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‘Betrayal’, ‘I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change’, and More in REP’s 2024 Season

‘Betrayal’, ‘I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change’, and More in REP’s 2024 Season

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As previously reportedGoing Home to Christmas, a new original jukebox musical featuring the music of Jose Mari Chan, will be Repertory Philippines’ season finale for its 87th season in 2024.

REP’s big musical will be preceded by 3 productions– the Harold Pinter play Betrayal, the Off-Broadway musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and a new original musical for REP’s Repertory Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA), Jepoy and the Magic Circle.

According to REP, the chosen productions explore a kaleidoscope of narratives and characters that tackle the universality of love and yearning. It also aims to take audiences to the familiar highs and lows of all kinds of relationships and inspire them to deepen their appreciation for Filipino culture.

Betrayalone of the best-known plays of British theater icon and Nobel Prize winner in Literature Harold Pinter, will be making its Manila premiere this March. The cast features London-based Filipino actors James Bradwell, James Cooney, and Vanessa White, with Jef Flores and Regina De Vera as covers. Running from March 1 to 17, this production employs a reverse-chronological structure to tell the story and examine the consequences of an extramarital affair on three complex individuals and how clandestine meetings turn to dramatic confrontations. A recipient of the Lawrence Olivier Award and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the drama has featured British actors like Michael Gambon, Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Tom Hiddleston. The production will be directed by Manila-born and New York and London-based actor and theater director Victor Lirio, who will be making his Philippine directorial debut.

REP will also collaborate with Lirio on The Bridge Project, a “skills exchange” program for professional practitioners trained in different theater cultures to create a congress for collaborative learning. The three Filipino-British actors, along with two New York-based Filipino-American designers and Lirio, are being flown in to Manila by REP in February not only to perform in Betrayal, but to also hold free masterclasses, lectures and readings, for Filipino theater practitioners and audiences.

The play will be succeeded by the Off-Broadway musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change from June 7 to 30. Written by Joe Di Pietro (book and lyrics) and Jimmy Roberts (music), the show takes audiences through a series of vignettes on love and relationships. The characters range from big-city singles and awkward wallflowers to suburban settlers and sassy seniors – all played by a cast of four.  The second longest-running Off-Broadway musical after The Fantasticks, this production also tackles everything people thought about dating and marriage, lovers, and in-laws—but were just too afraid to confront and admit.

The show is directed by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, with Cara Barredo as assistant director. Also in the creative team are Ejay Yatco (musical direction) and Joey Mendoza (set design).

REP’s third production of the season is its new original RTYA offering, Jepoy and the Magic Circle, an adaptation of a children’s short story by Philippine cultural and literature icon Gilda Cordero Fernando entitled The Magic Circle. The light-hearted musical about Filipino folklore centers on Jepoy and his dog, Galis, as they enter the whimsical balete world and befriend kapres, aswangs and tiyanaks and everything in between, to attend a tikbalang wedding. 

The show will be directed by RTYA Creative Director Joy Virata, with Cara Barredo as assistant director. The adaptation will be written by Rody Vera, with music and lyrics by Ejay Yatco.

And as previously reported, the season will be concluded by Going Home to Christmasthe company’s first-ever jukebox musical.

Because the Onstage Theater of Greenbelt 1 will officially be closing its doors by the first quarter of 2024, REP will be mounting its first two productions at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza. REP inaugurated the theater in 2001 with Celebration III, A Musical Revue before running for two wonderful decades at the Onstage Theater.     

“This new REP season is going to be one for the books. We’re back and stronger than ever since the pandemic, having experimented with virtual theater and mounted Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel as well as currently staging Snow White and the Prince for RTYA,” says REP President and CEO Mindy Perez-Rubio. “Despite dealing with close to four years of darkness, the show must go on. REP is ready for a new chapter with a fresh lineup of carefully curated productions, plus the initiation of The Bridge Project, that will enrich the cultural lives of Filipino theatergoers and artists.” 

REP’s season passes are already available for purchase. Season subscribers can get access to REP productions at up to 30% off. The full season year pass includes 3 season shows + RTYA, with the Gold Year Pass at Php 6,650 (Orchestra Center), the Silver Year Pass at Php 5,250 (Orchestra Side) and a Balcony Year Pass at Php 3,710. Student and Corporate Season Passes are also available at discounted prices. For show-buying and ticket inquiries, contact REP at 0966-905-4013 or email them at marketing@repphil.org or sales@repphil.org.

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