The pandemic is all about redefining what’s "normal." Unfortunately, at least for the time being, this "new normal" also means the absence of local and international theaters, cinemas, and concert halls that we love.
Although the curtains remain drawn, and we’re left in a world without the glamor and drama of performance arts, this does not mean we are entirely destitute of the magic of performance arts.
Since 1962, every March 27, we celebrate World Theater Day across the globe. And, this is the second year we’re celebrating it under the COVID-19 pandemic. Will we let a pandemic get in the way of celebrating World Theater Day this year? Not if we can help it.
While the film and TV industries are already slowly getting back on their feet, live theater is still dormant. However, in response to these challenges and their social restrictions, event organizations in the Philippines are pivoting and becoming media companies.
Live art is transforming to fit the tiny screens of our gadgets. Artists, producers, and directors are tapping the digital potential of their different art forms. It may not be an elaborate stage, but it's the next best thing.
One day, the pandemic will end, and the theaters will be back in their former glory. Until then, we can put on our most comfortable pajamas, jump in our beds, and watch musicals on Netflix.
We are facing the longest intermission we’ve known – a year without theater. And that’s no way to live!
So lay down, relax and queue these movies:
GENRE: High School, Romance, Comedy
Everyone loves a classic! Can you resist singing along to “Hopelessly Devoted to You?”
Pay Rydell High School (with its jocks, football players, and cheerleaders) a visit! Grease pioneered the entire good-girl-meets-bad-boy cliché. Catch Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko, portrayed by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, navigate their rickety, fragile young romance.
Will their love see through the horrors of hairsprays, leather jackets, and pep rallies?
Oh, Hello on Broadway is an alternative comedy stand-up act about the bitter past of two “legendary bachelors,” Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland.
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, the comedians behind the characters, have amazing chemistry on stage – in a peculiar yet magical way. The two prove how even portraying delusional geriatrics can be career highlights.
GENRE: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Funny Girl is one of the classical favorites. And for good reasons, too. It is a vibrant drama about real-life comedienne Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand) and how she made her way into Broadway stardom.
Fanny Brice, more than a funny girl, has the makings of a superstar: talented, relentless, and people-will-stop-at-their-tracks beautiful.
GENRE: Comedy, Romance, Jukebox Musical
My my, how can we resist singing and dancing along to Mamma Mia!?
Bride-to-be Sophie and Donna, her single mother, find themselves preparing for a wedding on an idyllic Greek island where "almost nothing ever happens." That is until Sophie secretly invites her three (possible) dads to the wedding.
With iconic portrayals from Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep, coupled with the feisty pop music of ABBA, falling in love with Mamma Mia is a no-brainer.
GENRE: Drama, Romance, LGBTQ+
The Boys in the Band is the second film adaptation of Mart Crowley’s 1968 Off-Broadway hit.
Jim Parsons, most popularly known as Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper, leads the film as Michael. Just like Sheldon, Michael worries a lot; only here, it's about his receding hairline and sexuality.
In a nutshell, The Boys in the Band is a story of gay men, a birthday party, and a party crasher.
Admirable about this film is its inclusion. The nine characters in the film are played by openly gay men. As Ryan Murphy, the film's producer said, there are no better people to portray gay men than gay men.
GENRE: Romance, Jukebox Musical
Moulin Rouge is your classic boy-meets-girl romantic tale but navigated through the technicolor lens of early 20th century Paris. Add to the mix elements of a Parisian underworld and a revolution, and the traditional boy-meets-girl is made infinitely more exciting.
Satine, as exquisitely portrayed by Nicole Kidman, is the highlight of the film. The courtesan proves hoes she's the “sparkling diamond” of France in every scene – from her dangerous love affair with Christian to her dazzling performances in the famed Moulin Rouge cabaret.
It's long been said on stage: "improvise."
The theaters may not open anytime soon, so we must make do with what we have – gadgets, wine (optional, but recommended), and a Netflix subscription.
The show must go on! – Rappler.com
Kim Czaccei Dacanay is a Digital Communications volunteer at Rappler. She is a History major from the University of Santo Tomas, and works as a freelance writer.