Tanghalang Pilipino Presents Balag at Angud

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Last year, I realized that I enjoy watching plays and musicals. I’m a late bloomer when it comes to this side of the arts but I’m not ashamed to admit it. You have to start somewhere, right? Anyway, this year, I was fortunate enough to have attended a few performances held at the CCP and just a few days ago, I was invited to the opening night of Tanghalang Pilipino’s first offering on its 32nd season which is Balag at Angud.

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Posters of some of the movies that participated in the recently concluded Cinemalaya 2018

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Set of the first scene

This musical written by Palanca Award-winner Layeta Bucoy tells about the life of Luis Yee, Jr. a.k.a. Junyee, a protest installation artist. He is known for his 2007 outdoor installation at the CCP called Angud: A Forest Once. He also worked with Balag, a trellis structure made from bamboo bound firmly by ropes or strings where vines grow.

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Paw Castillo plays the teenager Junyee

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Jonathan Tadioan as Luis and Mia Bolaños as Felisa

Balag at Angud opened with a sold-out night at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) and was well-attended by theater patrons, which included Sen. Loren Legarda and TP Chairman Tonyboy Cojuangco. Unfortunately, due to an ailment, Junyee was absent at the opening night and instead was represented by his wife Marites who read a letter from the artist. Screenplay writer and actor Rody Vera plays the older Junyee while Paw Castillo as the teenager Junyee. The cast is also joined by singer Bayang Barrios as Musa, Junyee’s muse who guides him whenever he’d have self-doubts. Portraying Junyee’s family are theater veterans Jonathan Tadioan (Luis), Mia Bolaños (Felisa), and Astarte Abraham (Marites). Balag at Angud also has an amazing ensemble performed by the TP Actors’ Company.

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Krystle Campos as the young Musa and DM Garcia as the young Junyee

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Bayang Barrios as Musa and Rody Vera as Junyee

I appreciated and liked the balance of narrative and singing of Balag at Angud. There wasn’t a dull moment for me watching the performances of every actor on stage. I almost shed a tear when teenager Junyee said his farewell to his father before leaving for Cebu but instead got a cold shoulder. I love the backdrop visuals, as it changes to compliment the scenes. Every time I watch a TP production, I’m always impressed by its ensemble and again, Balag at Angud did not disappoint.

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Astarte Abraham as Marites

Catch this musical directed by thespian Audie Gemora, featuring music from Dodjie Fernandez and musical direction by Upeng Galang-Fernandez, with set design by Toym Imao.

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Balag at Angud director Audie Gemora

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Marites Yee, Tonyboy Cojuangco, and Artistic Director of TP Nanding Josef

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Marites Yee

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Sen. Loren Legarda

Balag at Angud will run from August 31 to September 16, 2018 at the CCP Little Theater (Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino) with shows at 3 PM and 8 PM, exclusive of Sundays (only 3 PM shows), with special shows on September 7 3pm, September 13 3pm and 8pm, September 14 3pm. Tickets are ₱1000 for VIP seating and ₱800 for Orchestra Side seats.

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For ticket reservations, please contact Juan Marco Lorenzo at 0999 8843821 or Lorelei Celestino at 09156072275 or 832-1125 local 1620/1621. Tickets are also available at Ticketworld online or by calling 891-9999, and at the CCP Box Office.

Visit the official TP website at https://tanghalangpilipino.com/ or email info@tanghalangpilipino.com for more information.

All photos taken by me

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