Changing Partners has returned to the PETA Theater Center!

Following its successful transition into film, the critically acclaimed and award-winning musical CHANGING PARTNERS is returning to the stage this May at the PETA Theater Center.

The Journey

According to multi-awarded composer and writer Vincent A. DeJesus, the book, libretto, and music of Changing Partners were inspired by his own personal stories and of his friends. When asked how long it took him to write this piece his reply was, “A lifetime.”

Changing Partners was first presented in a full-house, one-night only Stage Reading at the Virgin Labfest in July 2016. The Virgin Labfest, spearheaded by the Writers’ Bloc Inc., is a festival of new plays by emerging and established Filipino playwrights held annually at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The staged reading featured actors Ricky Ibe, Patricia Ismael, Giannina Ocampo, and Sandino Martin and was directed by Director Rem Zamora.

Two months after, DeJesus and Zamora came together once again to produce the full production of  Changing Partners: A Torch Musical. Produced by DeJesus and the PETA Theater Center, the musical was staged at the 115-seater PETA Theater Center’s Studios in September and October 2016. Actors Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Anna Luna, and Sandino Martin starred in the play, while DeJesus was the musical director and provided live piano accompaniment. About the same time, The Bindlestiff Studio in California, U.S.A. produced and performed the musical as part of its Tagalog Theater Festival and featured Fil-American actors. Several weeks after, DeJesus submitted the script to the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature where it received a Best Full-Length Play award. In November and December 2016, the musical went back onstage and had another successful rerun at the PETA Theater Center Studios.

In November 2017, Changing Partners: A Torch Musical transitioned from being a theater musical to full feature film. Under the direction of blockbuster movie director, Dan Villegas, the film starred the same cast as the full musical theater production and was a film entry at the 2017 Cinema One Originals Film Festival. Changing Partners – The Movie won eight awards: Best Director (Villegas), Best Actress (Isidro), Best Actor (Lorenzo), Best Acting Ensemble (Isidro, Lorenzo, Luna, Martin), Best Editing (Marya Ignacio), Best Music (DeJesus), Audience Choice Award, and Champion Bughaw for Best Film. Because of its success and critical acclaim, Changing Partners – The Movie was given a nationwide commercial release in January 2018. The movie also released the Changing Partners – The Movie Original Soundtrack on Spotify. Produced by Star Records, select song from the musical movie were covered by Star Music artists KZ Tandingan, Jona Viray, Khalil Ramos, and Daryl Ong. In February 2018, it won big at the 34th Movie Press Club of the Philippines – Star Awards 2018, bagging five awards under the Independent Film Category: Best Film, Best Director (Villegas), Best Screenwriter (DeJesus and co-writer Lilit Reyes), Best Editing (Marya Ignacio), and Best Music (DeJesus).

A New Offering

Looking at its track record, Changing Partners seems to be moving in the fast lane. In the span of less than two years, it has impressively achieved what would normally take about a decade, or more, to reach. But the team behind this gut-wrenching, anti-romcom musical is not slowing down anytime soon. They are taking Changing Partners to another level by bringing it to a bigger stagethe 400-seater PETA-Phinma Theater.

Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Anna Luna, and Sandino Martin are returning to reprise their roles, and Director Rem Zamora is again directing. DeJesus will be joined by cellist Poch Gutierrez to provide live music accompaniment. Another addition to the close-knit team is production designer Ben Padero, who also designed the set of PETA’s adaptation of Marsha Norman’s “Night, Mother.”

CHANGING PARTNERS: THE STAGE MUSICAL just opened its two-weekend run at the PETA-Phinma Theater, PETA Theater Center last Friday, May 11. Make sure to catch the show on May 19-20, at 3:00 and 8:00 pm.

Ticket prices are Php1500 (VIP), Php1300 (Orchestra Center), Php1000 (Orchestra Sides), Php1200 (Balcony Center), and Php800 (Balcony Sides).

You can book your tickets through Ticketworld. You may also call or text (0945 499 1008) or send a message to the PETA Theater Center Facebook page for inquiries and reservations.

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Review | Mula sa Buwan (Or Why It Deserves Another Rerun)

mula sa buwan

Soon after Blackbox Productions’ Mula sa Buwan returned for a two-weekend run last February 18, I saw social media posts comparing the musical to the recently-released Jollibee “Vow” ad. But while the trope was definitely similar, the Cyrano de Bergerac retelling was SO much more than that. (In millenial-speak, it was simply SO EXTRA.)

This December 2016 review of Mula sa Buwan will tell you just how much I loved the show when I first saw it, and just when I thought I couldn’t possibly fall in love with it a little more, they went ahead and proved me wrong. I love it when that happens.

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Review | Sa Wakas, The Musical

SaWakasHeader

I’d been wanting to post a Sa Wakas review since its opening night, but time is rarely on my side lately, so that little thing got shoved into the backburner every single time. Now that the run is officially over (they closed last Sunday, February 12), I feel like I should at least try to articulate All The Feelings I felt watching the musical… while juggling today’s workload, that is.

Please note, however, that I am extremely biased–and while I will be trying my best to keep things objective, I can’t promise you a spazz-less, coherent review.

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[ Press Release ] Cherie Gil headlines REP’s 2017 season opener Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Vanya cast photo

Highly-acclaimed stage and television actress Cherie Gil leads the cast of Repertory Philippines, more popularly known as REP’s first offering for its 2017 season, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

REP starts off its 50th year line-up with a biting comedy which runs from January 20 to February 12 at the OnStage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.

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[ Press Release ] Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones

The PETA Theater Center presents:

STICKS, STONES, BROKEN BONES
A shadow puppet comedy show, made from bits of rubbish.

Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones Poster1

Sneaky chickens, flying Ninjas, brain surgery and an unforgettable horse race! Welcome to the surreal shadow puppet world of Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones.

Using household objects and bits of rubbish, Bunk Puppets transforms simple objects into hilarious silhouette stories. In each scene, the puppetry is performed in front of the shadow screen, so that the audience gets a close look at the visual trickery. Old toys, brooms, boxes and discarded clothing are deftly stitched together to create shadow puppet stories and characters.

Delighting audiences in dozens of countries, Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones is a hilarious fusion of shadow puppetry and physical theatre. It’s a visual feast for the imagination! Come, experience one man’s playful vision of wonder and nonsense. Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones is a wordless and imaginative puppet comedy show for all ages running for 50 minutes. (Though some bits are a wee bit scary for under 6 yrs old).

Based in Melbourne, Bunk Puppets company director, Jeff Achtem explains “Traditionally, shadow puppeteers create their silhouette performances by manipulating puppets behind a screen. We perform Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones in front from the screen, which means we can use cinematic effects like close-ups and zooms. The audience gets to witness every bit of the puppeteers moves” he says.

Performed by Tim Sneddon, created and directed by Jeff Achtem.

  • Award Winner: Best Newcomer (Edinburgh Spotlight): Edinburgh Fringe 2010
  • Award Winner: Spirit of the Fringe (Mervyn Stutter’s): Edinburgh Fringe 2010
  • Award Winner: Adelaide Fringe 2011
  • Award Nominee: Total Theatre Award: Edinburgh Fringe 2010

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QUOTES in the reviews:

“His imagination is glorious! This one-man show has so many characters and interesting situations, you can’t help but be captivated.” – The Adelaide Advertiser

“As he carefully brings the pieces together, it is impossible to be certain what you are about to see until it is finished and projected onto a large screen, where the intricacy of his creation is amazing.” – Edinburgh Evening News

“… more entertainment than a multi-million quid McMusical.: – The LIST (Edinburgh)


Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones comes to the Philippines on May 3-7, 2017 with seven limited performances at the PETA Theater Center. To complete this rare experience, there will also be a series of puppetry workshops for kids and adults alike facilitated by the founders of Bunk Puppets.

Tickets and workshop slots may be booked through Ticketworld or by texting (0917) 807 3069. For more information about the show, visit http://www.bunkpuppets.com and http://petatheater.com.

All show photos are by Andrew Wuttke.

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