Gantimpala Theater's harvest of pearls continues as it presents the second offering of its 30th season celebration, Kanser (Noli Me Tangere), revered by many as the longest running Philippine theater classic.
Written by Jomar Flores, it won in the 1979 Cultural Center of the Philippines Playwriting Contest as honorable mention for the special adaptation category. The play is about the homecoming of Crisostomo Ibarra in the country after his European studies. He arrives in San Diego to rekindle his relationship with sweetheart Maria Clara and to pay his respects to his late father Don Rafael. His arrival opens his eyes to the many ills plaguing his hometown and makes him realize that the reign of greed and the abuses of the people in power is at its peak.
This 27-year old play earned this glowing review from the late National Artist for Dance and theater critic Leonor Orosa Goquinco:
"Whoever thinks that Jose Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer) has been drained dry as source of artistic inspiration has some rethinking to do. For Kanser is theater of the highest order—meaningful, fully satisfying, high-voltage drama. No longer is there a need to be defensive about Philippine theater—it has arrived. And Kanser is pulsating proof of this, it should run a year, for the benefit of the school population of Manila."
Breathing life to the famous Noli Me Tangere characters are Allan Paule and Miguel Castro (alternately portraying Crisostomo Ibarra); Monica Llamas (Maria Clara); Lowell Conales (Elias); Ces Aldaba (Padre Damaso); Dante Balois (Pilosopong Tasyo); Joan Palisoc (Sisa); Troy De Guzman (Padre Salvi); Joey De Guzman (Mang-Aawit); Malou Crisologo (Doña Victorina); Kathy Arguelles (Doña Consolacion); Jeffrey Camañag (Don Tiburcio); Jorge Cabullo (Kapitan Tiago); John Rhoderey Dizon (Basilio); John Matthew Dizon (Crispin); and Perry Escaño (Teniente Guevarra).
Presenting this theater of the highest order are Adriana Agcaoili (director); Billy Parjan (assistant director); Andy Villareal (lights designer); Marianne Sedotes (set designer); Randy Guevara (choreographer); Norman Peñaflorida (production manager); Glenda Alday (stage manager); and Tony S. Espejo (artistic director).
Performances are slated for August 19 (7 pm, Concert at the Park Open Air Auditorium, Luneta, Manila) and August 24-26 and 31; September 1, 7-8, (10 am and 2 pm, AFP Theater, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City).
For inquiries, please call the Gantimpala Theater Marketing Office at 899-5745/896-3503.