#TheaterPH - Artist Playground Brings Another Intense Production With Fly Me To The Moon.

Set in two different eras, Fly Me To Moon, written by Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Famer, Rody Vera, tells the story of Melanie who embarks on a journey to Japan to help her family make ends meet. Using her charm, she boards on a ship full of flesh-hungry sea crew, and finds comfort in Jo, a karayuki-san who longs for her one true love Ibrahim. On the ship, the two draw parallels between their lives as they unfold their own stories. Soon, Melanie and Jo part ways to follow their own pavement, but still keep a piece of each other’s heart.

The cast Artist Playground's Fly Me to The Moon!

Directed by Paul Jake Paule, who also took the liberty to direct another Japanese inspired play on the recent Artist Playground production, Happiness is a Pearl, he explores and questions what love can do to someone.  

Fly Me To Moon will trick you with your emotions, provoke you to connect the transformation of Ibrahim to a cat and will put you in awe as Melanine and Jo's character unfold their struggles from the past. The stage resembles a dungeon of flesh with rustic feels of old abandoned ship which added to the overall look and feel as this is set to between 1940s to 1970s. Jesse Lucas' music will always make you amazed as he added variations of pain, hunger, delight, feast and a lot more. 

I personally like how the ensemble blended well together with such strong leads. Using the "I Am What I Am" as part of the production makes Paul Jake Paule's direction more clear as he wanted to deliver the message of loving yourself before you can love others. There are things we can only do as much and loving others in ways we can should have limits. We can love them to the fullest but loving oneself should be prioritized first. 

Fatima Cadiz and Dea Formacil alternately plays the role of Karayuki. Jo or Karayuki-san has suffered like all the other girls in their province, Amakusa. She became a sex slave at her young age in a neighboring country to comply with their country’s need for a female soldier. Unfortunately while she was in this foreign country serving men, she fell in love with Ibrahim without her realizing that it is love. The reason why she doesn’t know is because she never received love before even from her family who sold her just to make her brother a man. And because of love, she died.

Karayuki-san believes that people love, people die. That was the love that she had experienced but she’s still hopeful that even they weren’t able to be together in this life, they will still have a chance to be together in their next life of the afterlife.

Melanie, played alternately by Aldy Cadupay, Ai Hose Ki and Xosh Ardo, is confident, strong-willed and have a positive outlook in life. His story is like the story of every gay in our country. They want to go to Japan or other country in search of a better life and also the surgery that could make them a real woman. They are willing to take a risk just to achieve their goal. In Melanie’s case, he even snuck in a ship even though he’s not sure what’s waiting for him. 

Ibrahim is a muslim man who fell in love with Karayuki san while she was in Sandakan Brothel No. 3. He might be a passionate man but due to this love, there is a possibility that he died and reincarnated to a cat. Jo said that he moves like a cat. He sneaks just to see her and that’s the reason why the cat is still with her soul/ghost. It might be waiting for them to reunite in the future as different people or in afterlife. Clifford Gonzales, Ar Ar Ramilo and BJ Ocampo alternately plays  as Ibrahim.

Manu Gallardo comes back in an Artist Playground production after hi debut last year. He plays the role of the Captain. His character is depicted as a cruel man but he’s just like any man who felt like he’s trapped in the vast ocean with nothing but sharks as his companion. He’s even willing to have sex with a man just to fulfill his lust for human flesh. Jun Nayra is Manu's alternate.

‘FLY ME TO THE MOON’ runs from October 13 – 22, 2017. 
Fridays (Oct 13 & 20) 8pm, Saturdays (Oct 14 & 21) 4pm & 8pm and Sundays (Oct 15 & 22) 4pm & 8pm at Arts Above located at 112  West Avenue Quezon City. 

For tickets, call Ticketworld 8919999.
For inquiries, please call 09759193179 c/o Kimberly Claire Somoza.
Visit Artist Playground's website at https://www.artistplayground.ph;
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