It's Piolo Pascual or not.
This was the final and wide awake decision of director Ariel Francisco when he and the rest of the Tanghalang Una Obra admin, staff and crew thought of casting Piolo as Crisostomo Ibarra in the stage adaptation of one of Dr. Jose Rizal's characters from the novel "Noli Me Tangere."
"Si Piolo lang talaga ang nasa isip namin (It was only Piolo in our minds)," exclaimed Ariel, also known in and out of the entertainment industry as Frannie Zamora.
The whole idea of getting Pascual to play the role of Ibarra in the eponymous theater piece from the script by Jemar Fleras started during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Ang ginagawa namin noon, kuwentuhan kami, concepts and all. Tapos, (What we were doing during that time, exchange of ideas. Then) we thought of staging 'Ibarra' with Piolo Pascual," recalled Francisco.
Ariel said that they negotiated with Piolo in 2022 and the actor readily agreed to do the project.
"We were surprised because it was Piolo who first announced it on TV. That he'd do 'Kanser' for us. It wasn't titled 'Ibarra' at that time," Ariel chuckled.
"Ibarra" is set to play June 8 to 18, 2023 at the GSIS Theater in Pasay City.