Monday, February 1, 2010

Duets (Repertory Philippines)


Duets is a play which consists of four vignettes with fast costume and set changes weaved in between. Two actors play four very different roles: two oldies on a blind date, a flamboyant gay birthday celebrant and his personal assistant who wishes he were not gay, a couple soon-to-be-divorced partying in Boracay, and a supportive brother helping his sister prepare on her wedding day as a third-time bride.

Once again, Miguel Faustmann astounds the audience with his marvelous display of versatility as a theater actor. This theater piece is really a good vehicle for actors of his caliber to showcase their flexibility, what with the fast character changes, another actor would probably not be as convincing. Each one of the four characters he plays leaves a lasting impression, but the most memorable one would be the gay role in the second vignette.

Not to be upstaged, Joy Virata also gives an incredible performance peaking on the last two roles after the intermission. The tour de force would be the last one where she does the role of the third-time bride, but the other one with her as a drunk soon-to-be divorcée is also very entertaining.

The two actors have good rapport on stage, which makes it easier for the audience to feel more acquainted with them and sympathize with their dilemma, while trying to control their laughter on the hilarious scenes made more funny with the punch lines delivered in perfect comic timing.

Kudos to Tuxqs Rutaquio for the magnificent set design. It is simply amazing how the walls of the room, where the costume changes of the actors are made visible to the audience, easily change from transparent to opaque depending on the lighting used. And those glass panes! There is a part where it rains, and the way the water trickles down those boards of glass makes the audience feel as if they were actually inside a real house. The rotating wall panels also serve as a convenient device for the quick set changes. I. Am. Amazed.

This play is far from boring. The quick costume and set changes are weaved in as a part of the four vignettes, and intentionally made visible to the audience. This adds more to their appreciation of the two actors at play. Along with the rapid costume and set changes comes the quick shift of personalities, different roles. Again, an outstanding showcase of versatility.

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