Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lara Fabregas Makes a Theater Comeback Via HEDDA GABLER, 11/25-26

Hong Kong-based actress Lara Fabregas makes a
much-awaited theater comeback via Henrik Ibsen's
Hedda Gabler; photo by Juan Caguicla
by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, November 23, 2011 – I just have to write about Lara Fabregas; she’s my kind of a leading lady of the theater: enigmatic, elusive, complex, sultry, and divine. If she were to star as Hedda Gabler, the original, quintessential “desperate housewife” in Henrik Ibsen’s 1890 play, in the big city, which versatile and accomplished actresses Cate Blanchett and Mary-Louise Parker did in 2006 and 2009, respectively, I’d be the first to fall in line for show tickets. Alas, Ms. Fabregas’ much-awaited stage comeback after almost seven years is happening back home in Manila. At times like these, I wish I were a bridge that could stretch across the Pacific.

Actor’s Actors Inc. (AAI), the Philippine theater company that gave me my first crack at handling theater publicity back in 2003, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, and the Vito Cruz Project, bring to the stage Norwegian playwright Ibsen’s four-act play Hedda Gabler, a psychological, dramatic portrait of the title character: Gabler, a daughter of an aristocratic general and a wife to a scholar, Jorgen Tesman, is getting increasingly bored and frustrated in her marriage; consequently, she will find herself meddling in the lives of others that could lead to dire consequences.

Directed by theater stalwart and political activist Bart Guingona, this campus-based production of Hedda Gabler, features a formidable cast that includes Kalila Aguilos, Linda Lupton, Angela Mapa, Paolo O’Hara, Leo Rialp, and Reuben Uy.

The last time I worked with Ms. Fabregas and Mr. Guingona was for AAI’s production of David Mamet’s cerebral psychological drama Oleanna in 2004; Ms. Fabregas was luminous as Carol, a young university student who accuses her professor of sexual exploitation. Three years ago, I had the chance to watch Hollywood film actress Julia Stiles playing the same role at Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Although, Ms. Fabregas and Ms. Stiles had tackled the role very differently, their performances were both riveting and memorable.

Again, I regret missing Ms. Fabregas’ turn as the neurotic Hedda. Theaterphiles in Manila mustn’t miss out this one.

Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler will have matinee performances on Friday, November 25 at 1 p.m. and on Saturday, November 26 at 3 p.m. at School of Design and Arts Theater, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 980 Pablo Ocampo St., Malate, Manila. For tickets, call (63)915-9411055 or (63)917-5859294.

Oliver Oliveros is regional site editor, author, and photographer at BroadwayWorld.com. You may follow him on twitter.com/OliverOliveros.