#TheaterPH - Rerun - Happiness Is A Pearl (2017) - Is It Worth Rewatching?

Felt nostalgic after watching the re-run of Happiness is a Pearl. It's still clear on my mind how it was well executed with grace in a small room Artist Playground (AP) called 1701 The Little Room Upstairs. I miss that place. 

Sheena and Arvin

Performed on its new home, Arts Above houses new talents and productions. This is the second show that I watched in this venue. AP kept the intimate setting by recreating the stage on its debut run. 

What can you do for love?

The show started with a Japanese song, Avril Lavigne's When Your Gone and Walking After Midnight to set the mood. It's not originally part of Rody Vera's script but I think adding this part is a smart move to set the tone before jumping on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The Chuwariwap Girls

I got a chance to ask the leads April, Sheena and Arvin during the talkback session and was curious if the debut cast composed by Catherine Go, Ira Ruzz  and Tomas Miranda shared some of their experiences during the first run and how they did study their particular roles. April and Sheena were thankful enough to receive guidance from Cath and Ira. Arvin on the other hand didn't got a chance to meet Tomas for a session. Arvin shared that he watched a lot of anime and Japanese movies to have the nuances his character needs to portray.

What's good about watching the re-run of Happiness is a Pearl is that you discover raw Filipino talents on stage. Sheena uses effective adlibs which made the audiences laugh. April's being fierce and authoritative is so evident despite of her young age at 18. Arvin on the other hand performed fearless while on his underwear. 

Curious why he's half naked? Better watch it while you can!

Sharing you some of the major points why Happiness Is A Pearl is still a great play of 2017. First, live music accompaniment from the award winning musical composer and director Jesse Lucas made each scene relatable. You'll absorb the mood on each press of the keys. Second, Lezlie Alberto Dailisan's tango medley and choreography is still one of the most innovative choreographic pieces made for theater. He uses variety of movements which maximizes the challenging spaces on and off stage. I appreciated it more on its debut run as Ira, Cath and Tomas executed flawlessly and passionately every move which translates a lot of messages and transcends not just only movements but a lot of emotions. Third, Paul Jake Paule's direction is clear and on point. Happiness is a Pearl is a short piece but he was able to stretched it out to an hour and thirty minutes. I love how the transitions were smooth and no dull moments at all. Lastly, It was written by Palanca awardee, Mr. Rody Vera. I seen a lot of Rody Vera's written plays but this one is more personal after knowing the inspiration how he was able to come up with the material. He's one of the geniuses in the industry.


Happiness is a Pearl will run until September 17.  For tickets and inquiries, visit Artist Playground's FB Page  or contact 0926 932 3179. 

Talkback Session

Hope to see you at the theater!

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