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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.

Apr 29, 2019


rafa siguion reyna, rina reyes & ricky davao in 'BAKA NAMAN HINDI'

RICKY DAVAO invited us to watch his play, “Baka Naman Hindi”, at the CCP Little Theater and he has reason to be proud of his work as he gives a truly outstanding performance in his dual roles. The play is a Tagalog adaptation of George Feydeau’s 1907 French farce, “A Flea in Her Ear”.

This was filmed in Hollywood in 1968 with Rex Harrison and was first staged locally in the 70s with the late Vic Silayan in the dual roles that Ricky now plays. Ricky’s own dad, the late Charlie Davao, was part of the play, playing the role of the dashing Romano Martillo that is now played by Rafa Siguion Reyna.

“I was 13 then and it was the very first play I saw,” he says.

Ricky’s first role is as Victor, a lawyer married to Rina Reyes as Alicia, who suspects that her husband is having an affair because he doesn’t make love to her anymore. In truth, he’s experiencing erectile dysfunction. With the help of a friend, she lures Victor to have an assignation with a fictitious woman in Hotel Paraiso in Pasay, which is famous for being the favorite rendezvous of illicit lovers.

All the other characters in the play get to converge in the hotel as mismatched couples, leading to a lot of confusion and mistaken identities aggravated by the presence of a simple-minded houseboy in the hotel who looks exactly like Antonio and can be his veritable clone. People cannot tell exactly who it is they are dealing with.

The play is divided into three acts and runs for nearly three hours, with two 10-minute intermissions. It’s a bit of long and can definitely stand a lot of pruning to quicken the pacing, but what amazed us is the fact that even if the material looks dated, the young crowd who we watched it with found all the lunatic shenanigans very effective and were really laughing their hearts out loud in so many scenes.

Ricky got a standing ovation after the play and he deserves it. He gives an impeccably nuanced performance in both roles, with his comic timing always perfect. At one point, we almost expected that the two characters he plays will actually meet on stage, although I don’t know how they will do that. In fairness to the rest of the cast, the whole play is a great example of excellent ensemble acting.

Ricky is one actor who can be very effective on TV, on the big screen and on stage. We’ve seen him capably doing theatre in hits like “Bongbong and Kris”, “Alitaptap sa Gabing Mailap” and “Palasyo ni Valentin”. But of course, he has not neglected movies and TV. He now plays the role of the president in “SAF44”, a movie about the Mamasapano tragedy, and is directing GMA-7’s new soap, “Dahil sa Pag-ibig”, with Sanya Lopez and Benjamin Alves.

Last year, he was memorable as the crossdressing tranny dad of Bea Alonzo in “Kasal” and we’re wondering why he didn’t get even a single nomination from our dime-a-dozn award giving bodies for best supporting actor when he was so effective in his role and was very touching in his reconciliation scene with his alienated daughter.