Incoming: ‘Dekada ’70’ the musical returning in 2020

Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon in a scene from Dekada ’70 the movie. <i>Photo: Screenshot from the film</i>
Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon in a scene from Dekada ’70 the movie. Photo: Screenshot from the film

Theater fans were agog yesterday over news that Black Box Productions will be re-staging Dekada ’70 (“The ’70s”), a musical adaptation of the beloved Lualhati Bautista novel of the same title.

In a Facebook post shared yesterday, Black Box wrote, “The fight is not over! Dekada ’70, the musical adaptation of Lualhati Bautista’s novel, returns MARCH 2020.”

The musical will be helmed by Palanca Award-winner Pat Valera, who directed the production’s first run at the University of the Philippines Dulaang Laboratoryo (Theater Laboratory) in 2018. Valera also directed its rerun in the same year at Areté in Ateneo de Manila University.

Yesterday’s post was accompanied by the poster for the musical, which shows barbed wire snaking across a stylized red guitar on a red background.

Dekada ’70 tells the story of the middle-class Bartolome family, whose lives were upturned when dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the 1970s, a time when the government committed massive human rights violations. While matriarch Amanda and her somewhat misogynistic husband Julian remain apolitical, they find their five sons increasingly caught up in a radicalized society.

The novel is required reading in many Filipino high school classes, and was also turned into a blockbuster movie starring Vilma Santos in 2002. Given the familiarity of the material, it comes as no surprise that netizens were in a tizzy over the announcement.

Facebook user Andre Leng-Ay also noted that the play will be staged just in time for the 50th anniversary of the First Quarter Storm, a period of massive civil unrest in Manila in 1970 that was caused by economic inequality.

Image: Black Box Productions/ FB
Image: Black Box Productions/ FB

Will you watch the musical? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

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