A February full of theater

A February full of theater

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to make sure that I surrounded myself with art everyday possible. In this political climate of divisiveness, nothing heals the soul more than time spent marinating on the human condition of others. Undoubtedly,  Filipino Americans — much like  other minority communities — have gone about their day avoiding conflicts or confrontations, just to go about their own business, trying as much as possible never to call attention to themselves or ruffle any feathers. This I know is true of our community. What seems fairly dangerous to me in these tumultuous times of the Trump administration is to cordon off other people’s sentiments that do not align with yours. More than ever it is imperative that we go and make an effort to understand all sides of the heated debates, through a respectful manner and come to some sort of an agreement to disagree.

The opportunity to suspend one’s belief, even just for a little while, is exactly why we need to flock to the theater with people we may not share the same views with because each response from the theatrical presentation is valid and just. I’d like to recommend these productions that are currently running here in Los Angeles so that we may all put into context who we are in this world.

Extremely relevant today — especially in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to leave trans kids’ rights to use the restrooms of their choice to each state — is the Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home,” which opened this week on  February 22 at the Ahmanson Theatre and continues through April 1.

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, “Fun Home,” which I had an opportunity to read in 2011while at UCLA, introduces Alison at three different ages in her life, as she explores and unravels the mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical, Alison eventually sees her parents through the eyes of a grown-up.

“Fun Home” has music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. Sam Gold is the director and Danny Mefford is the choreographer. Incidentally, Lea Salonga will star in Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s production in Manila this March.

For adults and parents alike, head over to the Hollywood Pantages Theater for “Finding Neverland.” With a book by James Graham and Music and Lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, “Finding Neverland” tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan.  Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers.  With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. I brought my son Kenobi to the production and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. The musical shows at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Friday performances, 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. It ends March 12. Go to www.hollywoodpantages.com for tickets.

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Giselle “G” Töngi is the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipinos living in America. Her aim is to bridge not only the cultural gap between America & the Philippines but to help with the generational gap between our own people. She is married with two children and is based in Southern California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.

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