Theater fans can soon stream star-studded ‘Ang Larawan’ concert

May 18, 2023 - 6:13 PM
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Contra Mundum
A scene from the staging of "Contra Mundum: Ang All-Star Concert ng Ang Larawan" at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on May 6, 2023 (METphOfficial/Facebook)

No need to brave traffic as theater fans can now watch the star-studded musical “Contra Mundum: The All-Star Concert of Ang Larawan” in the comforts of their home this weekend.

The three-act musical play is based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin‘s stage play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.”

It became “Ang Larawan” after Philippine Educational Theater Association founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez tasked Krip Yuson and Franklin Osorio to translate it into the vernacular.

“Contra Mundum” is based on the original play by Joaquin, translated in Filipino by National Artist for Theater and Literature Rolando Tinio, with music by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab and original costume design by National Artist for Theater and Design Salvador Bernal.

Set in pre-World War II Manila, the production tells the story of two financially-struggling and unmarried sisters (Candida and Paula Marasigan) who agonize over whether or not to sell their recluse father’s painting and last masterpiece, and in the process, encounter betrayal.

A musical film based on the stage play “Larawan” was also released in 2017 as “Ang Larawan.”

Some of the film’s actors will appear in the concert staging, which can be streamed on the following Facebook pages on May 20, Saturday at 7 p.m. These are:

  • Manila Metropolitan Theater
  • National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
  • National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)
  • Project Saysay
  • Intramuros Administration
  • Department of Education (DepEd)

“Contra Mundum” will feature big-name television and movie stars as they venture into theater, such as Jericho Rosales, Paulo Avelino, and Bea Alonzo.

It will also see the performances of other names from the theater, film, and TV industry such as Rachel Alejandro, Hajji Alejandro, Kakai Bautista, Nonie Buencamino, Roeder Camañag, Ricky Davao, Dulce, Bituin Escalante, Jaime Fabregas, Nonoy Froilan, Audie Gemora, Nanette Inventor, Agot Isidro, Karylle, Celeste Legaspi, Jojit Lorenzo, Sandino Martin, Bodjie Pascua, Aicelle Santos, Markki Stroem, Kakki Teodoro, Mitch Valdes, Nyoy Volante, Mikkie Bradshow-Volante, and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.

The concert will likewise include performances of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the dancers of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines.

Cayabyab, who composed the music for the 2017 film, will serve as its musical director.

“Contra Mundum” also serves as Bea’s debut as a theater and singer-actress.

“First time performing in a musical theater, and it’s both exciting and nerve-racking!!” she exclaimed on Instagram before.

It is likewise Jericho’s official comeback into acting “after four years of quietness, as well as traveling and working on other stuff.”

“Contra Mundum” was previously staged at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on May 6.