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‘#Y’: The Modern-Day Retelling of 80s ‘Bagets’?

On December 10, as part of Star Cinema’s 20th anniversary celebration, it will release and distribute the youth-oriented, but not-too-pleasant-themed flick of young filmmaker Gino M. Santos’s ‘#Y’.

Gino Santos is seen talking with the press, along with his two lead stars Elmo Magalona and Coleen Garcia. Photograph courtesy of Stanley Briz.

Gino Santos is seen talking with the press, along with his two lead stars Elmo Magalona and Coleen Garcia. Photograph courtesy of Stanley Briz.

The film revolves around the lives of upper-class and modern-day youth and features young stars like Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia, Sophie Albert, Kit Thompson, Slater Young, and Chynna Ortaleza.

Gino M. Santos, one of the youngest commercial, TV, and film directors in the country who graduated with a Digital Filmmaking degree from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde in 2008 was chosen as Philippines’ delegate for the Motion Picture Association Conference held in Beijing, China. He is best identified with flicks that focus on youth particularly set in present-day.

With ‘#Y’, together with his screenwriter Jeff Stelton, this is their second attempt to present the lives of today’s youth. In fact, according to Santos, “I intend to make a trilogy about the kids of today, following them in high school which was the setting for ‘The Animals’ and ‘#Y’, which depicts their lives in college.

“I’m still conceptualizing the third film with my writer, Jeff Stelton, it will probably be about yuppies and post-grad life.”

He added that in his first film ‘Animals’ which was also a Cinemalaya entry, it showcased more of the environment in which these kids live in, on the other hand in ‘#Y’, he went inside their heads in order to show the audiences what really goes on inside or what their motivations, “I guess the latest film is more intellectual.”

Two of Santos’s films are reminiscent of the 1984 two-part Philippine youth-oriented comedy films ‘Bagets’ created by Viva Films about a group of high school teenagers. In this successful 80s movie, it was Jake Tordesillas who wrote the story and the multi-awarded Maryo J. Delos Reyes was the one who directed it.

He admitted that the film was one of his inspirations, “I’m really a big fan of teen-oriented films and ‘Bagets’ is one of them. I also loved ‘Batch ‘81’ as well as ‘Jologs’. I guess all of them served as inspiration for my films. These films depicted their generations, from the slang, the clothes, and the environment, which I guess would make ‘#Y’ look unique to the generation since each generation has its own trademark style and the technology they use that differ on each time.”

Back in this year’s Cinemalaya, ‘#Y’ competed in the New Breed category and was given the Special Jury Citation for Best Acting Ensemble for its cast.

According to Santos, the film has to undergo some adjustments just to cater to the taste and regular audience as well as the thrust of Star Cinema, “We had to make a bit of tweaking.”

The film conveys a message of how today’s generation live their lives that is greatly influenced and unified by social media and the Internet. It also promotes the ideological lifestyle of ‘YOLO’ which means ‘you only live once’ which simply implies ‘make the most of what one has in this lifetime.

‘#Y’ is written by, and is produced by Stained Glass Productions and Timeframe Media Production.

Y Screening

For more details and updates on the film, like its facebook page.


DUP mounts William Wycherley’s ‘The Country Wife’, ‘Ang Misis Kong Prompdi’

Now on its last weekend run, Dulaang UP’s latest offering for its 39th season is ‘The Country Wife’, a play written by William Wycherley in 1675 still has remaining shows till December 7 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman.


The said straight play is a classic comedy of manners and hugely popular during the Restoration Period as it satirizes hypocrisy and human judgment that dominated the Puritan Regime and its issues are still common on this modern-day setting.

For a direct Filipino translation by Nicolas B. Pichay, DUP also mounts ‘Ang Misis Kong Promdi’.

Both staging are under the direction of Professor Emeritus Tony Mabesa.

Theatre actors in the cast are Martha Comia, Sue Prado, and Sari Estrada alternate for the title role of Mrs. Margery Pinchwife. While Neil Ryan Sese and Jay Gonzaga play as Mr. Harry Horner. Also acting are George De Jesus, Tarek El Tayech, Ian Ignacio, Carlo Tarobal, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, RS Francisco, Leo Rialp, Jacques Borlaza, Adriana Agcaoili, Dolly De Leon, Brian Arda, Sigmund Pecho, Issa Litton, Karen Gaerlan, Bea Paloma, Rizzy Alejandro, Joanna Lerio, Ron Biñas, Ces Aldaba, Francis Mata, Aurora Yumul, Chona Fernando, Gian Carlo Patelo, Regina Mendezona, Yvonne Ricaro, and Ccia De Leon.

The play’s plot is about the lives of men and women who belong to high society; lives that are entangled in the paradox of love, marriage, reputation, mores, sexual conduct, and politics.

A notorious philanderer named Mr. Horner, his homecoming ignites a series of infidelities and indiscretions. An innocent young woman Mrs. Pinchwife from the countryside speaks honestly of her thoughts and desires posing a challenge to the gendered norms and moral codes of 16th and 17th century London.

The artistic team is a composed of Shakira Villa Symes for lights design, Jethro Joaquin for sounds design, Meloton Roxas Jr. for technical direction, Clint Ramos for set design, Eric Pineda for costumes.

For more information about the shows like the official Dulaang UP facebook page and for tickets, call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara ay telephone numbers (632) 926-1349; 433-7840; 981-8500 local 2449 or send an email to dulaangupmarketing@gmail.com or tweet to said production team.

Seize the Power of ‘Grease’

Dos Santos and Lorenzana play Sandy and Danny in the re-run of 'Grease'. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

Dos Santos and Lorenzana play Sandy and Danny in the re-run of ‘Grease’. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

Known to be and is still considered as Broadway’s 15th longest-running show—‘Grease’ is on its re-run and is a production of 9 Works Theatrical with new cast members joining the old-timers as it recently opened on November 15 and will close on December 7 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

Robbie Guevara, 9 Works’ artistic director and at the same time the director of the said show was able to assemble a powerhouse mixed of talented young actors for its re-run.

Since the two GMA-7 Kapuso’s Gian Magdangal and Francesca Farr along with some of the members of the original cast have been replaced—the new leads—Guji Lorenzana and Tippy Dos Santos (both Star Magic artists) assumed the role of Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski, respectively.

There are some interesting points that need to be mentioned and highlighted in this production’s re-run.

It’s always fun to relive the Music of ‘Grease’.

This said production is based on the 1978 American musical romantic comedy film, which was directed by Randal Kleiser and was produced by Paramount Pictures. It is from Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs’ 1971 musical of the same title and talks about two lovers in a 1950s high school. It featured John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John on the lead roles.

The songs that can easily be identified by those who have fallen in love with the film and the stage version are the classic songs such as ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’, ‘Sandy’, ‘Grease is the Word’, ‘You’re the One that I Want’, ‘Summer Nights’, ‘Greased Lightnin’, and more. These songs are enough reasons for theater addicts should watch and enjoy at the same time.

Taus and Siguion-Reyna are Betty and Kenickie. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

Taus and Siguion-Reyna are Betty and Kenickie. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

If not for the iconic songs, this musical won’t be forever a hit and it transcends from one generation to the other. Apart from that, it has served as an inspiration for musical productions of ‘High School Musical’ and ‘Camp Rock’.

Rafa Siguion-Reyna and Antoinette Taus stood out.

When the said musical opened late last year in November till first day of December, even back then, the leads were outshone by the supports—Rafa Siguion-Reyna as Kenickie and Iya Villania as Betty Rizzo.

This time around, Rafa returned onstage with more ‘gusto’, has more intensity. He moves around the stage with precision in his dance routines and if only he has the voice of a tenor, then he could easily qualify to be elevated as the ‘new’ Danny. However, he has a baritone voice that suited him as the tough and rude, though considerate, second-in-command leader of T-Birds. Guji Lorenzana has a tenor voice, but there were quite a number of awkward moments when he appeared onstage during the musical’s press preview on November 14.

Antoinette Taus after being absent in the limelight for years since she stayed in the US, the choice to assume the role of a spiteful and sarcastic female leader of Pink Girls—Betty Rizzo was one good decision for her to reclaim her previous glory. Though Tippy may fit the bill as Sandy Dumbrowski; Taus is still the likely character that earned the most ‘buzz’. She may have appeared in several plays back then, but being the ‘mean’ Betty; she has given justice to the said challenging role.

The rest of the cast members performing one of the all-time favorite song numbers--'We Go Together'. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

The rest of the cast members performing one of the all-time favorite song numbers–‘We Go Together’. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

The rest of the cast members who made great impressions were—Alex Godinez as the fashion-conscious beauty—Marty; Peachy Atilano and Sarah Facuri are the good-natured, beauty school dropout Frenchy and the compulsive-eating Jan; Sab Jose as the enthusiastic cheerleader Patty Simcox; and Reb Atadero as the mischievous Roger.

Some Changes in the Productions were Made Palatable.

For those who have seen the run last year, there are changes in the production side.

Without spoiling it, 9 Works Theatrical made the re-run more attractive and palatable to the audience particularly the young audiences of today. The ‘We Go Together’ part was rather more interactive that made the audience stand and join in with the cast in dancing as opposed to the previous cast. Perhaps, the younger set of cast members helped the part to be more engaging to the audience to sing-and-dance along with.

The costumes in the ‘Greased Lightnin’ were more visually appealing especially when the lights went off as it illumined in the dark.

Although the overarching jukebox design was already part of its set design in its previous run, it still provided a different imagery for the audiences.

As a whole, ‘Grease’ is a musical that no one in his or her lifetime should miss. It is fun and entertaining at the same time. Each musical number is electrifying while the giddy moments between Danny and Sandy, Roger and Jan were relatable. Everything in this play has the power to infect each member of the audience to appreciate the kind of life projected in the play as well as its songs and music that are already well-loved classics.

For tickets and other inquiries, please call (632) 5867105 or +639175545560, or send an email to info@9workstheatrical.com. Also like the company’s facebook page as well as its twitter; Instagram accounts.

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