The much-awaited hit comedy musical titled ‘Care Divas’ came to Makati as Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) mounted it at Repertory Philippines home—Greenbelt One’s Onstage on April 27 to 29 with only limited five shows, which thrilled the Central Business District’s audience.
What makes watching Care Divas
an interesting experience? It makes one caught off guard when the sudden turns, rise and falls come in. The funny lyrics and dance numbers will get anyone all giggly one moment then the tragic scenes with the actors’ portrayal of pain and sorrow bring the audience to tears after. Then there are unexpected scenes of hallucinations that will surprise the viewers, again.
Indeed, watching the said production is likened to watching a musical variety show on television.
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo mentioned in the press con held on April 17 that the decision to bring the ‘Care Divas’ to Makati and to the Repertory Philippines’
theater stable was a way to provide their company’s regular audience with a variety of shows.
The moment one is seated, the feeling of excitement is written in the faces of the audience without them knowing that they’re in for a great treat—a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
The vocals of the five Divas and chorus are among the many aspects that this show stands out. Its song particularly Make It Vig in Tel Aviv, Pinili Niyang Maging Tanga
, and the hilarious Good Gurlz
are numbers that totally will linger in the audience imaginations.
The scene of explosion gives one goose bumps with the realization of what just happened. Though simplified as stage production and budget would allow, the execution of this portion was nevertheless effective in depicting such a tricky scenario.
The elderly Papa Isaac was very believable in his portrayal as a fragile, old man in his last days of life along with the other elderly characters he played.
The hallucinations of Shai are stand-out scenes as well, especially with Moishe’s version. The audition scene was another scene-stealer with each of the five divas having their own ‘moments’.
Thalia, Kyla, and Jonee had memorable roles as well even if Shai and Chelsea were given more exposures in the said play.
Extension of Comedy Bar Jokes
Of course as expected, the main entertainment comes from the insults and sarcastic exchanges among the actors that only ‘gay guys’ can get away with.
Vince De Jesus as Shai is more at ease with his brand of humor and Dudz Teraña as Thalia as the slowpoke Diva are two representations of contrasting personalities.
Despite all the funny and mockery, the message is quite clear and the play communicates this reality with equal attention as well.
The concept of using transgenders
to depict a sad reality is actually a double tragedy in itself, thus using this type of humor written by Liza Magtoto as a cover to a deep tragedy within is a brilliant concept.
The playwright was successful to incorporate her own personal experience when her dad was still sick at the time and eventually died. Magtoto utilized the production as an extension of comedy bars—where its standup performers and audience meet together to have fun in order to escape from the harsh realities of life.
What’s New with its Latest Prod?
From PETA’s home in Quezon City, the production had to adjust in terms of its blocking, its set, and even with the actors’ movements.
At Onstage, ‘Care Divas’ provided its audience with a grander treat on its set design. They had to adjust the lighting and all as well.
They also had to add a chorus part that comprise Josh Hernandez, the two hunky guys that can sing—Jay Gonzaga and Orlando Sol, a member of the all-male sing and dance group called ‘Masculados’ and the ladies were Joan Bugcat, Marie Gold Villar, and Icee Po.
‘Care Divas’ is directed by Maribel Legarda, along with her creative team: costume designer John Abul, lighting designer Jon Jon Villareal, visual artist and set designer Leo Abaya and contemporary dancer and choreographer Carlon Matobato.
Aside from the ‘Care Divas’: Melvin Lee, Vincent De Jesus, Ricci Chan, Jerald Napoles Jason Barcial, Buddy Caramat, and Dudz Teraña were joined by actors like Paul Holme, Myke Salomon, Angeli Bayani, Eric Dela Cruz and veteran actress and Repertory Philippines’ Children's Theater artistic director, Joy Virata joins the cast as Adara and Sara, roles formerly portrayed by PETA president, Cecilia Garrucho.