“ibong adarna”: a tale of the forgiving heart (a review on gantimpala theater foundation’s latest theater offering)

Once upon a time, in a kingdom of beauty and wealth, there existed a young man named Don Juan. He was the youngest son of a King and a Queen. He had two elder brothers.
But Don Juan was different, in a way that he was exceedingly good and brave. And his heart was loving.
Despite the many trials, condemnations, unjust treatment of his brothers and great tests, Don Juan proved to all that goodness would still prevail in the end.
This latest and updated version of a theater masterpiece from Gantimpala Theater Foundation spoke of grandeur, authenticity and artful skills.
The production design of this magnificent play was something no one had ever seen before. It was so beautiful. It could transcend you to look further in a magical land, as the set design transformed itself into many different colors, textures and innovations.
Thanks to Mr. Roobak Valle, who also happened to be the director of this play, for the truly wonderful set design. Especially the design on the center stage, wherein you could view entirely through shadows, light effects and silhouette forms and figures the artistry of its moving artists on stage.
The Muslim-inspired set and version of this play was truly functional. It gave the classic tale a refurnished and unique touch.
BJ Forbes as Don Juan was so pleasant and convincing with his performance. He gave a light attack on his character, but certainly efficient.
The dancer who characterized Ibong Adarna also gave a very strong impression. He danced like a mystical bird, indeed. And his costume was simply fantastic, varying in colors and elegance.
The supporting and whole ensemble cast of this classic play (which was based on the classic epic novel in the 18th century, in which, until now, the author was never known) that had existed for seventeen years, was commendable. They all performed well.
But it was the direction of Mr. Roobak Valle that somehow made this play unforgettable. He executed the scenes with perfect blocking, good timings/rhythms and, with a mellow touch. Something so relaxing and delightful to the eyes.
Without too much passion and intensity, but only with perfect simplicity, the play rightfully succeeded in delivering a message.
That a tale of the forgiving heart could endure a lifetime.
In the hearts and minds of the young.

(written by robert manuguid silverio)


Star Theater, Star City, Pasay
October 3 and 4

Cinema 3, SM Southmall
October 10 and 11

(For ticket and booking inquiries, please call Gantimpala Theater Marketing at Tel. Nos. 998-5622 / 872-0261)







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