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I was probably the only one in the family who have not watched a Repertory Philippines’ Pinocchio musical production!  So it was actually a treat when I was invited to watch the third restaging of Carlo Collodi’s well-loved story of a wooden puppet who turned into a real boy.

pinocchio

The very first Repertory Philippines’ production of Pinocchio was staged in 1996 during its 53rd season, it was restaged in 2004 and ten years after it’s back again on stage.  The new version has remained faithful to the original musical adaptation of Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy according to Joy Virata, Artistic Director of Repertory Philippines Theater for Young Audiences.  They have a new set courtesy of Set Designer Oliver Roxas-Green but have retained most of the original costumes used way back in 2004 designed by Liz Batoctoy, additional costumes were designed by Ogie Reonal.

This year’s production features six fine young actors  playing the role of PINOCCHIO, they are Noel Comia, Albert Silos, Andee Achacoso, Guido Gatmaytan, Daniel Drilon and Sofia Wong.

Returning as assistant director and the BLUE FAIRY is Liesl Batucan who once played the role of Pinocchio in an earlier production.  Alternating with Liesl are Christine Flores and Cara Barredo.

Also appearing in the 2014 restaging of Pinocchio are Astarte Abraham, Khevin Almario, Ring Antonio, Jorel Rico, Nic Campos, Arnel Carrion, Tristan Cheng, Nicole Cojuangco, Jeff Comeros, Steven Conde, Daryl Del Rosario, Clark Francis Dela Riva, Daniel Delgado, David Shawn Delgado, Mano Domingo, Raffy Echem, Bituin Escalante, Natalie Everett, Mica Fajardo, Miiguel Faustmann, Isabel Fernando, Jef Flores, Joni Galeste, Thea Gloria, Steven Hotchkiss, Kendrick Ibasco, Erica Jacinto, Jacqui Jacinto, Vien Alen King, Antonio Lane, Bianca Marie Mauricio, Vinni Misa, Raul Montesa, Chill Ocampo, Jay Pangilinan, Gabri Panlilio, Justine Pena, Cristy Peredo, James Perez, Mark Joseph Pineda, Mark Salazar, Ina Salonga, Peregrine Santiago, Chris George Schulze, Goldie Soon, James Stacey, Onyl Torres, Oliver Usison, Chino Veguillas and Dwight Angelo Vito Cruz.

I have watched the Disney animated version of Pinocchio and there were several major differences between the live stage musical adaptation and the cartoon version:

  • The narrator in the Disney version is a talking cricket called Jiminy – in the stage play the narrator is an Italian maestro named Antonio who interacts with the audience and gives Italian lessons on geography and basic language.
  • The Disney version has the boy Lampwick (Disney’s attempt to go modern in naming the characters I guess) while in the stage play we have two school boys named Candlewick and Gino.
  • Another difference is the ending, yes both versions of Pinocchio ended up becoming a real boy courtesy of the Blue Fairy but the Disney version has more drama while the stage version has more music and dances.

Don’t be confused, the Disney version was designed to capture the imagination and attention of film and TV audiences hence the incorporation of additional scenes, lines and characters that are meant to enhance the cinematic experience while the stage version also has its own tricks incorporated in the set, props, costumes, music, choreography and special effects.  However, both versions share the same mission of sending the original lessons embedded in the story of Pinocchio to all audiences, specially the little kids.

What are these lessons?  Well, let’s go check on some of the lines in Collodi’s book and I think both adults and children will make a special connection with each of them because hidden inside are real life lessons all GOOD kids should live by.

“Never trust people who promise to make you rich in a day. They are generally crazy swindlers.”

“Most unfortunately, in the lives of puppets there is always a ‘but’ that spoils everything.”

“Bear it in mind, Boys who refuse to study, and turn their backs upon books, schools, and masters, to pass their time in play and amusements, sooner or later come to a bad end.  I know it by experience and I can tell you, a day will come when you will weep as I am weeping now but then it will be too late!… Imagine his surprise when he found that the donkey was crying and he was crying like a boy!”

“A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.”

“Woe to the lazy man! Laziness is an evil disease which you must not let seize you in childhood, for when you grow up it cannot be cured.”

“Woe to those who lead idle lives. Idleness is a dreadful illness and must be cured in childhood.  If it is not cured then, it can never be cured.”

“Lies, my dear boy, can easily be recognized. There are two kind of them: those with short legs, and those with long noses. Your kind have long noses.”

In the end, every child must realize that school is important, lying is bad, laziness and greed are sickness and that mistakes can be corrected and that it is never too late to change.

Repertory Philippines’ Pinocchio will run until December 14!  For show details call tel. nos. 843-3570 and 451-1474 or email [email protected] or log on to www.repertoryphilippines.com.  Tickets are also available through Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph

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raindeocampo

Writer, Wanderer, Child of God

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