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PETA’s Wonder Twins of Boac: A Timely Comedy Play

Cris Villonco plays Viola.

Cris Villonco plays Viola and Cesar.

Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA) is known for its strong-statement productions and its latest offering that opened on February 1 and will end on March 1—‘D Wonder Twins of Boac’ is not an exemption. The is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy play, which was believed to be written between the year 1601 and 1602; but with modern take of the playwright Rody Vera and with the direction of PETA’s artistic director Maribel Legarda—together they produced a flavourful swinging sixties musical.

Though in this version, it may have been modernized and localized its setting to be palatable to its Filipino theatregoers, the playwright still retained its very essence. Taking on the roles of Viola and Bastian are effectively breathed into by Cris Villonco and Chrome Cosio as the ‘Wonder Twins of Boac’ of Marinduque.

When the playwright was asked why he has chosen the place of Boac as the origin of the twins, he simply replied, “I just thought of it without anything that is very significant.”

Chrome Cosio is Viola's twin brother, Bastian.

Chrome Cosio is Viola’s twin brother, Bastian.

The director, Ms. Legarda, specifically chose Villonco and Cosio to take on the roles of the twins because of their similarities in their features. And this is Villonco’s first time to do a dual role, and her first production with PETA as well. It is exciting to see Cris doing a couple of song and dance numbers, which proved her versatility as an actor.

Cris admitted, “I had to roughen my Tagalog and was trying to acquire an accent to make it authentic. Strangely enough, I have relatives from Marinduque and I am related to the people who used to be involved in LVN (now BLV in the play).

“It’s now more about research, of how different celebrities were like at that time and also just the manners and language patterns.”

Chrome, who plays Cris’s twin brother, is also a sought-after theatre artist as he has acted professionally onstage, on TV and in film. He perfectly fits the character of Bastian.

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