Eugene Domingo stars as Bona in PETA's adaptation of the film

PETA’s adaptation of Bona: Well that was VEERY interesting.

Eugene Domingo stars as Bona in PETA’s adaptation of the film

  1. With all the interesting stuff that’s going to happen this September, I was contemplating if I did want to see this play: if I can find the time to watch it, and if I had the budget to do so. But then things like this are not meant to be mulled over, I had a inkling that this would be enjoyable, and then again I’m taking advantage of the No-Weekend Work-days – so why the hell not?
  2. Eymard drive was full of cars on a Sunday – very untypical. Just shows how anything with Eugene Domingo’s name on it can draw a crowd. Watched PETA’s Caredivas last year at the same venue and the street was deserted.
  3. For the uninitiated, Bona is an adaptation of a Lino Brocka film from the ’80s. It’s a Nora Aunor starrer, so the buzz around this play is whether Eugene can take on such a role, and if she could match Nora’s performance. Though I think there shouldn’t be any comparison, since the material was made to be more comedic compared to the film.
  4. …comedic and modern. Modern in a sense that a) It’s a multimedia play so you have these clips together played in between acts (I’ve never seen that done in a play before, very clever). b) The setting was a very relatable Manila – where majority of the workforce are working in Call Centers and people are hooked on Artista Search Reality Shows.
  5.  I’ll guarantee that you’ll laugh if ever you get to see the play. Eugene really works the stage. The comedy, the timing, I was wondering if some of the lines were ad-libed, especially during those scenes when she’s conversing with her gay best friend and she choked while drinking water – and acted like it’s part of the show. Soo good, like she’s not acting at all. I think if there’s anything that showcases how well she could act, this would probably be it. Since majority of her movies are comedy,  you can see how impeccable she does comedy but you can’t really appreciate how she does drama – you can’t even imagine her doing drama, unless you get to watch her in this play.
  6. As for the other cast members, Edgar Allan Guzman needs a little more in the comedy department, but boy can he do mad, douchebag, jerk acting – actually aside from the part where he’s trying to act funny, he can act, and he did very well. Not to mention being able to parade on the stage almost naked, to the pleasure of the ladies and beckys in audience. (I was like: “Hot Deeeemn…” when he first appeared like that.)
  7. The Press People are scary – especially Raffy Tejada as Ronald the manager – like someone you won’t dare cross. Baldy, the best friend played by Joey Paras did a good job, kaya niyang makipagsabayan kay Eugene.
  8. ..but then in the end, Shit happens and it’s Anything in excess is bad. Everything becomes tragic and no one’s laughing anymore. Behind the laughter that the play elicits are some serious questions that makes you wonder:
  9. if you help just because you expect something in return. Bona here is a spinster – and like most responsible elder sisters in Philippine families – she helps but the help offered is coupled with expectations, accusations and guilt trips.
  10. If you believe because you expect something in return, not because you love. Her prayers to the Nazareno always begins with “Sana (I wish, I hope)…”
  11. If you would rather be consumed by your obsession, knowing that you might now get anything in return, knowing that it might not last, knowing that its already harming you and your relationships – because for once, you found something that makes you feel alive and happy.
  12. ..and if Philippine showbiz is really that scary. Or if what you see in TV is anything but true. Especially those reality artista searches where each one has their own sob stories. Are those stories true – or fabricated by Tabloid Editors-turned Managers just to elicit empathy from the future fans they may have.
  13. Some parallelisms: Religious Fanaticism and Artista Fanaticism. Dyi-nos Santo : Gino Santos. Hay. Sorry. Its been on my mind ever since the play ended. Was that really intended?
  14. Though it was very thought-provoking (at least for me), it’s still pretty much enjoyable. It’s something that can be enjoyed even by those intimidated by theater.

Philippine Educational Theather Association (PETA) presents Bona starring Eugene Domingo at the PETA Phinma Theater No.5 Eymard Drive, Quezon City. Directed by Soxy Topacio and Screenplay by Layeta Bucoy. Showing Weekends from August 23 to September 23, 2012. Ticket prices and other details here

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