My sort of “Perry” Tale

This one’s for “Perry: The Musical,” the play that reminded me of my childhood dream – that is to become a priest (believe it, or not!).

“Perry” is a modern take on how seminarians, priests, and lay people can be perceived nowadays. It is funny, real and definitely Kapampangan; I’m happy I didn’t miss the chance to watch this new production of Andy Alviz last night.

Since high school, I am already accustomed in watching theatrical presentations of seminarians from the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary. And when I heard of their collaboration with Teatru Ima and Arti (MaArti), I looked forward to seeing a splendid play – and I did!

Starting off with powerful renditions from Fr. Ted Valencia (Among Billy) and Reinon Tolentino (Perry himself), the play continues to wow the crowd with the interplay of lights and effects which is definitely an ArtiSta.Rita signature. Together with them and the seminarian-protagonists are the golden girls of MaArti who all gave life and color to the musical.

In a nutshell, the story is about Perry, who’s “called” to enter priesthood, but is tangled with harsh realities of love and life. The scenes are filled with courageous storytelling on what’s inside the mind of a soon-to-be priest. Confused about what his family and friends would say, he then faces the fact that he has to leave his girlfriend, and also confront all the “good vs. evil” stuff.

The two-hour Kapampangan play may have some scenes which needs a bit of tweaking because of microphone problems and dry-ice overload but the music is great. The lyrics are straightforward and the melody sounds truly original. No wonder the play has been shown in various local universities, and I know it will conquer other places for we Kapampangans (and Filipinos in general) are (as one funny line in the play goes) maka-pari more than maka-Diyos. Anyone who watches this would see someone (or maybe himself or herself) similar with the characters portrayed – the CWL manangs, the schoolboys, the super-moms, the strict (but kind-hearted) dads, or the wannabe-priest himself.

While enjoying the musical, one of my friends who loves Perry (and watched it twice) texted me and shared this beautiful line from the play: “Subukan mung manahimik king kainge ning kekang paligid ban meng damdaman ing aus ning Ginu.” [Try to remain silent and stay away from noise of your surroundings so you can hear the call of the Lord.]

I will.