VENUS IN FUR Runs Limited Engagement in Manila Till Tomorrow, 7/27

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Actors Jennifer Blair-Bianco and David Bianco snapped
by BroadwayWorld photographer Jory Rivera

Manila, Philippines--2011 Tony nominee for Best Play VENUS IN FUR, written by David Ives, inspired by Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novella "Venus in Furs," made its Asian premiere in Singapore last year. The Manila theater scene is not too far behind though as Actor's Actors Inc.'s The Necessary Theatre ("Red") runs the two-person play at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) Black Box Theatre tonight, July 26, at 8 p.m. and tomorrow, July 27, at 4 p.m. For last minute tickets, visit or call the CCP box office at (632) 832-3704.

Critically-acclaimed director-actor Bart Guingona ("Red," "Hedda Gabler") is at the helm of the much-lauded VENUS IN FUR, this time directing real-life actor couple David Bianco ("Boston," "Boeing-Boeing") and Jennifer Blair-Bianco (also of "Boston," "Boeing-Boeing").

The New York Times poured in raves on the Manhattan Theatre Club's (MTC) limited engagement of the play in 2011-2012 calling it "seriously smart and very funny...a suspense-packed study of the erotics of power."

Thomas Novachek (David Bianco) is the writer-director of a new play opening soon in Manhattan. Vanda Jordan (Jennifer Blair-Bianco; originally played on Broadway by Tony Award winner Nina Arianda) comes in late for the auditions, but the writer-director agrees to let the actress read for the part. Consequently, Novachek gets attracted to--then obsessed with--the actress until she takes a more dominant position, making the balance of power shifts entirely to the auditionee.

VENUS IN FUR opened on Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company in January 2010. MTC picked up the show for a Broadway run premiering at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2011. The production then transferred to the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in February 2012 until it closed after four months. Walter Bobbie ("Guys and Dolls") directed Arianda (Vanda Jordan) and Hugh Dancy (Thomas Novachek).

Ives, the playwright, is also known for his plays "New Jersusalem," "The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza," and "The School for Lies," a stage adaptation of Moliere's comedy of manners in verse form "The Misanthrope," among others. He has also translated to English Yasmina Reza's 2004 play Une pièce espagnole (A Spanish Play). He lives in New York City, and an alumnus of The Yale School of Drama.

Film auteur Roman Polanski ("Carnage," "The Pianist") got his dibs on the film adaptation of VENUS IN FUR, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and starred French actress and wife of Polanski, Emmanuelle Seigner (Vanda Jordan), and French director-actor Mathieu Amalric (Thomas Novachek).

"Though one might have expected a VENUS IN FUR movie to continue the trend by adopting a film-within-a-film structure, Polanski (who collaborated with Ives on the screenplay) opts to retain the theatrical setting, in turn evoking such other hybrid theater/cinema works as Louis Malle's 'Vanya on 42nd Street,' Manoel de Oliveira's 'The Satin Slipper' and multiple films by Alain Resnaisand Jacques Rivette," wrote Scott Foundas, Variety.

Trailer for Roman Polanski's film adaptation of VENUS IN FUR

Main Photo: Jojit Lorenzo

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