PETA to stage musical adaptation of Shakespeare

Posted at 01/19/2013 4:03 PM | Updated as of 01/21/2013 10:45 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) is set to stage a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", with award-winning theater actress Cris Villonco leading the cast.

Criss Villonco as Viola and Bastian

Titled the "D Wonder Twins of Boac", the new PETA offering is directed by Maribel Legarda and written by Rody Vera. It will have 30 shows from February 1 to March 3 at the PETA Theater Center.

The 1960s-set adaptation tells the story of Marinduque twins Viola (Villonco) and Bastian (Chrome Cosio), who both aspire to become actors in a time when Philippine cinema's golden age is at a "decline."

A shipwreck leads Viola to believe her brother is dead, but she continues on her journey in Manila to make it big in show business. Disguising herself as a boy named Ceasar, Viola auditions to become the "Elvis" of a film production company in the city, Campanilla Pictures.

Of her role as Ceasar, Villonco said, "We are going into the direction of innocent with a touch of femininity like Gwyneth Paltrow in 'Shakespeare in Love.’"

The stage actress, whose stage portrayals mostly speak English, said she is still "trying to roughen up my Tagalog and trying to acquire an accent to make it authentic."

Villonco had previously starred in local stagings of "Sound of Music" as Maria Rainer, "Les Miserables" as Eponine, and "Jekyll and Hyde" as Emma Carew.

Aside from the Philstage Gawad Buhay awardee, the cast of "D Wonder Twins of Boac" includes Bodjie Pascua, Lex Marcos, Shamaine Buencamino, Gino Ramirez, Paolo Rodriguez, Carlon Matobato, Riki Benedicto, Gie Onida, Eric dela Cruz, Roi Calilong, Kiki Baento, Kat Castillo, Tricia Huseña and Divine Aucina.

The play's music is composed by Jeff Hernandez, with choreography by Carlon Matobato, costumes by John Abul, and lighting design by Jon Jon Villareal.