Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) hit original Filipino musical Care Divas returns, kicking off its 50th Anniversary with a whopping 50 shows from Feb 3 to March 19 at the PETA Theater Center.
Hilarious and heartwarming, Care Divas is gut-wrenching and bittersweet story about five gay overseas Filipino workers based in Israel who work as caregivers in the morning and transform into glamorous drag queens at night.
First premiered in 2011, the musical dominated the PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay! Awards bagging seven trophies including Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Outstanding Musical Production, Outstanding Original Libretto (Liza Magtoto and Vincent de Jesus) and Outstanding Musical Direction (Vincent de Jesus).
“Care Divas is not a story of epic proportions,” shares director Maribel Legarda. “It is a story of migration and how the dark, dirty, and dangerous work that will be encountered by majority of OFWs can, in the hands of resilient and loving people, be turned into a life filled with camaraderie, adventure and passion for life.”
It is a story that spans roughly a year and focuses on small seemingly insignificant community of OFWs that find a way to survive and thrive through friendships and an opportunity of personal expression through their creative performances," she adds.
The New Divas
Care Divas brings new cast members and two powerful new songs adding another layer of excitement for those eager to watch the restaging of the show.
Joining the outstanding ensemble are award-winning thespian Red Concepcion, ABS-CBN talent Thou Reyes and PETA Artists Ron Alfonso and Gio Gahol.
Concepcion, who recently won Best Actor for his portrayal of Adam/Felicia for Resorts World’s Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, alternates the role of Chelsea with theater veteran Melvin Lee who bagged the Gawad Buhay! Award for Outstanding Male Performance for Care Divas in 2011.
Reyes, a well-known actor and comedian known for his role as the much-loved character Takong in ABS-CBN’s Pangako Sa’Yo, will play the skeptical but caring Jonee alternating with PETA senior member Buddy Caramat.
Also joining the ensemble are Ron Alfonso (alternating with Vincent de Jesus as Shai) and Gio Gahol (alternating with Ricci Chan as Kayla), who were both part of PETA’s phenomenal hitRak of Aegis.
"We're finding new things every day and you can count on the whole cast (old and new) to bring something new to the table," Concepcion shares.
Reyes, who just recently went into theater, expresses that the support he gets from his co-actors and director is something he appreciates highly.
"It's pretty amazing. They constantly help you and ask you what you need in order to feel more comfortable on stage."
Concepcion, who watched the original run twice, said that he was honored to be a part of the rerun.
Returning for their roles are original Divas, Vince De Jesus (Shai), Ricci Chan (Kayla), Melvin Lee (Chelsea), Buddy Caramat (Jonee), Dudz Terana (Thalia), and Jason Barcial (Thalia).
Care Divas includes a powerhouse cast of theater actors such as PETA members: Joan Bugcat, Eric Dela Cruz, Joseph Madriaga, Eko Baquial, and Gold Villar; plus guest artists Jakub Krajger, Jef Flores, Paul Holme, Sherry Lara, Leo Rialp, and Myke Salomon.
Care Divas will run from February 3 to March 19 (Tues-Sun, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) at the PETA-Phinma Theater, PETA Theater Center, New Manila, Quezon City. For ticket reservations, contact www.ticketworld.com.ph 891-9999 or PETA 725-6244, 0917-5765400, www.petatheater.com/caredivas.