REVIEW: Tag-Ani, How is it to be inlove when you are in your 70s? #TheaterPH

A few minutes before the play started, the room dimmed and traditional Filipino music played. The theater was small and simple. The dimmed lights ushered you into getting in the mood to hearing the “deepest” Filipino words you’ll ever hear in this day and time. 

This tragicomedy is part of a trilogy written by The Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio. The material explores being in love while in your 70s, when the need to be loved and the want to love another is still very much present in the human heart.

When the lights turn on, an old woman is seen crocheting while sitting on a bench. The old man enters, noticing the woman, preparing to catch her attention. The exchange that came would test your vocabulary and how well you are able to get meaning from context. 

“Sumambit ka ng kahit anong paksa, puso at utak ko’y tumatalon sa tuwa.”

Ermie Concepcion and Ces Aldaba

There’s a certain tickling in the ears and light drumming in the heart with every flowery word. You fall deeper into the story as the characters fall for each other. Tragedy hits when you least expect it and you continue to fall, face first, into reality of what 70 is. 

A simple set of a bench, a tree, and a backdrop of 3 sides makes the one-act play pop as it gives the illusion of space. Music and lighting satisfied as it added emotions to feel the right amount of thrill, the right amount of kilig. 

Experience made the production shine as veteran actors Ermie Concepcion and Ces Aldaba are directed by yet another veteran, Roeder Camanag. I never imagined that a geriatric love story would rival that of the latest JaDine series, no kidding. During the Q&A, the actors shared that they love the script. That love is effectively conveyed in the level of acting that you witness with Tag-Ani.

Tag-Ani is the second offering of Artist Playground. Established July of this year, it aims to be a laboratory where artists can create, recreate, and refine every. Generally different from mainstream theater, this process results to the best form of the work prior to the first performance date. The small theater is also a playground for the audience as it enables you to focus completely on what is right in front of you. What theater is, its magic, is enhanced because of the set-up.

In the coming months, Direk Roeder informed us that upcoming shows include performance art by Nasser Lubay and a one woman sound-driven performance by Angelina “Mailes” Kanapi. 

It was just recently announced that Tag-Ani has been extended until September 5 and 6. Yes, I suggest that you catch their 3PM and 7PM shows while you can. For tickets, contact 0977-3062924.

Review by Saul De Jesus.

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