A clever play about forgiveness, House Rules is a smartly layered story about two Filipino families trying to make sense of the impending deaths of each others ailing parents. Mia Katigbak is hilarious as Vera, the sharp-witted mother of duelling sisters Twee and Momo whose stage presence is rivalled only by JoJo Gonzalez’s deeply moving performance as Ernie, the miserable bed-ridden father to JJ and Rod. Rod’s flaky boyfriend is played by the adorable Conrad Schott who is unpretentiously funny in his role.
The set was impressive with its multiple levels, each creating their own sense of space yet all open to one another; two living rooms, an elevator, a rooftop, restaurant and hospital all functioning in the same wall-less space. Impressive and creative as it was, the set and furnishings were large and took up a lot of physical space sometimes over-powering the actors or creating extraordinary distances between them and their mark on stage. Despite this, they still earn brownie points for trying something fresh.
Go see House Rules is a lovely reminder that the harshest parts of our lives can also be the richest – you’ll laugh, cry and even learn to appreciate the dysfunctional parts of your own family.
March 25 – April 16, 2016
Playwright: Rey Pamatmat
Directed: Ralph B. Peña
Scenic Design: Reid Thompson
Costume Design: Martin Schnellinger
Lighting Design: Oliver Wason
Sound Design: Fabian Obispo
Production Stage Manager: Jennifer Delac
Public Relations: Sam Rudy Media Relations
Producer: John Kurzynowski