Eight Theater Shows to Watch in Manila This May 2023

In the Limelight: 8 of the Best Theater Shows You Need to See This May '23

Compelling storylines, fantastic actors, and decorative props are what excellent productions are made of. Whether you’re a professional artist or a theater enthusiast, watching live theater shows allows you to connect with performers and truly appreciate their works. 

We’ve scoured the web, so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of upcoming theater shows and plays that will be up on stage this May 2023.

‘Pangulong Bangaw’ – May 5-6 and 12-13

The “Pangulong Bangaw” is a drama produced by Langgam Performance Troupe and adapted from the novel “The Lord of the Flies” by the Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding.

This piece is a one-man show that showcases a human body as an allegory of society that compels its parts to remain united. The narrative explores conflict from multiple perspectives, including the struggle against corruption, anarchy, and community against itself. 

Ticket price: P399-P680 via Ticket2Me

Locations: The Playground Studio, San Juan; De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila

Bayang Barrios: Katutubong D.I.V.A Celebrating 35 Years – May 6

Known for her advocacy to fight for indigenous people and their heritage, Bayang Barrios will celebrate her 35th year in the music industry with a theater show titled “Katutubong D.I.V.A” that stands for driven, inspired, victorious, and authentic.

She is the voice behind the iconic “Encantadia” theme song, “Bagong Umaga,” and “Malayo Man Malapit Din,” among others. Expect a night filled with indigenous music, instruments, and dance that are inextricably linked with the Filipino identity.

To commemorate her more than three decades of success, she will be accompanied on stage by a number of legendary musicians, including Joey Ayala, Gary Granada, Lolita Carbon, Cooky Chua, and Poppert Bernadas, among others.

Ticket price: P2,500 (20% discount for PWD and senior citizens)

Location: Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez, CCP Black Box Theater, CCP Complex, Malate, Manila

‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ The Musical – May 6-7, 13-14, and 27

Let yourself be captivated with iconic Pinoy music at “The Huling El Bimbo” The Musical. Since its first run in 2018, it has staged more than 100 successful shows that will transport you back in time.

Its original cast members, including Gian Magdangal, Gab Pangilinan, and Topper Fabregas, are still part of the show, reprising their roles as Hector, young Joy, and young Anthony, respectively. The theater show kicked off in April and will run again every weekend on select dates. For tickets, go here.

Ticket price: P1,942-P3,776

Location: Newport Performing Arts Theater, L2, Newport Mall, 1309 Newport Blvd, Newport City, Pasay City

Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra 50th Anniversary Gala – May 12

PPO 50th Anniversary Gala
Photo credit: Website/Cultural Center of the Philippines

The country’s premier orchestra and the leading orchestra in the Asia-Pacific region, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), will be celebrating its Golden Anniversary. Expect a roster of classical and international artists as special guest performers for a promising and symphonic musical experience. For further details, check out this link.

Ticket price: N/A

Location: CCP @ the Metropolitan Theater, CCP Complex, Malate, Manila

‘The Reconciliation Dinner’ – May 13-28

This stage production in Manila draws its inspiration from the most recent elections, which took place in May 2022. This event left majority of Filipinos deeply divided due to their different political stances.

“The Reconciliation Dinner” is a one-act play and an original Filipino work featuring two close friends, Dina Medina and Susan Valderama. It will focus on how their lives, including the lives of their families, friends, and community, were affected by their respective political choices. 

Ticket price: P1,500-P2,000 via Ticket2Me

Location: Power Mac Center Spotlight Blackbox Theater, Circuit Makati

‘Walang Aray’ – Until May 14

Catch the final run of “Walang Aray” until May 14 (2 PM and 8 PM). Inspired by Severino Reyes’ classic sarsuela, “Walang Sugat,” this musical play features literary and histoical themes through the lens of a comedic drama.

The main characters Tenyong and Julia are played by Star Magic artist KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad, as well as PETA actors Gio Gahol and Marynor Madamesila. Tickets are selling fast! Be sure to get yours here.

Ticket price: P1,200-P2,500 

Location: PETA Theater Center, 5 Sunnyside Dr, New Manila, Quezon City

‘Don Quixote’ – May 27-28

If you’re a fan of classical music combined with graceful dance movements, you must add “Don Quixote” to your list of theater shows to watch this May. In this production, ballet enthusiasts will witness principal danseur Esteban Hernandez and soloist Katherine Barkman of San Francisco Ballet perform. The show starts at 5 PM and 8 PM. 

Ticket price: P1,030-P2,060 via TicketWorld

Location: Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Vicente Sotto Street, Pasay City

‘Twenty Questions’ – May 12-28 (weekends only)

Filipino playwright Juan Ekis marks the 20th anniversary of his book “Twenty Questions” this year. In line with this, Theatre Titas will stage a modern play adaptation featuring college friends Jigs and Yumi (played by Diego Aranda and Isabelle Prado), who will be locked in a hotel room for 24 hours.

This challenge is part of their tradition as “barkadas,” which will see them answer 20 random questions about life, love, sex, and everything else. 

Ticket price: P600 via Ticket2Me

Location: The Mirror Studio Theater, 8463 Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati

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