PETA closes its 47th season with Cherry Orchard remake, Arbol de Fuego
Capping the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s 47th season is Arbol de Fuego, Rody Vera and Loy Arcenas’ reimagining of Anton Chekhov’s classic Cherry Orchard. After three successful Rak of Aegis runs, and original Filipino production, FnL, PETA simmers down from the fitful comedy-musical first half of the season with a grounding of a world classic this February 2015.
Arbol de Fuego is a tragicomedy about middle-aged matriarch Enriquetta Jardeleza-Sofronio, played by veteran actress Cherie Gil, who comes home after having squandered the family fortune on a long stay in Madrid. Buried in debt, she and younger brother Adjie (essayed by Jake Macapagal) is advised to sell the estate to avoid bankruptcy, but refuses, insisting on keeping their ancestral house and the flourishing rows of fire trees that frame the estate. The Jardelezas instead, throw party after lavish party, reminiscing their opulent past in an effort to forget their depleting wealth.
Although somber in mood, writer Rody Vera shares that this Chekhovian classic is told with underlying sarcasm and humor. Arbol de Fuego laughs at the habits and tendencies of the diminishing aristocratic class. The story is set in Negros Occidental in the late 70’s during the Marcos era sugar monopoly, when most hacienderos stood helpless in their decline. The arbol de fuego, a flowering tree that bears no fruit, Rody intimates, is a symbol of the beauty and emptiness of a class losing grips of their power and wealth.
Arbol de Fuego boasts of a stellar cast. Alongside Gil is Urian best actress awardee Angeli Bayani who plays Charito, Enriquetta’s adopted daughter who takes care of the estate while they are away. British Independent Film Award nominee Jake Macapagal plays Enriquetta’s ostentatious brother Adjie, while 2013 Cinema One Best Actress Anna Luna plays her naïve and optimistic daughter. Joining them is money-grubbing former nobleman Chitong played by esteemed actor, director and set designer Leo Rialp; Self-made businessman and former servant Nonoy Tiking played by Raffy Tejada; young intellectual Dante played by Riki Benedicto; and old but faithful mayordomo Manoy Iking played by Bembol Roco. A host of talented actors round off the cast as the family’s hired servants played by Anthony Falcon, Lao Rodriguez, Gie Onida, Kiki Baento, and Divine Aucina.
Arbol de Fuego is sure to be an astounding acting piece and a feast for the senses; a truly Filipino production that is not to be missed! The play opens on February 20, 2015 with shows from Fridays to Sundays, 3:00pm and 8:00pm at the PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.
For show buying and ticket information, contact PETA at 725 6244 or 0917 5765400 or contact Ticket World at ticketworld.com.ph 891 9999.