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NEWS: More meaningful the second time around. THE KUNDIMAN PARTY at the PETA THEATER Center

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Acclaimed as one the most meaningful and relevant original Filipino plays in recent times, Floy Quintos’ “THE KUNDIMAN PARTY” comes to the PETA THEATER CENTER for limited run starting May 24.

The play, directed by Dexter M. Santos was first produced by the UP Playwright’s Theater in 2018. It was hailed by critics and audiences alike for the seamless weaving of our timeless Kundiman art songs into a plot that involved discontented millennials and Social Media, EJKs and other current political and social issues.

Equally notable were the performances of the fine ensemble led by Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino as Maestra Adela, a reclusive voice teacher whose latent nationalism is awakened . Together with Frances Makil-Ignacio, Stella Cañete-Mendoza, Jenny Jamora and Missy Maramara as Adela’s close circle of Titas, the cast painted a portrait of contemporary Pinoy society that was both poignant as well as wildly entertaining.

By the time the revival opens at the PETA Theater this year, a crucial national election will have taken place, an election that for many will determine the course of the current national struggle.

Whatever the results of this political exercise, the creators of the show believe this: That the outcome of the elections will be the start of a greater struggle, the beginning of a new chapter in the fight to regain our national dignity. Thus, “The Kundiman Party” and all that it stands for will be more relevant than ever.

It seems most meaningful that “The Kundiman Party” is being revived at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City. PETA has long served as a vital venue for meaningful and relevant original Filipino works. “The Kundiman Party” cast and creators are thankful to have been offered the chance to collaborate with this dynamic institution of Philippine Theater.

WHO’S NEW IN THE WHO’S WHO CAST

“The Kundiman Party” at the PETA Theater Center will still scintillate with the presence of gifted actors reprising their roles: Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino as Maestra Adela, Frances Makil-Ignacio as the feisty Tita Mayen, Stella Cañete-Mendoza as the nurturing Tita Helen and Jenny Jamora and Missy Maramara as the sexy, savvy Tita Mitch.

Also reprising their roles are Miah Canton as Antoinette, a young soprano earnestly searching for her voice, and Soprano Rica Nepomuceno as Melissa, a professional Kundiman singer who desperately wants to be “relevant” again.

But every party needs new guests to keep it swinging. “The Kundiman Party” is proud to welcome three new additions to the cast.

Gabriel Paguirigan makes his acting debut as Ludwig, the Maestra’s accompanist and veritable sidekick . Gab has a formidable track record as a pianist, having bagged a first prize in the NAMCYA 2011 competition. It was a feat he was to repeat in 2015, this time as a Grand prize winner in the senior division. Just last year, together with his cousin, they won the First prize in Thailand’s Princess Galyani Vadhanna International Ensemble Competition, the first Filipinos ever to win in the prestigious royal competition.

Boo Gabunada takes on the pivotal role of Bobby Valderama, a young activist who brings Maestra Adela into the volatile world of Social Media. Boo has been on a roll recently, having starred as Cyrano in “Mula Sa Buwan” and as Emman in “Ang Huling El Bimbo”. The role of Bobby will surely be an interesting star turn for this exciting young actor.

Nonie Buencamino’s countless roles in Film, Television and Theater have established his reputation as one of our most seasoned actors. The role of Senator Juancho Valderama, Bobby’s estranged father, was originally created by Teroy Guzman. It will be interesting to see what Nonie will bring to the role and to the climactic scene where the Senator squares off with Maestra Adela, especially since it is a scene that involves his wife, Shamaine.

Here it is then, the complete cast of “The Kundiman Party.” Miah Canton as Antoinette, Rica Nepomuceno as Melissa, Missy Maramara as Tita Mitch, Jenny Jamora alternating as Tita Mitch, Frances Makil-Ignacio as Tita Mayen, Stella Canete –Balucas as Tita Helen, Gabriel Paguirigan as Ludwig, Boo Gabunada as Bobby Valderama, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino as Maestra Adela and Nonie Buencamino as Senator Juancho Valderama.

Tags : PETA Theater
Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

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