Amidst rumors of an internal turmoil that is plaguing Repertory Philippines of late, the country’s top English-speaking theater company successfully opened the year with the well-loved Boeing Boeing. This seemed like the start of a promising season that is out to prove that the company can stand firmly on its own despite the shift in the talent that was employed within.
Repertory’s sophomore presentation, however, took the opposite route of what this season has set out to do. Garnering mostly hesitant applause from the packed Onstage theater this Sunday, the show echoed the uninspired state of the set design and drowned the stellar performances of the cast with a tired and dated material that is as interesting to watch as seeing middle-aged men change clothes in front of an audience.
From time to time, we see glimpses of what could have made the show great. There was the fatal dance-off between Audie Gemora and Pinky Marquez, the sweet moments of Carla Guevara-Laforteza and the charming Joel Trinidad, and of course the scene-stealing Sheila Francisco who enlivened every scene she was in with the overly done but never tiring character of an overbearing Jewish mother. Director Audie Gemora capitalized on these talents to stage a somewhat satisfactory pay-off after the agonizing first half of the show, but while the efforts of the cast seemed herculean, No Way to Treat a Lady only managed to be sporadically entertaining and mostly forgettable. This makes for a decent enough viewing especially on a lazy weekend where no good movies stand as competition but is a far cry from the edgier, mould-breaking presentations that Repertory has presented in the past.