Halloween party madness

Halloween party madness 
By Walter Ang
October 25, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

So you're tired of the same old Halloween party themes where everyone puts red liptstick on their chins and runs around screaming, "Blood! I have blood running down my chin!" Pretending to be monsters, vampires, fairies and pirates sure are a fun way for us to let our hair down but they can get a little trite. For a change this year, try out some of these alternative themes.

Run, Tagpi, run! 
Want the chance to scream, "Hayop ka!" to your friends? Fun and animal welfare consciousness come together when you organize an endangered-species party. Guests must announce the scientific name of the animal that their costume represents followed by "Save the (common name)!" For example, "Pithecophaga jeffreyii! Save the Philippine Eagle!"

Endangered human species like "honest politician" or "intelligent person" are not allowed. As a twist, you can just have an cartoon-animals--only party where barkadas must have a theme such as Sanrio characters, Disney characters or Hanna-Barbera characters. Use of real animal skin, fur, feathers, scales and what- have-you is strictly prohibited.

Your days are numbered. 
Mathletes of the world, unite! Who says braniacs can't have fun? Get inspiration from the educational television show "Math-tinik," and stage your very own fraction party. Yes, fractions! Everyone must come as their favorite fraction. Wear it on your head, splash it across your shirt, come in color coded patches where one color is the numerator and the other color is the denominator, the possibilities are endless!

Keep the non-math fans at bay by requesting everyone to reduce their costume's fraction to the equivalent lowest term. If they can't compute, they're not true math fans.

Attack of the killer tomatoes.
Admit it. Whenever you see little preschool children dressed up as vegetables for their classroom play on healthy foods, deep down inside your heart of hearts, there is a little quivering tinge of regret. Oh how you wish you had raised your hand all those years ago when your very own teacher asked for volunteers.

What are you waiting for then? Throw a vegetable-costumes-only party. Finally, you now have a reason to dress up as a giant eggplant. No pressure of being graded either! For bonus fun, try using real vegetables as part of your costume. You can start eating your costume in the middle of the party and scream, "I'm becoming a cannibal!"

REVIEW: Ghosts in the toilet, skeletons in the closet

Ghosts in the toilet, skeletons in the closet 
By Walter Ang
October 25, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THIS Halloween, you can opt to explore haunted, dingy bathrooms or you can just take a trip to a darkened theater situated in the basement of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Nope, no cobwebs and coffins here, only Tanghalang Pilipino's staging of "Bakeretta (Ghost Operetta)," a Filipino translation of a Japanese play that deals with an amateur theater company as they rehearse a ghost (bake) story "The Ghost in the Toilet."

In this horror-comedy-musical-drama, fans of Japanese horror movies like "Ring" and "The Grudge" will certainly enjoy the way this production pokes fun at the recently popular movie genre. For example, a gaggle of Sadako-wannabees make an appearance, however, they share the stage with one of our very own manananggals. In a recent preview held at lighting designer Shoko Matsumoto's Sinag Arts Studio, even the pacing seemed to mimic the halting rhythm of a suspense-thriller.

As the play was originally written in a provincial dialect of Japan, this Manila production transplants the action to Cebu in an attempt to retain the rustic flavor of the characters in a (mostly) Tagalog translation by Liza Magtoto.

Humor and laughs come as the strong and talented ensemble cast ham it up to effectively portray the not-so- strong and not-so-talented fledgling "actors" go through the paces of their hokey musical numbers (choreographed by Novy Bereber) and overly melodramatic scenes. It's a treat to see the entire cast switch effortlessly from comedy to serious drama and back again.

The audience watches the "rehearsals" unfold to find out if there really is a ghost in the toilet. Along the way, they see how the amateur theater group grapples with their own personal skeletons-in- the-closet: specters of mistrust, fading memories of the past, phantoms of disillusionment, the ephemeral nature of hope, and the ever-present and hanging shadow of death.

At the core of it all is a love triangle brilliantly threshed out by Ronnie Lazaro (to be alternated by Nonie Buencamino), Irma Adlawan-Marasigan, and Mailes Kanapi. These three theater veterans anchor the show with their highly nuanced and sensitive characterizations.

Playwright Chong Wishing flew in specially to direct this staging as part of the commemoration of 50 years of Philippine-Japan friendship, with support from the Japan Foundation Manila Office and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The regular run will be held at the intimate Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater) of the CCP from November 10 to 26.

For details, call Tanghalang Pilipino at 832-3661 or 832-1125 loc. 1620 or 1621.