WHEN Teatru Ima at Arti (MaArti) first stepped on the theater stage last year, eyebrows raised along with the question of whether women in their fifties and up could really rock and meet audience expectations. Last Saturday, MaArti proved again and again that indeed women in their fifties—they can.

After months of rigorous rehearsals and dance workshops courtesy of Director Andy Alviz, the curtain finally raised on Beauty Parlor the Musicale at the daunting Holy Angel University Theater.

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As the theater production teaser would have it: “Beauty Parlor revolves around the female staff and clientele of a beauty parlor whose lives intersect as they tangle with life’s knot and snarls. Through humor, drama, dance and music, the colorful cast of headstrong stylists and opinionated customers deliver an entertaining look in life, love, religion and other personal and social issues. The play culminated with the crowning of the winner of the Mutya Ning Maimpis.”

The play is a total worship of the local Kapampangan Woman Culture, its positive and negative attributes along with the important presence of woman in society. The play features an all women cast and they manage to pull out an outstanding performance despite the lack of male characters. Though the theme of the play is relatively common, the script was expertly written (courtesy of maverick script writer Randy del Rosario) to match the characters of the play.

The social relevance on women woes and concerns are very much alive in the songs composed by Alviz. Insecurities felt by women on their physicality or status is very much alive in the song “O Ngeni Mo” (What Does it Matter) or the social issue of being a kept wife in the song “Ninu Ing Mali, Ninu Ing Istu” (Who is wrong? Who is right?).

Beauty Parlor is a story that fairly defines women in all sectors of life. Barrowing from Randy Del Rosario’s description: “Beauty Parlor touches on the virtues of fairness and equality, honesty, and integrity, generosity and benevolence. It also addresses the fragility of friendships and inherent conflict in relationships. On another level, Beauty Parlor explores the theme of beauty and how we look, our natural vanity and desire to be at the center.”

Beauty Parlor is indeed a splendid production, a wondrous experience at laughter with a little social pinch. It is a play of women and about women. It is a play that sees to give us a closer look on things we did not pay much attention too.

Beauty Parlor is a story of women and a fitting tribute to them this Women’s Month.

For comments, suggestions, violent reactions, invites, indignant rebuttals and what-have-you email: ianocampoflora@yahoo.com(09155497904)