Monday, January 23, 2017

Congratulations to Repertory Philippines' Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Ongoing right now until February 12, 2017 at OnStage Theater in Greenbelt 1 of Makati city is the season opener of Repertory Philippines' Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. ...or you may add also ...and Nina and Cassandra, as this 6-cast play treats you to a comedy worth your every waking and sleeping hours.

The play is led by the youthful and glamorous Cherie Gil, playing Masha, who at the first minutes of the show had a very sensual kiss with the actor playing Spike. I must admit I was surprised with the scene that I was not able to take a photo or video during the media preview. I did not expect it to happen as this must be the first time I've seen actual torrid kissing on a theater stage. Since Cherie Gil is unbelievably great both in mainstream movies and theater, all her acting projects are sure hits - quality and content wise. You would give the best material and role for Cherie as she would graciously wear the crown if this was the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Playing as her siblings Vanya and Sonia respectively are theater veterans Michael Williams and Rosalyn Perez, who both did an amazing job of engaging the audience with their worries. I loved the monologue of Vanya since I could relate. Disturbed with the lengthy rant, the younger audience could probably be at lost since even I was not yet alive when they still lick stamps or envelope seals. But it sure gives the older audience a throwback to what was once before a norm. For Sonia, I have been loving all of Rosalyn Perez' characters not only because of her superb acting but also of her distinctive voice. She got me with her voice since the first time I've watched her in other plays.

Playing as the sexy boy toy Spike is the great looking Joaquin Valdez who is very right for his role. Again, I am surprised he took his clothes off, not only once but several times. But he definitely fits right in as the muscular tease.

Masha is oozing with sexiness as well. I must admit that Cherie Gil seems to have a fountain of youth for remaining a knock-out all these years. I can imagine what ladies would do to have her fit and slim body, and how she carries herself very well wearing any set of clothing is truly amazing.

Not to spoil it for the readers, I thought Spike will have a fling with the lady neighbor named Nina (played by Mica Pineda), but I obviously made a mistake at the revelation somewhere in the end. Damn, I am a sucker for the typical and expected. This is why the theater stories are much better that Pinoy teleserye where most stories are predictable.

Nina is adorable playing a "molecule" during a rehearsal for Vanya's written story. Her outfit makes her look so sweet yet sultry. When I was a bit confused she was dressed like a fairy during that scene, the moment she covered her face with the clothing made it all forgotten. Well, what would you wear if you were playing the role of a molecule?

Casandra, played by Naths Everett, could tell the future, or the past, as seen on stage. But how she does it makes it a lot more interesting. Predicting what will happen is an amazing power already but the way she announced it is the best super power I would like to have as well. Her outfit was appropriate for the role though she did made a mistake on her gift of sight saying Masha should beware of Nina.

The mention of a certain name to beware made my day since I never knew that name would be the disruptor of almost everything, which led to an ending that is quite more pleasing for most of the once gloomy main characters. Unfortunately, this character had no face as she was only mentioned several times. Beware!

Overall, kudos to the director Bart Guingona for bringing all of these characters together in a frenzy. Anton Chekhov will be very proud.

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Below is the official press release of Repertory Philippines' Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:

Cherie Gil headlines REP’s 2017 season opener Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Highly-acclaimed stage and television actress Cherie Gil leads the cast of Repertory Philippines, more popularly known as REP’s first offering for its 2017 season, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

REP starts off its 50th year line-up with a biting comedy which runs from January 20 to February 12 at the OnStage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.

Awarded as Best Play during the 2013 Tony Awards, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a witty piece of writing by Christopher Durang that cleverly mixes in Russian playwright Anton Chekov’s characters in what a New York Times reviewer called “a sunny play about gloomy people.” Fear not if you haven’t read a word from Chekov, because this quirky comedy of manners is meant to be relatable to any audience.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike tells the story of three siblings – named after Chekhov characters by their academic parents, and who are all living their namesakes’ unhappiness. The character of Vanya is played by REP veteran theater actor and director Michael Williams, while Philstage Gawad Buhay awardee Rosalyn Perez takes on the role of Vanya’s sister Sonia.

These two siblings have never left the confines of their childhood home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Bitterly they complain about their uneventful lives, lost dreams and missed opportunities while they witness the glamorous escapades of their more successful movie star sister, Masha, played by Cherie Gil.

As the siblings’ fortune-telling maid, Cassandra (note the reference to the Greek princess who had the gift of prophecy, and a matching curse of no one believing in her), starts prophesying impending dangers, Masha arrives to visit one weekend while toting her new sexy boy toy Spike played by Joaquin Valdes.

The normally quiet household is thrown into one rollicking weekend full of lust, rivalry, regret, and the possibility of escape.

REP’s own version is definitely something to look forward to with veteran actor and director Bart Guingona directing the production. The cast also includes REP veterans Naths Everett as Cassandra and Mica Pineda as Nina. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will make you laugh out loud at the same time think about the toils and troubles of life.

Catch REP’s first offering for the season as the company opens the curtains for its 50th anniversary.

For inquiries, you may call REP at 843.3570, and Ticketworld at 891.999 or log on to

For updates and show schedules, log on to, like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram, and follow @repphils on Twitter.

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