The Wheel and Axle

Tag: Aurelio Sedisyoso

Aurelio Postscript: Mabuhay ang Tanghalan!

by on Sep.17, 2017, under Literature, Music & Theater, Society, Travel & Culture

Because I enjoyed it so much, I watched Aurelio Sedisyo: A Rock Sarswela again. I basically book-ended the experience, having first seen it during opening night and now capping it with the closing show. And while opening night was great, the production has definitely found its footing and is even more polished.

I’ve spoken previously of the wonderful performance of the cast members, but this time I was able to watch Baron Geisler as Tikbalang. Just like the rest of the cast, he is excellent onstage. Despite the occasional difficulty of being heard (it might have been his mic), Baron has a powerful presence, perhaps more so than his alternate, that truly helps embody the personification of American Imperialism. His is an imposing antagonist, one that is disturbing, hilarious, and frightening all at the same time – a portrayal deserving of the character.

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Deliciously Seditious, Part 2

by on Sep.04, 2017, under Literature, Music & Theater, Society, Travel & Culture

Continued From:

Deliciously Seditious, Part 1

Aurelio Sedisyoso: A Rock Sarswela, beyond sedition and subversion, is also a grand zarzuela. It is a beautifully-boisterous production reminiscent of those colorful stagings of old, where drama and comedy were fused with music and choreography and, in some cases, cheeky but pointed social criticism. Simultaneously operatic and punk and everything in between, it seamlessly incorporates classic zarzuela accoutrements and traditional Tagalog song and dance with modern trappings such as rap battles, rock riffs, and hip-hop.

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Deliciously Seditious, Part 1

by on Sep.03, 2017, under Literature, Music & Theater, Society, Travel & Culture

I never thought the children’s song I Have Two Hands could ever be disturbing, but Aurelio Sedisyo: A Rock Sarswela – the latest musical from Tanghalang Pilipino – proved me wrong.

It tells the tale of playwright Aurelio Tolentino, who at the turn of the 20th century opposed the American regime in the Philippines through the mighty pen. He staged symbolic plays that condemned the colonizers as a way to continue the revolution after Emilio Aguinaldo’s capture. Together with Macario Sakay and Dominador Gomez, Tolentino was part of a triumvirate of resistance from different fronts: soldiers (Sakay), laborers (Gomez), and artists (Tolentino). Along the way, he befriends Manuel Quezon, an aspiring lawyer who believes freedom will come through political maneuvering into government, an idea that appalls Tolentino. Interspersed with the story of his cause is the story of his family, of how familial loyalties and love are tested in the midst of trials and tribulation.

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