Times Tanghalang Batingaw’s La Estrella Reflected Real-World Situations
When we hear the term “Star-Crossed Lovers”, we normally refer to Shakespeare’s emo-teenage couple, Romeo and Juliet. This event review, though, has nothing even close to the pair from Verona. This time we look at an unlikely pair from the Philippines as staged in Tanghalang Batingaw’s La Estrella at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The play features two gay lovers who have stood the test of time. Though reincarnated as different people in different situations, they manage to make their way toward each other every time. And if this sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But, there are times that the play shows us glimpses of what’s happening in real life:
Image source: Nuclear News
1. Daily Apocalyptic Threat
Every day, the news shows us a snippet of something that leads us to believe that the end is near. That happened with the Y2K Bug in 2000. And then, in 2001, somebody sais something about that year being the end of the Millennium, which meant the end of the world. Then in 2012, there was talk about the end of the Mayan calendar. What’s next, the attack of the killer tomatoes?
Image source: RT
2. Corrupt Government Officials
It seems redundant to place that adverb with the noun beside it, although we cannot overgeneralize. It’s just that daily news (whether international, national, or local) always makes mention of supposed public servants that turn to the power of money or threats to get their way. Nothing new about that.
Image source: Huffington Post
3. Family Over Love
The biggest guilt trip in any Filipino romantic relationship comes not from the couple but from part of one (or both) of their families. Sometimes, threats of being disowned or disinherited come as a convincing motivator. The family member (or members) often times cite being ashamed of the relationship as their reason for disapproval. How 1800s, right?
Honestly, when I was watching the play, I didn’t see a bunch of college students moonlighting as theater actors. I saw thespians with careers in the making. The delivery of the lines came out as if they were just in the hallway or the parking lot. Tears came tumbling down on cue, contagious to the sniffling audience and crying crowd.
This was not acting. It was staging.
The youth of today have a lot to offer when it comes to the world of the stage. Thanks to Fringe Manila and the CCP, they were certified actors and dramatists, if only for the two-day run.
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