Arts & Culture

10 Must-See Arts and Culture Events in September 2019

Everything from a Harry Potter screening accompanied by live music, to the must-see auctions, to a Thai artist's debut exhibition.
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September is looking to be an incredibly busy month in Philippine arts and culture, with shows and events for appreciators of all ages. It’s also quite an exciting time to be a collector, as two of the country’s auction houses will be having their biggest sales of the year.

September 13-19: Piyesta ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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September kicks off festival season in local film, with the Piyesta ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) starting things off. This year’s lineup features an eclectic mix of stories, ranging from a look into social media influencer culture (I’m Ellenya L.) to a character study of a contract killer (Watch Me Kill). Of particular note are two tales of fascinating women: Circa, the story of an aging film producer who wishes to reunite with the many talents she’s worked with throughout her storied career; and Lola Igna, a comedic look at what happens when a cantankerous old lady suddenly becomes a celebrity simply for being 118 years old.

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The PPP will be screening its films in all cinemas nationwide. Learn more about each of this year’s offerings at pistangpelikulangpilipino.ph/.

September 13-21: The Well-Appointed Life

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Salcedo Auctions’ yearly showcase, The Well-Appointed Life, changed the landscape of Philippine art collecting when it debuted in 2010. This year, the auction house is proud to present yet another exemplary selection of paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and other objets d’art, headlined by La Pintura, a rare Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo work unseen in public for nearly 130 years.

Previews for the auction will run from September 13 to 20 at the upper lobby of the Peninsula Manila. The auction proper will begin at 2:00 p.m. on September 21, at the Rigodon Ballroom, Peninsula Manila.

September 13-22: Stephen Sondheim’s Company

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The first of two Sondheim musicals premiering this month, Company tells the story of Robert, a 35-year old man unable to commit to a relationship, and the pressure to settle down one feels when all his friends are married. Upstart Productions has assembled a stellar cast for this run, with OJ Mariano, Michael Williams, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Cathy Azanza-Dy, and Joel Trinidad taking the stage. Also in the cast are Caisa Borromeo, Maronne Cruz, Jill Peña, Sweet Plantado-Tiongson, Bianca Lopez, James Uy, Ariel Reonal, Chino Veguillas, and Nicky Triviño. Topper Fabregas directs while Rony Fortich serves as musical director.

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The Tony Award winner for Best Musical runs for only two weekends, from September 13-22, at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC. Tickets are available via Ticketworld.

September 13-January 12: The Quest for the Adarna

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Repertory Philippines’ Theater for Young Audiences will be performing The Quest for the Adarna, an original musical based on the beloved Filipino folktale, at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, beginning September 13. The five-month run will feature a rotating cast of some of Rep’s most talented performers, with Carla Guevara Laforteza, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Cara Barredo, and Andrea Alvarado alternating as the titular role. The all-ages play’s book and lyrics were written by Luna Griño-Inocian, with music by Rony Fortich. Joy Virata directs.

Tickets are available via Ticketworld.

September 14: The Magnificent September Auction

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Leon Gallery’s highly anticipated annual auction is a treasure trove of art and historical objects. This year, the spotlight is on the Murillo Velarde Map of 1734, widely considered the “Holy Grail” of Philippine maps. As the first scientific map of the archipelago, the document features the maritime routes between the Philippines, Spain, and Mexico during colonial times. The map itself is flanked by engravings of different ethnic groups within the islands, and by cartographic descriptions of key areas.

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The auction begins at 2:00 p.m. on September 14, at Leon Gallery.

September 14-15: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert

For anyone who’s ever loved the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a unique experience: A chance to watch the first film with scoring by a live orchestra. Gerard Salonga conducts the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra as they play John Williams’ score for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in time with the film.

The special screening will take place over three shows on September 14 and 15 at The Theater at Solaire. Tickets are available via Ticketworld.

September 14-29: Stephen Sondheim’s Passion

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The Philippine Opera Company opens its 20th season with Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning play about a soldier who falls obsessively in love with his colonel’s cousin. This haunting, emotionally complex musical stars Jasmin Fitzgerald, Vien King, and Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, and will run for three weekends throughout September. Robbie Guevara directs.

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Passion shows at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Tickets are available via Ticketworld.

September 20-October 20: Himala: Isang Musikal

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After dominating the Gawad Buhay awards earlier this year with eight wins, The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical’s production of Himala returns to the stage on September 20. Based on the 1982 film of the same name, Himala tells the story of woman who gains the miraculous ability to heal people.

Written by Ricky Lee and adapted for the stage by Vincent de Jesus, the play stars Aicelle Santos, Kakki Teodoro, Shiela Francisco, Neomi Gonzales, Sandino Martin, May Bayot-De Castro, and Vic Robinson. Ed Lacson, Jr. directs.

Himala runs on weekends from September 20 to October 20, at the Power MAC Center Spotlight, Circuit Makati. Tickets are available via Ticketworld.

September 21: Ang Soap Opera ng Buhay Ko 2: Musika Ni Ryan, Medisina ng Ating Bayan

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The second in a series of fundraisers for the U.P. College of Medicine, Ang Soap Opera 2 is a concert featuring some of the country’s most talented artists paying tribute to the music of Ryan Cayabyab. Among the star-studded list of performers are Lea Salonga, Jed Madela, Jaya, Rachel Alejandro, Cris Villonco, and Franco Laurel. Proceeds from the concert will go towards the construction of the college’s 11-storey Medical Science Building.

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The concert will be staged at 7:00 p.m. on September 21, 2019, at the PICC. Tickets are available via Ticketworld.

September 21-October 19: Actants

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Silverlens Galleries previously brought in Mit Jai Inn—one of Thailand’s pioneering contemporary artists—for a group show in October 2018. With Actants, Mit marks his first solo show with the gallery.

As a long-time challenger to conventional painting methods, Mit’s pieces often break free of the canvas’ two-dimensional nature, becoming almost-sculptural in nature. Actants is, perhaps, one of the most literal embodiments of his vision: Paint takes the shapes of ribbons and grids, looping around themselves to collaborate with light, color, texture, and perspective. In doing so, the artist evokes the relationship between construction and belief.

Actants shows from September 21 to October 19, at Silverlens Galleries.

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Marco Sumayao
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