02C4A: Weekend Cultural Experiences

O Bar O Divas and O Boys

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 1078

Last night at O Bar was a lot of fun. And while I say this about most if not all times when we go to O, the Friday night experience will always be different from the Saturday night experience, and so on. Regardless of the day of the week, the shows always meet a minimum level of quality that shows the O Bar stamp of approval, if you get my drift. But there are other nuances to the experience ranging from the density of the crowd, the sort of people we expect to run into, and even how long we end up staying even after the drag performances are over. 

The show last night had a bit of a theme tied to the 37th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution. It's not like every single number had a direct connection to the holiday celebration. But there were key performances like the opening number that tried to directly tackle the history of Edsa and I'll admit I was moved. Recent years have been very colorful given the elections and how the Marcos family has managed to fully return to power. And last night's show helped provide some emotional catharsis for some of the frustrations we've experienced since the new administration took the reins of the government.

Our main activity for today was watching Uncle Jane, Cast PH's adaptation of Uncle Vanya. It was staged at the Mirror Studio Theater, which is a rather intimate space with the titular mirrors throughout. This resulted in an interesting theater-in-the-round experience with the audience being able to see themselves in the mirrors at the back of the set while watching the show. Beyond seemingly placing ourselves in the show, it also supported some very interesting character blocking like how a character would face other characters with their back to the audience but their faces visible in the mirror. 

And man, what a stellar cast. It's nice when theater friends work together to make a show, especially when those friends are many of the most popular/familiar names in local theater.

Small theater experiences like this tend to support more experimental theater, and we largely enjoyed the show. It had a more complete concept for its unique interpretation of the text that was worlds better than the recent production of Carousel, which really had us scratching our heads well after the show wrapped. That play left us confused. This one left us with a lot to talk about and naturally kindled an urge to re-watch Drive My Car