8 Ways ‘The Reconciliation Dinner’ Takes You On A Wild Ride
Aug 17, 2023   •   Tim Henares
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Aug 17, 2023   •   Tim Henares
On its third and final run this time in the PETA Theater, Floy Quintos’ “The Reconciliation Dinner” is a must-see theater for anyone who has had to agonize over whether or not to unfriend someone over their politics since the last two elections. While it’s not exactly perfect, and not that kind of play that offers a clean resolution, it’s still an absolute treat to watch — and this weekend is your last chance to catch it!
Here are just 8 reasons why you should:
It actually doesn’t matter who you voted for, so long as you voted and really invested some time and effort in the previous elections. This play does a good job of bringing you back to the times when hearing the song “Rosas” brought the feels on, or when Toni Gonzaga seemed untouchable. It’s cathartic, and yet, it also twists the knife at the same time.
That nasty politics does indeed drive a wedge between these two families is the crux of the story and the tension, but even when it’s pretty crystal clear who the playwright voted for, there are enough character flaws and redeeming qualities on both sides to show that they are not a 1 to 1 representation of the candidates they voted for.
While the Marcos vs. Robredo dynamic could stand to have been spruced up with, say, someone who voted for Manny Pacquiao getting to chime in, even within that camp, there are shades. Not every person who voted for Leni just stopped fighting after the end of the elections. Not every person who voted for Marcos did it out of spite against the so-called yellows. It tries to paint a bigger picture, and the play is so much richer for it.
Being relatable was just the first step – what makes The Reconciliation Dinner breeze through its hour-and-a-half run time is the brisk pace of laughs peppered throughout the witty dialogue, effective characterizations, and even a healthy amount of callbacks. It’s really modern Philippine theater at its finest.
What The Reconciliation Dinner does best is holding up a mirror to its audience and letting them see themselves, warts and all. It doesn’t draw any conclusions. It doesn’t offer any resolutions. It leaves all that entirely up to us, and that’s a great way to keep the dialogue going.
Norby is the only son of the Valderamas while Bert is the patriarch of the Medinas. The stark contrast between their characters, and the fact that they are the two most radicalized ones in their respective camps offers an excellent look into the polar opposites of the narrative while everyone else is mostly just a smidge to the left or right of the center.
No spoilers. You need to watch it to find out – and to speculate.
So let’s say you missed The Reconciliation Dinner this weekend. What then? Fret not! Adapted from the much-talked-about “Walang Sugat,” October will see the PETA Theater play host to Rody’ Vera’s “Walang Aray,” which promises to be yet another wild ride! Couple that with the many educational shows they host, and you’ll never run out of things to enjoy from this institution.
It’s really a good time to be a theater fan. A really good time.
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