Photo Flash: CARE DIVAS At Rep's Onstage Theatre

Co-written by Jude Cartalaba

Manila, Philippines, May 4, 2012 – "Care Divas," Philippine Educational Theater Association's (PETA) newest hit musical about five overseas Filipino male caregivers who transform into drag performers at night, written by Palanca Award-winning playwright Liza Magtoto, wowed theatergoers anew during its three-day run held recently at Repertory Philippines' (Rep) Onstage Theatre in Makati City.  Both PETA and Rep are celebrating their 45th anniversary this year.

The Pinoy (Filipino) day-care workers were played by Melvin Lee (Chelsea), Vincent De Jesus (Shai), Ricci Chan and Jerald Napoles (Kayla), Dudz Teraña and Jason Barcial (Thalia), and Buddy Caramat (Jonee). Joy Virata, Paul Holmes, Myke Salomon, Angeli Bayani, and Eric Dela Cruz were also part of the main cast. See photos of the cast in action below!

As we have seen the show several times already, we noticed at least three things that were different with the production at Onstage Theatre compared with its previous stagings at PETA Theatre Center in Quezon City: Firstly, the stage was huge; the production team had to adjust some of set designer Leo Abaya's original set pieces. Secondly, the creative department had to incorporate additional ensemble parts portrayed by Josh Hernandez, Jay Gonzaga, Orlando Sol, Joan Bugcat, Marie Gold Villar, and Icee Po. Lastly, Joy Virata, Rep's resident theater stalwart, had essayed the characters of Sara and Adara, formerly played by Cecille Garucho, PETA's president.

Directed by Maribel Legarda, "Care Divas" has remained disarmingly funny and honest. Although the musical may have been inspired by Israeli director Tomer Heymann's 2006 documentary film "Paperdolls," Magtoto was successful enough to interweave her personal experiences, research, and interviews into the material. Moreover, Vincent De Jesus' original songs provided much excitement and Pinoy flare.

Photos by Jory Rivera

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