Passion is the big winner at the Gawad Buhay awards

passion is the big winner at the gawad buhay awards - Passion is the big winner at the Gawad Buhay awards

PASSION POSTER 322x420 2 - Passion is the big winner at the Gawad Buhay awardsIt may have been held online instead of on a stage, but the 12th Philstage Gawad Buhay awards still had all the pomp, performance, and comedy that the Philippines’ answer to the Tony Awards is known for.

The big winner was Philippine Opera Company’s Passion, which won the night’s top awards including Outstanding Production for Existing Material for a Musical, Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical for Robbie Guevara, Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical, and Best Male and Female Lead for a Musical for Vien King and Shiela Valderrama-Martinez.

“It is a milestone for the Philippine Opera Company since it’s our first time we’re eligible to join and be nominated at Gawad [Buhay] Awards,” Karla Guttierez, artistic director of the Philippine Opera Company, said during the awards show streamed via YouTube on Oct. 8.

Passion is a Stephen Sondheim musical with a book by James Lapin about a young soldier and a terminally ill woman who is in love with him. The Philippine Opera Company’s adaptation was shown in 2019 and was met with acclaim. It was supposed to have a re-run in 2020 but the pandemic did not allow for it to happen.

(Read more: https://www.bworldonline.com/high-notes-for-passion/)

Another of the night’s big winners was Every Brilliant Thing, staged by the Sandbox Collective, which won Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play and Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play for Jenny Jamora. The Duncan MacMillan play tells the story of a young girl trying to ease her mother’s depression by starting a list of items worth living for.

(Read more: https://www.bworldonline.com/interactive-theater-amidst-despair-always-hope/)

After thanking her cast and crew, Ms. Jamora, in her acceptance speech also thanked the play’s audience because “you really are the co-stars who were willing to open up and talk about mental health openly without stigma especially at this time.

“It’s okay not to be okay. Things are dark, but they can be brilliant. Please reach out, ask for help. You are not alone,” Ms. Jamora added.

The awards show, which ran for more than two hours, was an amusing romp as its hosts Phi Palmos and Meann Espinosa often introduced the nominees via short skits shot in and around the Phiilippine Educational Theater Association theater compound, while Philstage Gawad Buhay president Audie Gemora did his opening speech in typical work-from-home garb: business suit from the waist up, home clothes from the waist down.

But the most unintentionally amusing part of the entire show was when the stream got copyright striked by YouTube while Gary Valenciano was singing a Freddie Santos song to honor Freddie Santos and his contributions to theater, pausing the show for a minute before going on, business as usual. It was ironic but apropos to the night’s message that the pandemic has only put live theater on pause, it did not end it.

The winners are:

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical: Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play: Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

Outstanding Production for Children: The Quest for the Adarna (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical: Robbie Guevara, Passion (Philippine Opera Company) 

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play: Jenny Jamora, Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical: Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play: Katsuri (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Lead Performance in a Musical: Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Male Lead Performance in a Musical: Vien King, Passion (Philippine Opera Company)

Female Featured Performance in a Musical: Tex Ordoñez-de Leon, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Male Featured Performance in a Musical: Paw Castillo, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Lead Performance in a Play: Kakki Teodoro, Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

Male Lead Performance in a Play: Marco Viaña, Katsuri (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Female Featured Performance in a Play: Sherry Lara, Coriolano (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Male Featured Performance in a Play: Brian Sy, Coriolano (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Set Design: Ed Lacson Jr., The Dresser (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Sound Design: Arvy Dimaculangan, Every Brilliant Thing (The Sandbox Collective)

Outstanding Lighting Design: Barbie Tan-Tiongco, The Dresser (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Costume Design: Bonsai Cielo, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Musical Direction: Daniel Bartolome, Passion (Philippine Opera Company) and TJ Ramos, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Original Book of a Musical: Luna Griño-Inocian, The Quest for the Adarna (Repertory Philippines)

Outstanding Translation or Adaptation: Guelan Luarca, Coriolano (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Choreography: JM Cabling, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Original Score: Fitz Bitana, Jen Darlene Torres and Eljay Castro Deldoc, Lam-ang (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Natatanging Gawad for Theater: Freddie Santos

Natatanging Gawad for Dance: Julie Borromeo

Zsarlene B.Chua

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