Eugene Domingo is one of the country’s most popular actresses nowadays and it cannot be denied that she has legions of fans. But in Bona, the latest production of Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Eugene Domingo tackles the title role that brings her to the other side of the fence: that of a fan and an obsessed one at that. Knowing that she has legions of fans who would want to watch her perform live on stage, there is no doubt that Bona will be a huge hit. I was very fortunate to be among the audience who saw the preview performance of this play that was held over at the
. PETA Theater
PETA’s Bona is a stage adaptation of the film directed by National Artist for Film and PETA founding member Lino Brocka. The film featured Nora Aunor at the title role alongside Philip Salvador as the actor Gardo, who is the object of Bona’s affection. In the stage adaptation directed by Soxie Topacio and written by Layeta Bucoy, Edgar Allan Guzman plays the role of the actor, now named Gino Sanchez who is a contestant in a reality talent search on television. This season of PETA, its 45th, has a theme that examines film through theater performances and Bona tackles exactly that. Both Eugene and Edgar won best acting awards during last year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival.
I haven’t seen the film which this play was adapted from so I had no idea how the story would unfold. I didn’t have any prior knowledge so I didn’t fall into the mindset of continually comparing this stage adaptation and the film version while the performance was going on. Bona felt like the role was really written with
Eugene in mind. Probably, she
just took over the role and put her stamp in it. The first act really
demonstrated the usually brilliant although sometimes a bit predictable Eugene
Domingo type of acting, complete with unexpected adlibs that brought the house
down. But it was during the second act, when everything goes horribly wrong for
Bona that I saw a very different Eugene.
She was no longer Eugene but on
stage was only Bona spiraling down without any hope for salvation. Meanwhile, Edgar
Allan Guzman somewhat spoofed himself at the beginning, showing the cheesiness
that is inherent in television nowadays. He displayed bad, melodramatic acting
as a contestant of a reality talent search which made it really absurd for Bona
to become obsessed with him in the first place. His character wasn’t as well
rounded compared to that of Bona and it’s almost impossible to upstage Eugene
|Edgar Allan Guzman|
The end got me really disturbed and I did have to shift at my seat continuously. Such was my discomfort with what was happening to Bona as her plight became more and more desperate because of her obsession with Gino. Thank goodness that theater does have curtain calls after the show. Whatever tragic circumstances befell the characters during the course of the play no longer apply as the actors come out unscathed when they do their bows. Seeing Eugene Domingo on stage is a rare opportunity that people should seize. While she had her start in theater, her theatrical performances had been rare ever since she made it big in the industry. So I am grateful to PETA for giving me the opportunity to be among the first to see Bona.
Bona also stars Phil Noble, Joey Paras, Raffy Tejada, Jef Henson-Dee, She Maala, Olive Nieto, Jason Barcial, Junevir Tabor, Dudz Teraña, Juliene Mendoza, BJ Forbes, Gabs Santos and Anna Luna. Bona will run up to Sepember 23, 2012 at the
. Tickets are available at www.ticketworld.ph
and www.petathater.com. For more information, contact 725-6244, (0917)
576-5400, (0916) 309-0707 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. PETA Theater