New York City
A captivating panorama of life in the Philippines in the last frenetic years of the Ferdinand Marcos regime is found in the Playwrights’ Arena and TDRZ Productions, Inc. production of Dogeaters, by Jessica Hagedorn (based upon her novel of the same title). Filled with rich characters from every level of the social ladder in the tropical city of Manila in 1982, Dogeaters follows in particular the fates of Rio, a young, movie-obsessed girl from an upper-middle-class family, and Joey, a poor, young Afro-Filipino hustler. Their coming of age stories are intertwined with the tales of generals, waiters, a soft-porn “bomba” star, the richest man in Manila, journalists, politicians, a revolutionary fugitive, a middle-aged drag queen, and even Imelda Marcos, the extravagant First Lady of the Philippines.
A portrait emerges of Filipino life as a volatile and wondrous bundle of contradictions, which is set during a significant turning point in the crazy quilt of colonialism, post-colonialism, dictatorship and democracy that is all part of Filipino history.