By JESSICA MAUREEN P. GAURANO
THE HUMAN eyes can only see as far as layers of colorful makeup and high-end clothing. With this truth written in modern day society, people tend to forget that beauty is not defined with every dab of lipstick and expensive shoes; rather, it begins with the acceptance of oneself. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Teatro Tomasino’s Ekis’ final set, offers its audience a deeper take on self-acceptance. Through two short stories, the audience is taken further into where true beauty really lies.
Scared of being rejected by the people around her, Jaja, a chubby girl, is motivated to go to the gym to lose weight. She even encourages her mother, Sen, to go with her. Sen, however, shows disapproval for Jaja’s motives and tries to convince her to embrace change not for the people around her, but for herself.
Lipstick delivers a light-hearted story despite the black and white perspective of the two characters. The lead actresses give commendable performances for their roles. Regardless of the simplicity of the plot, the actresses successfully project the very essence of its story’s message to the audience. Through every line, they excellently unveil their character’s raw emotions and both perfectly execute their characters’ intentions, making them real and relatable. Written by Jayson Arvene Mondragon, Lipstick reminds its audience that the first step in gaining confidence begins with learning to love oneself.
The second play is told in two different settings, it opens with Shasta prepping up for her date with Kevin, with Marie, her roommate, who is too invested in the book that she is reading and tries her best to ignore Shasta’s criticisms on her physical appearance. On the other hand, David, Kevin’s roommate, questions Kevin’s feelings for Shasta and shows his disapproval of their relationship.
Cliché is commendable for its unique way of delivering the message of the whole story to the audience. In the beginning of the story, it is hard to connect with Shasta and Kevin because they are too shallow to the extent that it is too pretentious. However, as the story progresses, the actors and actresses successfully unlock the windows into each of the characters’ personality until the audience finally sees the sum of their parts. Despite the weak beginning, the story ends with a powerful twist that gives justice to the entirety of the story and leaves a compelling impact on its audience. Through its moving message, Cliché establishes the idea that true beauty only shows when one does not try to pretend to be someone else.
The final set of Teatro Tomasino’s Ekis embodies how beauty coincides with oneself. Even though the stories are told in two different scenarios, the plot of Lipstick and Cliché are perfectly weaved together in order to tell a timely and moving story. F