Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Commercial Muna



Music may soothe a savage beast, but in Tanghalang Ateneo’s production of Shakespeare’s Othello: Ang Moro ng Venecia, rendered in Filipino by Rogelio Sicat and Luna Sicat-Cleto, music will incite a savage beast and devastate people’s lives. The play runs from August 21 to September 6 at the Rizal Mini-Theater , Loyola Schools , Ateneo de Manila University.

Tanghalang Ateneo’s second of three 30th season productions, Othello features a guitar-toting Iago who, like a wicked Pied Piper, uses his music to help lure and lead his enemies to destruction. By the play’s end, Iago rakes in five victims, but his prize catch is the mighty Othello, a foreign military general whom Iago despises for bypassing him as lieutenant; for marrying Desdemona, a fellow Venetian; and in his mind at least, for having a torrid affair with his wife. His plot: to make Othello believe that Desdemona sleeps around with a young lieutenant. Othello eventually succumbs to Iago’s insinuations, grows raving mad, strangles Desedmona to death, and then kills himself. Iago’s destruction of the Other is complete: the mighty warrior has fallen.

Iago’s destruction of the Other echoes the violence spawned today by religious and ethnic strife. Othello reminds modern audiences that those who seek out to destroy others only destroy themselves. The play is a plea for tolerance, acceptance, and the embracing of difference.

Theater stalwarts Nonie Buencamino and Teroy Guzman alternate as Othello, the Moor caught between the angel of a Desdemona, alternately played by Irma Adlawan and Missy Maramara, and the devil of an Iago, played by Ron Capinding and Rody Vera. Supporting them are the talents of Neil Ryan Sese and Randy Villarama who portray Cassio, the handsome lieutenant; Rachel Quong as Emilia; Exzell Macomb and Jaru Hermano as Roderigo, Joseph dela Cruz as Brabantio/Ludovico; Regina de Vera and Lara Agay as Bianca; Glen Mas and John Aguas as the Duke.

Ricky Abad, who once played Iago in a World Theater Project production of this Shakespeare classic, directs the play assisted by B.J. Crisostomo. National Artist Salvador Bernal designs the set and costumes, Jonjon Villaruel oversees the lights design, Reamur David carries out the sound design, while Ruben Reyes executes several variations of a Shakespearean song as the play’s musical theme.

Othello runs at the Rizal Mini Theatre in the Ateneo de Manila University starting from 21th - 23rd and the 27th - 30th of August, and the 4th and 6th of September, at 7 in the evening. There will be Saturday matinee shows on the 23rd and 30th of August, at 2 in the afternoon. This production is made possible by Intermatrix Document Solutions, The Perfect White Shirt, Casa Ilongga and For ticket inquiries and reservations, please contact Jeselyn Jagong at 0916-521-5154.

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