TP's Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente

(Not quite a review of the play)

I was stunned. Amid those heart-wrenching scenes, I sat there on the bleacher with tears welling up in my eyes. Every line struck me.  Willy Loman’s retrospection as he struggles with his dementia haunted me in  way that it bombarded me with questions about my own life.  My own decisions.  My role as a son and as a member of the society.  Most of all: my identity.

Arthur Miller’s play Death of A Salesman transcends beyond time periods and socio-cultural boundaries.  With Rolando Tinio’s Filipino translation Pahimakas Sa Isang Ahente, Miller’s work continues to challenge society as it struggles with issues of capitalism and materialism.  This time, Tinio employed the word Pahimakas which means “Last Farewell” and changed the preposition “Ng” (or Of) to “Sa” ( or For), a metaphorical take on Willy Loman’s plight and tragic demise.  Pahimakas Sa Isang Ahente gives tribute to the salesman, who despite his impending debacle, leaves us questioning our very own selves and the roles we play in this society.

The three and a half hour duration, I must say, was life-changing.  Admittedly as a Lit major, I knew little about the play since we never delved into discussing it thoroughly.  I read the script and knew its historical background, but watching the play for the first time, took me to a new dimension.  It became more alive, the tragedy almost unbearable.  And the theme – compelling.

On what makes one successful

I silently chuckled and smiled every time the characters blurted out how success and fame are measured by how much a person earns and possesses.   Every time Willy Loman compares his life with his friend Charlie, I cringed at the thought that materialism can be overpowering. Sometimes we get uneasy when our neighbors have acquired a new television or a new refrigerator.  Or our friends flaunt a new iPhone model.  We want to keep up with them.  More so, competition becomes prevalent between families when it comes to their children.  For example, after Bernard leaves, Willy asks his sons Biff and Happy if Bernard is “well liked” at school.  The two answers Bernard is liked but not well liked.  He may be good at math but the two believe they would be even more successful than Bernard because they are “well liked.”

I am my father’s son

The father-and-son relationship is very apparent in the play.  The scenes between Will and Biff carried me away, pondering on my own relationship with my father.  Most fathers,  I think, have expectations for their children.  I believe that they too have dreams for their sons.  How many of us dare to sit down with our dad and have a heart-to-heart conversation with him?  There were quite remarkable scenes between Will and Biff and Happy that touched me the most.  I loved every confrontation and the ego battle between father and son.  I loved the restaurant scene where Happy persuaded Biff to tell their father about the latter’s meeting with Oliver.

Doing your job

How do we acquire material comforts in life?  Is it by intelligence alone?  Or is it by the like-ability of a person?  In Pahimakas  Sa Isang Ahente, Will Loman’s take on success depends on personal attractiveness.  That’s why, when Bill asks Oliver for a business plan, Will advises his son not to crack any jokes, and then to lighten the mood by telling funny stories, etc.  Sometimes, it seems that Will’s belief is superficial.  It makes us think about the meaning of hard work in achieving one’s dream.  It is not enough that we are “well liked” but doing our job efficiently can be a key to success. It’s quite a cliche, but true.

Identity and memory

Our struggles and issues in life reveal our identity.  In Will’s case, he tried to deny his incompetence as a salesman by creating dreams and ambitions that did not and would never happen.  Worse, he depended on his past and selected those events that had made him feel successful.  Will ended up remorseful and blamed everyone for his failure as a salesman.  The passage of time and the transition from past to present and back tied up the pieces together.  I understood Will Loman more and his decisions that lead to his impending doom.  I think that the theme of identity aside from the social relevance of the play is crucial.  Most of the scenes rely on Will’s memory which surfaced his regret and longing to make things fall into place.

Pahimakas and me

Witnessing the play acted out by veteran actors (Nanding Josef as Willy Loman, Gina Pareno as Linda Loman, Yul Servo as Biff) and even had the chance to take pictures with them, I felt lucky that I decided to buy the ticket for the last show.  I did not miss the opportunity to be moved by Miller’s classic work which we had slightly discussed in class.  Rolando Tinio’s translation brought the play closer to the audience, and despite being “American” in its context, is still relevant because of its universal themes.  Yes, my tears did well up.  And the rest of the audience I think ( I heard snuffles).  In the middle of the play, something crossed my mind.  I suddenly missed home.  I became like Biff Loman.  His anagnorisis was just enthralling.  “Habang tumatakbo ako mula eleventh floor, bigla akong napahinto…”  Watching the play made me ponder how much I miss home.  How much I wanted to go home.  But work is here.  And in here, in this jungle, you need to prove yourself. Make people like you.  But then again, are these enough?  In this society where power and money matter, it is possible that some of us who don’t know how to wade through the rough waters may be trapped.  Someday, when we grow old, our actions today may haunt us in the future.

Lately I’ve been posting Lyrics of the Day, featuring some of my favorite songs from Broadway musicals.  It sucks how our office kind of banned YouTube so I cannot embed the videos that go along with the lyrics.

I love Broadway musicals.  Hence, this blog.  And as a proof, here are the top ten songs that always get me through the day. And some just speak the story of my life.  

1. I’m Alive- Next to Normal

Originally sung by Aaron Tveit

Favorite lines from the song: I’m alive/I’m right behind you. /You say forget, /But I remind you. /You can try to hide, /You know that I will find you. /’Cause if you won’t grieve me /You won’t leave me behind…

2. Love Heals- Rent

Sung by the whole cast

Favorite lines from the song: Love heals when pain’s too much to bear/When you reach out your hand/And only wind is there/When life’s unfair when things like us are not to be

3. I Honestly Love You-The Boy from Oz

Sung by Hugh Jackman and Jarrod Emick

Favorite lines from the song: You don’t have to answer I see it in your eyes/Maybe it was better left unsaid/But this is pure and simple and you must realize/That it’s coming from my heart and not my head

4. No Matter What- Whistle Down the Wind

Favorite lines from the song: No matter what they tell us, no matter what they do/No matter what they teach us, what we believe is true/I can’t deny what I believe, I can’t be what I’m not/I know this loves forever, I know no matter what/I can’t deny what I believe, I can’t be what I’m not/I know this loves forever, that’s all that matters now no matter what

5. Second Chances- Allegiance

Sung by Lea Salonga

Favorite lines from the song: What’s past is past but it’s not the last/We’re not alive to just remember./When life has said to you,/Not a chance, but two…/Life has granted you a second chance.

6. With You- Ghost the Musical

Sung by Caissie Levy

Favorite lines from the song: I keep thinking that you’ll be calling/Everyone says that it’s all in my head/And I can’t accept it yet/I’m not ready to just give in/I know that I can’t live in this pain/With these feelings of regret

7. Someone Like You-Jekyll and Hyde

Sung by Linda Eder

Favorite Lines from the song: And now I see a world/I’ve never seen before -/Your love to open every door,/You set me free,/Now I can soar!

8. Suddenly Seymour- Little Shop of Horrors

Favorite lines from the song: Tell me this feeling last ’til forever/Tell me the bad times are clean washed away/Please understand that it’s still strange and frightening/For losers like I’ve been it’s so hard to say

9. Brotherhood of Men- How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Sung by Daniel Radcliffe

Favorite lines from the song: One man may seem incompetent, /Another not make sense, /While others look like quite a waste /Of company expense.

 

10. I Believe- Book of Mormon

Sung by Andrew Rannells

Favorite lines from the song: The Scriptures say that if you ask in faith/If you ask God Himself, you will know /But you must ask Him without any doubt /And let your spirit grow…

So there you go.  How about you? What are your favorite lines from Broadway musicals?

 

 

Originally posted on The Theater Observer:

Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman addresses one man’s repudiation to embrace change, as he confronts the issues in his life–memories, dreams, identity– all unfolding on the last 24 hours of his life.  The story of Willy Loman has captured the audience, both English and non-English speakers, for decades since it premiered on Broadway in 1949.

This time, Filipino audience will have its chance to sympathize with Loman’s plight as The Cultural Center of the Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino stage the Filipino translation of Miller’s play by Filipino poet and playwright Rolando Tinio.

From CCP’s description:

A powerful modern drama performed many times since its opening in 1949, in both English and non-English speaking countries, and in diverse range of languages and cultural contexts. Over the years, this play has stirred a number of intriguing interpretations. The universality of this piece is evident in its number…

View original 295 more words

The other end

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Upcoming Plays and Musicals

Elsed Togonon:

Non-theater related. But will be using this idea for a one-act play…

Originally posted on thewallflowerconfessions:

“Of course it hurt that we could never love each other in a physical way. We would have been far more happy if we had. But that was like the tides, the change of seasons–something immutable, an immovable destiny we could never alter. No matter how cleverly we might shelter it, our delicate friendship wasn’t going to last forever. We were bound to reach a dead end. That was painfully clear.” 
― Haruki MurakamiSputnik Sweetheart

Image

I tend to shut people out when feelings propel me to cling on to them.  Friends may tell me that I’m a coward, afraid to take the risk of loving, but honestly, it’s very hard for me to open up when it comes to relationships.  I don’t even know why so don’t expect me to elaborate.  Perhaps I never wanted to be in a relationship. I’m happy the way I am, being single…

View original 541 more words

 

Jujamcyn Theaters President Jordan Roth took to Twitter tonight following the Broadway League’s announcement that they would not be dimming Broadway’s lights in honor of late comedienne and stage star Joan Rivers, who died last week at the age of 81.

Broadway’s Jujamcyn Theaters to Dim Marquees Tomorrow in Honor of Joan Rivers.

I know this is gonna be spectacular.  Can’t wait to see Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan together in one movie musical.  I’m pretty excited about the treatment, and I’m pretty sure it’s really different from the musical. Excited much!

VIDEO: Anna Kendrick Sings in First Clip from THE LAST 5 YEARS Movie!.

Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman addresses one man’s repudiation to embrace change, as he confronts the issues in his life–memories, dreams, identity– all unfolding on the last 24 hours of his life.  The story of Willy Loman has captured the audience, both English and non-English speakers, for decades since it premiered on Broadway in 1949.

This time, Filipino audience will have its chance to sympathize with Loman’s plight as The Cultural Center of the Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino stage the Filipino translation of Miller’s play by Filipino poet and playwright Rolando Tinio.

From CCP’s description:

A powerful modern drama performed many times since its opening in 1949, in both English and non-English speaking countries, and in diverse range of languages and cultural contexts. Over the years, this play has stirred a number of intriguing interpretations. The universality of this piece is evident in its number of countless staging, 2 award winning movie versions and ranking 1st in The Best 50 Plays of the past 100 years by Entertainment Weekly (2003).

 

Tanghalang Pilipino’s staging highlights dreams, family and love in the context of post-war America and to be performed in a very intimate theater – where one can a most touch and smell the characters. Seating is treated as part of the stage design – it is not watching from afar but entering into the realm and milieu of the play.

 

DATE/ TIME/ VENUE:

Sept. 26-28, October 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 2014  

FRI: 8:00pm

SATURDAY: 3:00pm & 8:00pm

SUNDAY: 10:00am & 3:00pm

Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater)

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION:

ARTISTIC STAFF                      

Playwright:                    ARTHUR MILLER

Translation:                   ROLANDO TINIO

Director:                       CHRIS MILLADO

Costumes Designer:      JAMES REYES

Set Designer:                LEO ABAYA

Lighting Designer:         KATSCH CATOY

Sound Designer:           TJ RAMOS

Flute:                            RAIN RICARDO 

 

CAST:                                      

Willy Loman:                 NANDING JOSEF / JONATHAN TADIOAN

Biff Loman:                   YUL CERVO / MARCO VIANA

Happy Loman:              RICARDO MAGNO

Linda Loman:                GINA PARENO / RACQUEL PARENO

Charley:                        DIDO DE LA PAZ

Bernard:                        JV IBESATE

Ben:                             DING NAVASERO / BONG CABRERA

The Woman:                  REGINA DE VERA / LHORVIE ANN NUEVO

Howard Wagner:            ALDO VENCILAO

Stanley:                        DAN JARDEN DE GUZMAN

Letta:                            ANTONETTE GO

Jenny:                          DORAY DAYAO

 

 

TICKET INFORMATION:

Ticket Price

Matinee Shows:

VIP Seats : Php 800.00

Bleachers & Gallery : Php 600.00

 

Discounts:

20% discount for Senior Citizen, PWD, Government& Military Employee.

50% discount for Student with ID.

 

8PM Shows:

One price only @ Php 800.00

No Discounts for Students.

20% discount for Senior Citizen, PWD, Government& Military Employee. 

 

for details, please visit the Cultural Center of the Philippines website.

 

 

 

 

 

(Molly)

I picked up your shirts this morning
I don’t know why, I don’t know why
Mr Reynolds said to say hello
I started to cry, I started to cry
Every place we ever walked and
Everywhere we talked, I miss you
You never leave my mind
So much of you is left behind

You took my days with you
Took my nights with you

Those unfinished conversations
We used to have still speak to me
And I write you letters every day
That I’ll never send and you’ll never see
All this wishful thinking
Gets me nowhere I can’t stay
Though my heart is broken
It keeps breaking every day

You took my hopes with you
Took my dreams with you

I keep thinking that you’ll be calling
Everyone says that it’s all in my head
And I can’t accept it yet
I’m not ready to just give in
I know that I can’t live in this pain
With these feelings of regret
I can’t comprehend this
And pretend that I don’t care
Any place I wanna be
I wanna see you there

You took my life with you
Took my world with you

 

lyrics source: http://www.themusicallyrics.com/

 

Originally posted on TIME:

Big stars from movies and TV are hardly a novelty on Broadway anymore. But this fall may be some kind of high-water mark. Famous names will be plastered all over Broadway marquees — mostly in revivals, or in tony ensemble pieces rather than classic star turns. It’s only prudent. Few Hollywood stars want to risk facing the critics in an untried new play (as Katie Holmes did two seasons ago in the ill-fated Dead Accounts), or take on a demanding classic role where they’re likely to be judged against a long line of legendary predecessors (witness the tepid reviews for Scarlett Johansson’s recent turn as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).

This Is Our Youth, Kenneth Lonergan’s critically praised off-Broadway comedy from the 1990s, seems like an ideal vehicle for the trio of stars headlining its Broadway debut (opening on Sept. 11). Michael Cera, known for…

View original 664 more words

[Beth:]
Somewhere there’s a world where you and I are man and wife
We have a child
Or three
And it’s just fine with me
To love that life

And somewhere there’s a world
Where from the first we never met

We never spoke
Or kissed
We don’t know what we missed
Or don’t know yet

And I didn’t go to Vassar,
But to Smith, or Yale, or Brown
I ended up in Boston,
Or some small Alaska town
To practice law, or neuter cats,
Or fish the Bering Sea
Those lives are lived somewhere
By some other me

Some other me
Is homeless
Some other me
Is queen
Some other me has seen things that no other me has seen
If I met her I would ask her that one question we both fear:
Some other me
How’d we end up here?

[Lucas:]
Somewhere there’s a me who never loved that other you
Who liked you fine
I guess
As buddies, more or less
And that would do

And somewhere there’s a you who simply worshipped other me
And we were wild
And hot
And all the things we’re not
And we were free

And somewhere I’m the president,
With plans that never fail
And somewhere I’m a rebel king,
And some where I’m in jail
I didn’t chase my glory days long after they were done
I found myself a woman, or a man, and had a son

Some other me’s
A rockstar
Some other me’s
Still cool

Some other me does not feel like som tired old fool
And you and I are strangers,
Or we’re lovers, or we’re not
The other mes
Live with what they’ve got

[Beth:]
Look down each road left untaken

[Lucas:]
Trace ev’ry turn and twist

[Beth:]
The lives that we just let go by

[Lucas:]
The dreams we might have missed

[Lucas & Beth:]
Now we’re old enough to know that
One road ends where one begins
The moment where the “what might bes”
Turn into “might have beens”

[Beth:]
Somewhere there’s a world where you and I can still be friends
Not like we were
Not yet
We forgive but don’t forget
No happy ends
But friends

 

lyrics source: azlyrics.com