his longtime creative and production team members: Pipo Cifra, music composer and musical director (who conducts the University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra at certain performances); Jeff Ambrosio, production manager and set designer; John San Antonio, stage manager and choreographer; Emy Tañada, costume designer (who makes all the costumes by hand sewing each piece); Art Gabrentina, technical director and lighting desginer; Junil Mortel, prop designer; and Val Sevilla, sound spinner.
Other cast members are Cindy Liper, Nestor's wife, Emilia; Adelle Ibarrientos-Lim, Sophia, Felipe's love interest; Jomar Tañada Bautista, Manuel L. Quezon; JP Lopez, Jose P. Laurel, president of the Second Philippine Republic, a Japanese puppet state; Chris Lim, Douglas MacArthur; Raymond Rances, Tomoyuki Yamashita; Regie de la Vega, Masaharu Homma; and Poul Garcia, Masanobu Tsuji; among others.
Below's photographs, taken by the author, were shot during yesterday's preview performance at SM City North EDSA Cinema 9. Students and faculty members at Access Computer College had the house filled to the rafters. Robert Manuguid Silverio, blogger and publicist, and JC Cinco Nigado, film critic and supervising producer for Brillante Mendoza's 2008 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or nominee "Serbis" (Service), also attended.
FILIPINAS 1941 will officially open to the public on Sunday, July 20, at the 900-seater Saint Cecilia's Hall, Saint Scholastica's College along Leon Guinto Street in Malate, Manila.
The production is expected to travel around the Philippines and will hold special performances among members of various sprawling Filipino communities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar (tentatively Hong Kong and Japan).
For an updated shedule of performances, like Philippine Stagers Foundation on Facebook.
Photos: Oliver Oliveros
Patrick Adrian Libao
Jomar Tanada Bautista, Allence Villanueva, Chris Lim
Vincent M. Tanada
Jerie Sanchez, Rotsen Etolle
Vincent M. Tanada, John Rey Rivas
Vincent M. Tanada
Cindy Liper, Patrick Adrian Libao
The full cast of FILIPINAS 1941