Monday, July 26, 2010

The Road to Equus

Exactly a week ago, I bought one prime seat--three rows away from the stage--to the final matinee performance of Repertory Philippines’ revival of "Equus"--that Tony Award-winning play by Peter Shaffer about a young man’s psychotic adoration for horses, recently made more popular (and controversial) by Harry Potter himself. This was going to be my very first "straight play."

That show was yesterday. And the whole ordeal of getting to the venue reminded me of that Chinese adage my brother used for his high school valedictory speech: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In my case, though, it seemed more like "a single step begins a thousand-mile journey."

It started pouring around noon--and didn’t stop ‘til evening. The stupid part was that I decided to wait it out and leave at around 2:15. No luck getting a cab along Juan Luna St. I even walked as far up as the plaza, to no avail. Walked back home, but the guards in our building didn't have the numbers of taxi operators. Walked back to Juan Luna again. Since desperate times call for desperate measures, I boarded a random jeepney. It was already 2:45.

Manila was flooded to the shank, apparently. In what I consider to be a stroke of destiny, I actually boarded the wrong jeepney--the ones that pass along Orosa, Kalaw and Del Pilar. By that time, I was already thinking of just getting off at Robinsons and watching "Inception" instead. But the farther we traveled, the more empty taxis I saw, and that was how I decided to get off at UN-Del Pilar and head for Bayview Park Hotel. 

I was right. At around 3:03, I easily hailed a cab at the corner of Bayview. He agreed to drive me all the way to Greenbelt, but for a higher fee, since we’d be passing through flood-submerged roads. Between missing the show and shelling out a little more, I’d choose the latter anytime. There was heavy traffic again along Osmeña Highway (apparently, SLEX Manila-Makati is not spared the floodwaters), so we had to go ‘round EDSA and Magallanes.

The ending: I missed the first ten minutes of the show.

About the production: Miguel Faustmann totally brought the poor psychiatrist Dysart to life and hit all the right spots in his monologues. Marco Manalac's Alan Strang actually impressed me, his lanky frame wrapped in palpable pain. The slutty girl, however, was a bit annoying (maybe it was the accent).

Again, this was only my first "straight" play, so there's really no way for me to say how good or bad it was. I did have a great time, though, but then again, don't we all have a great time at the destination after thousand-mile journeys?

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