On Learning How to Seduce : D’ Wonder Twins of Boac

I’ve been on a dose of one Shakespeare thing per week. Last week was Ballet Philippines’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and this week it was this — PETA’s musical version of the Shakespeare comedy— Twelfth Night.

Rody Vera’s D’Wonder Twins of Boac was a roller-coaster of a play with alternating bits of laughter and seriousness. Reimagined in the 1960s when the golden age of cinema was waning, 2 Twins from Boac misadventure to Manila and find themselves embroiled in film industry shenanigans… among other things. Mostly staying true to the plot of Twelfth Night, it was actually really smart how they managed to bring it all together including the sub-story of Malvolio, etc.

Side note: First of all, I don’t presume to be an expert in anything relating to the Bard. And I do not presume to really know anything about the theatre, but I do know what I like. Again, baby-theatre go-er here. 🙂

During intermission, I was very tempted to jump into the conversation of the old lady beside me and her friend on the age appropriateness of Kuya Bodjie playing Doc Orsino (Duke Orsino.. ang galeng di ba?). While the Sharmaine (Olivia) and Kuya Bodjie pairing made sense, it’s the the coupling them with Cosio (Bastian) and Villonco (Viola) that was the iffy part for my seatmate. True, Kuya Bodjie is older than Cris Villonco, but my seatmate lady forgets that such May-December love affairs do happen in real life. So while most would prefer (at least my seatmate lady wanted it) a younger Doc Orsino, I think Kuya Bodjie lent the necessary gravitas that the role needed— he was playing the head of a film studio. It was believable.

Actually, my itsy-bitsy gripe was that Orsino’s supposed to be a lot more… romantic. He’s supposed to be in love with love. I didn’t see that. Viola, i think fell in love with Orsino because of that in Twelfth Night. (I may have to re-read this to be sure though). In this play though, this wasn’t the case. It wasn’t really established why Viola fell in love with Orsino. Orsino seemed to be more in love with money, which I must admit lends well to the story that D’ Wonder Twins of Boac is trying to tell. So sige na nga. In fairness, the abs-a-plenty from Cosio (Bastian) and stunt-man friend more than compensated for Doc Orsino’s lack of romantic allure, at least for me. 😉

I loved everyone’s performances in the play from all the leads to even the dude bringing the set in. Jeeves liked Malvolio’s performance. I loved Sharmaine as Olivia! Loved her clothes, loved her comedic timing, and loved loved loved her during the seduction scene.

Speaking of seduction, my favorite scene (hence the title of this blog post) in the play would be the scene where Doc Orsino and Luciano (Feste in Twelfth Night) teaches Cesar (Viola) to seduce her supposedly older love. “SEDUCE! SEDUCE! SEDUCE!”

Hehe! This play was just really funny. 🙂

And like all the PETA plays, there’s always a hook in the end. This one though, I liked better than the one they did for Haring Lear.

Do try and catch it on its last week! 🙂


PS. Also, this so far is my favorite Cris Villonco performance. Well done! She almost made me cry at the last bit.

**image from PETA’s FB page here.


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