Theater Review : Red Turnip' Constellations

Redturnip Theater Artistic Staff and the Cast of Constellations
What if. Perspectives. Parallel Universe.

Three different concepts. Each with individual theme. Seamlessly intertwined in a story that would challenge one's view about love (and everything else in between).

This is what Red Turnip's season ender is all about. Constellations, penned by Nick Payne, invites the audience to journey with the characters (perfectly brought to life by acclaimed theater thespians Cris Villongco and JC Santos) across a myriad of what-ifs. This is a love story that perfectly mixes science and intimacy.

Cris Villongco stars as Marianne, a cosmologist whose life is battered by a horrible pain of her past. She meets Roland (played by JC Santos) , a bee keeper whose simple life doesnt simplify his yearning for love and affection.

Or you can view it the other way around. After all, the story utilizes repetition to show the stark differences (or even similarities) of a situation if viewed in a parallel universe. A change in tone, a difference in movement, or even the power of silence in some parts, brings the audience to yet another angle of a situation they have seen few moments before.

Cris Villongco and JC Santos for Redturnip Constellations

That's the power of Constellations. If gives the audience a view of what could have been in a situation so simple, we often think we knew what would happen next. You might think it's a "Boy meets girl. Sparks of love. They live happily ever after." story. No. It's more profound, and complicated, than the intellectual conversations, warm hugs and passionate kiss that would move the audience.
The lines thrown are peppered with scientific terms and concepts that ignited the geek in me. It has captured my emotions in the same way I never looked at Math the same way again after reading 'The Solitude of Prime Numbers'.

JC Santos has proven he is more than just an eye candy by his characterization of the simple, yet charming, bee keeper. His movements on stage were his major strengths, effectively transitioning to one perspective to another as he glides his way on the minimalist stage design that complimented the powerful story and the intensity of both the actor's presence and performance. The lights and sound are also characters on their own. They command presence in every part of the play, and had it been setup differently, the play's performance would not be as astounding as it is.

The Constellations
But through the whole 80 minutes of the play, it was Cris Villongco's star that shone the brightest among the constellations. Versatile and effective as she is in her every performance, she surprises the audience with nuances and  power of silence that only a true blue season performer like her can execute on stage. On can simply just stare at her (or simply close his eyes and listen) and goosebumps would surely follow.To say Red Turnip has found the perfect actor in Villongco for this haunting tale of love is an understatement.

Surely, the material as it is is already good. But the production itself has brought more life, intensity and emotion to a story that would challenge one's view about perspectives and how it can change the way of things.

Red Turnip's season ender has set the bar high...higher than the constellations and varying degrees of greatness that it has been known for. If Constellations will be the benchmark of what to expect on their fourth season, indeed, it will be another wonderful, joyful, ride at the theater.

Constellations venue
CONSTELLATIONS opens last FRIDAY, February 12. For tickets go to any TicketWorld Manila outlet, https://www.ticketworld.com.ph/Online/constellations, or call 891-9999.
Email redturniptheater@gmail.com or go to http://redturniptheater.wix.com/redturniptheater for more information.

More photos of  Red Turnip' Constellations at the official fanpage of AXLPowerhouse

Written and Review By : Erick Frago
Photos and Edited  By : Axl Guinto

Star Powerhouse Originals

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About Erick Frago
He is the season writer in the Star Powerhouse.

About Axl Guinto
He is a founder of Axl Powerhouse Group, handling magazine blog, an blogger in chief of Star Powerhouse, freelance event photographer and heritage advocate.

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