PETA closes its 47th season with Cherry Orchard remake, Arbol de Fuego

Capping  the  Philippine  Educational  Theater  Association’s  47th season is Arbol de Fuego, Rody Vera and Loy Arcenas’ reimagining of Anton Chekhov’s classic Cherry Orchard. After three successful Rak of Aegis runs, and original Filipino production, FnL, PETA simmers down from the fitful comedy-musical first half of the season with a grounding of a world classic this February 2015.

Arbol  de  Fuego is  a  tragicomedy  about middle-aged  matriarch  Enriquetta  Jardeleza-Sofronio, played by  veteran actress  Cherie  Gil,  who comes  home after  having  squandered  the  family fortune on a long stay in Madrid. Buried in debt, she and younger brother Adjie (essayed by Jake Macapagal) is  advised  to  sell  the  estate  to  avoid  bankruptcy,  but  refuses, insisting  on  keeping their ancestral house and the flourishing rows of fire trees that frame the estate. The Jardelezas instead, throw party after lavish party, reminiscing their opulent past in an effort to forget their depleting wealth. 

Although  somber  in  mood,  writer  Rody  Vera  shares  that  this  Chekhovian  classic  is told  with underlying  sarcasm  and  humor. Arbol  de  Fuego  laughs  at  the  habits  and tendencies  of  the  diminishing aristocratic class. The story is set in Negros Occidental in the late 70’s during the  Marcos era sugar monopoly, when most hacienderos stood helpless in their decline. The arbol de fuego,  a  flowering  tree  that  bears  no  fruit,  Rody intimates,  is  a  symbol  of  the  beauty  and  emptiness of a class losing grips of their power and wealth.

Arbol  de  Fuego boasts  of a  stellar cast. Alongside  Gil  is Urian  best  actress awardee Angeli Bayani who plays Charito, Enriquetta’s adopted daughter who takes care of the estate while they are  away. British Independent Film  Award  nominee Jake  Macapagal plays Enriquetta’s ostentatious brother Adjie, while 2013 Cinema One Best Actress Anna Luna plays her naïve and optimistic daughter.  Joining  them  is  money-grubbing  former nobleman  Chitong  played by esteemed actor, director and set designer Leo Rialp; Self-made businessman and former servant Nonoy Tiking played by Raffy Tejada; young intellectual Dante played by Riki Benedicto; and old  but  faithful  mayordomo  Manoy  Iking  played  by  Bembol  Roco.  A host  of  talented  actors round off the cast as the family’s hired servants played by Anthony Falcon, Lao Rodriguez, Gie Onida, Kiki Baento, and Divine Aucina. 

Arbol de Fuego is sure to be an astounding acting piece and a feast for the senses; a truly Filipino production  that  is  not  to be  missed! The  play opens  on  February  20,  2015 with shows  from Fridays to Sundays, 3:00pm and 8:00pm at the PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. 

For show buying and ticket information, contact PETA at 725 6244 or 0917 5765400 or contact Ticket World at 891 9999

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