My heart went into a peculiar tippity-thump-thump tonight as I sat on the comfy seats of the newly renovated Luce Auditorium to watch a play called Tuesdays with Morrie, directed by Baby Barredo of Repertory Philippines. The reason for the arrhythmia being that theater has a special place in my heart. I love it!
Not everybody will understand this, but those who do will fully agree, theater thrills. Be it on stage, backstage, rehearsing, or sitting as part of the audience, there is an exhilaration and satisfaction about live theater that is quite different from movie or television art.
Even a community theater of amateurs is charming and entertaining. How much more so when the play is done by professional thespians and like Miguel Faustman and Bart Guingona. They are ones I like best about the play. They speak so well! And they've memorized their long, long dialogues and made the lines their own.
The next thing I like about the play is how the director creatively and effectively used the simple set to transition from one Tuesday to the next. There were a lot of Tuesdays in the play, which by the way is about a former mentee, now in his forties, visiting his terminally ill former mentor every Tuesday.
The thing that scared me about the play, was the deathbed scene. I didn't think Miguel Faustman would actually stop breathing as he played dead. But he sure seemed to do so as the ghouly bright light cast shadows on his face.
The thing that I liked least about the play is perhaps the script. (Isn't this just so preposterous of me? ) I had lots of ear to ear smiling and laughing out loud moments thanks to the witty script writing. The part I didn't like is that several times during the play, the actors would revert to preaching instead of just telling a captivating story.
I am curious, though, why the play did not move me to tears. Could it be because the actor was crying and I'm one who would rather have a dry eyed actor but a teary audience? Although I must say Bart did the crying part so elegantly, so man-ly, no slapstick mush. Or maybe because I'm a doctor and when it comes to illness, physicians sort of instinctively stiffen inwardly and condition ourselves, this is not a time to get emotional but a time to think straight. So, I don't know.
Overall rating: two thumbs up.