Theater: Bona

"Bona"

Spinster call center agent Bona upon seeing the televised pitiful background of Gino Sanchez immediately becomes a fan of the Star of Tomorrow wannabe. In her desire to help him jumpstart his showbiz career, she gives him everything she has and turns her back to everything she values. Blinded by her belief in him, she allows all his faults to freely slide as she finds herself drowning in the surreal quicksand of worship and pity where manipulation blurs the line between prey and predator, the dismissive god and the faithful worshiper.

The first thing I noticed, watching Bona, was the colors. Each character was assigned a color, depending on how they were connected to each other. Which made the Bona’s passionate reds and Gino’s appealing blues all the more distinct from each other. Sure, the colors complement each other–but any color does, depending on the shade. Given the wrong shade, the two will clash.

And that’s exactly what Bona is–a love story between a woman who adores a boy so desperately it’s almost idolatry, and a boy who sees her for what she is to him–opportunity. It’s a love story waiting to clash. And crash. And burn.

I’m familiar with the source material. I’ve never actually seen it, only heard references of it, so I cannot say if the stage play was better than the movie it was adapted from. But it is very apparent that the production has taken liberties with the material. For one thing, I don’t think there were call centers back in the day the original Bona was made.

That said, I do think the writers who adapted the movie did an amazing job updating the material–without, basing on what other people have said about the production, taking anything away from what made Bona the movie work. But what sets it apart, basing from other people’s comments, is the stage play was able to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Imagine, a grown woman falling in love with a boy on television?

The absurd part of this is that it really does happen in real life.

Bona gives a stark look into the idolatry that goes around the local entertainment industry. Fans do act like Bona does. And everything is captured in one question at the end of the stage play:

What is the different between admiring and worshiping?

And it’s a great statement to make. Where do you draw the line? Which one is more rooted in love? In true love?

I’m sure each one of us has a different answer to that question.

Catch the last five shows of Bona this weekend at the PETA Theater.

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