ART IS A BANG: Joe A Filipino Rock'sical

I do admire theater companies that create their own original stageplays which truly show talent and originality of Filipinos on stage. And with though many people particularly students would consider Philippine History as a boring subject, it great to see it alive and somehow makes us think about the happenings and even the controversy that made them very interesting.

Philippine Stages Foundation (PSF) staged recently their new offering for the opening of their 11th Season with JOE: A Filipino Rock'sical. Seeing the play itself was an eye opener even for a history enthusiast like me about the other side of Rizal. With the past and present weaved together with each character plays an important role in making a tribute show for the National Hero.

And what I also admire about this play is the original music which amplifies the feel of the play. Though it might overpower the feel of the rock musical, but still blends well just the like past-present plot. It was a very fun play with characters which each audience may find themselves to be part of the play. Highly recommended for students and students-at-heart who loves to know more about Jose or Joe.
Philippine Stagers Foundation's 11th Season opens with 'Joe:A Filipino Rock'sical'

Known to be David in Philippine Theater, Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) continues to make waves after the success of its last season's production of 'Cory ng EDSA' that earned recognitoons from both ALIW and awards, respectively, and will open it latest show Joe: A Filipino Rock'sical on July 14, at St. Scholastica's College, Leon Gunito Street, Malate.

Atty. Vince Tanada, PSF's artistic director took the challenge of deconstructing the national hero to his opus and present rather more human take for his audience to view the human side of Rizal just as Ambeh Ocampo once said, "The point is that there is no need to hide the humanity of our heroes because it is precisely their being human makes them admirable."

The musical is not the usual documentation of who Rizal is, but it is about making Rizal relevant in the present time. The show opens with a more moving depiction of the life where a group of students in a particular high school named after the national hero. The class was commissioned to do a stage  presentation led by Joe Castillo Jr., played by Tanada and his alternate, and talented young and one of PSF's homegrown talents - Kevin Posadas. Joe or Jose Rizal is portrayed by Patrick Adrian Libao, who fittingly essay the character along with Monique Azerreda as his Josephine Bracken.

Among the lead cast of the production are: Cindy Maree Liper, who plays Joanne Silvestre, the love interest of JoeCas that eventually falls out of love with him. Two of PSF's prized actors who have been recognized by the Aliw Awards as best supporting actor and best actor in a musical are also included in the cast - Jordan Ladra and Kierwin Larena play Hunter Quizon and Bimbo Alcarraz. Other leads are breathed into by Adelle Ibarrientos, Cherry Bagtas, Chris Lim, Chin Ortega, JM Encinas and Gabby Bautista.

The Original music is provided by Pipo Cifra. Its Choreography is by John San Antonio, a awardee. The highly-functional set with impressive design was done by Jeffrey Ambrosio and the costumes were painstakingly created by Ms. Emy Tanada.

"Joe is not someting of the usual production that talks about Rizal," says Tanada, the director and writer.

"It is out attempt to make our audience think about our national hero as a human being and not as a monumental and god-like image."

To catch the shows, here are the schedule of 'Joe: A Filipino Rock'sical' for this month of July:

July 14 Saturday at 8am, 11am, 2pm - Opening Day at St. Scholastica's College
July 15 Sunday at 8am, 11am - Regular Run at St. Scholastica's College
July 15 Sunday at 3pm - Opening Gala and Press Preview at St. Scholastica's College
July 21 Saturday at 8am, 11am, 2pm - at St. Scholastica's College
July 22 Sunday at 8am, 11am, 2pm - at St. Scholastica's College
July 29 Sunday at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 4pm - at Tanghalang Pasigueno

For More information, contact +639273913447.

Promotional Photographs by Dale Bacar and graphics design by Jim Russel Zapico.

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