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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 1, 2010


WE SAW the current Rep offering, "Duets" by Peter Quilter, a comedy in four acts with two actors, Joy Virata and Miguel Faustmann, superbly playing four different roles each. In the first act, they play an aging couple who meet for the first time on a blind date through a lonely hearts column. Joy is believably demure and laidback but delivers her witty lines with aplomb. Miguel is appropriately awkward as a nerd with an atrocious fashion sense. In the second act, Miguel is a flamboyantly gay Broadway impresario and Joy is his longtime assistant who wants to marry him despite his sexual preference. In the third act, they play a married couple who are about to separate and are on a vacation for the last time in Boracay, with Joy drunk all throughout. The last act is a tribute to Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite", with Joy as a third time bride who's having cold feet about her wedding and Miguel her elder brother who only wants the best for her and gives her advice while the groom is waiting.

All vignettes can stand as a one-act play intelligently written and, here, beautifully acted by Joy and Miguel who are obviously so comfortable in each other's company as they play off splendidly in four stories that delve on universal issues of love, relationships and the search for the right partner.

The play allows us to experience the magic of theatre as the actors do their costume changes on the wings of the stage while the central scenery is changed for the next vignette. The costumes and make ups are fantastic, with Joy and Miguel doing it all by themselves, with no assistants. It's really a tough job memorizing all their lines and being on stage for more than two hours. For this, they deserve no less than a standing ovation. "Duets" runs until January 31 at Onstage Greenbelt 1. Call Ticketworld at 891-9999.