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NCCA commissioner eyes live stage for ‘Lapu-Lapu’ musical this April

By Jay-Ann Claudine Gutierrez Published Jan 28, 2022 9:50 pm

Live musicals have been halted indefinitely during the pandemic, but the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) raises hope for the theater industry as the arts commission is planning to reopen their shows at the Metropolitan Theater (MET) this April—starting with Lapu-Lapu: Ang Datu ng Mactan.

NCCA hosted its virtual press conference last Jan. 26 via Facebook live to kick off the celebration of this year’s National Arts Month. During the Q&A session of the Board of Commissioners, NCCA Chairperson Arsenio Lizaso was asked about the next big production to stage at the MET.

Lizaso lamented the absence of a live audience during the Lapu-Lapu production as it was only streamed online last October. The chair said: “Hindi pa po tapos ang Lapu-Lapu. Ang Lapu-Lapu po, ako lang ang solong nakapanood. Napakaramot ko. Kaya iyan po ay kailangan ulitin sa entablado. Iyan po ay walang nanonood. Iyan po ay ginawa namin online. So, in other words, it defeats the idea of an audience, which to me is the magical thing between the performer and the audience. Because you can make a play super good if you have an audience.”

Moreover, Lizaso stressed that the public needs to experience the play in person, and so the NCCA is eyeing to set the live viewing in April.

“I don’t mind telling you that I was in tears because gusto ko pong mapanood ng maramiKailangan po namin ulitin ‘yan, at pinagpaplanuhan na po namin. Kami ay magme-meeting na na mailabas iyan sa bandang Abril with an audience. I don’t know kung kami po’y papayagan na pero pinaplano na po namin no’ng grupo at magme-meeting na kami para maipalabas ang, hindi ko sinabing maipalabas “muli” dahil hindi pa naipapalabas. Naipalabas lang sa online,” the NCCA commissioner said.

Aside from the Lapu-Lapu musical, Lizaso added during the Q&A that he is looking forward to stage Felipe Padilla de León’s Noli Me Tangere, The Opera at the MET as well.

The Noli Me Tangere opera was last staged at the Main Theater of Cultural Center of the Philippines in June 2019.

The NCCA gave no updates as to the previous cast will reprise their roles for the prospective restaging of the said musicals.