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)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All The World’s A Stage

Back in the mid-nineties I took almost a year off from the rat race and went back to my theater roots. I managed a tour in the Visayas, appeared onstage in several plays, and finally directed my first Shakespearean play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We used the excellent Filipino translation by the late National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio, and I had the honor of having the National Artist for Production Design Salvador “Badong” Bernal as the stage designer and costume consultant for that particular production.

I had just watched Bas Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire “Manila is a cockroach den!” Danes) then, so I was pretty pumped up to turn the play topsy-turvy (it also helped that the play lent itself well to being flipped around by flips like me). My staging conceit was live-theater-meets-MTV, and I placed the play-within-a-play inside a dance club, aka Forest Disco. The fairy king and queen (Oberon and Titania) were costumed to look like Elvis and Diana Ross respectively. For the role of the mischievous fairy Puck, I cast a male and a female to alternate in that role—the change in gender made for an interesting interpretation of the character every other performance. I used canned pop and dance music liberally (to hell with copyright issues!) and opened the play with the whole cast dancing to All Saints’ “I Know Where It’s At” underneath pulsating lights and a spinning disco ball. We had a ball rehearsing and performing the play.

That production still remains as one of the scenes that will flash before my eyes right before I kick the proverbial bucket.

So when I saw the following trailer, I felt somewhat nostalgic and wistful—now why didn’t I think of putting on a much gay-er twist to the play? But that was then.

This is now. It’s not really Shakespeare, but still.

I hope they show this in Manila theaters.


E said...

hehehehehehe aliw aliw...

Jedd said...

Hi Sir McVie, when can we catch a few scenes of Pangarap on youtube? :) Especially the Thisbe and Pyramus parts

joelmcvie said...

@JEDD: Oh good lord, I have no idea who has the video documentation, where it is stored, and if we can get a copy of it!

But how I wish I had a copy of our production of "Pangarap". =)

Vince said...

I had blogged about this movie too. :-) I also hope this will screen in Manila soon; I would really love to watch this.