‘4,000 Miles’ is really close for Baby Barredo, Jeff Flores
Top Filipina theater actress Baby Barredo with ‘4,000 Miles’ lead Jeff Flores

Philippine theater’s grand dame Baby Barredo returns to the stage with a rousing, captivating and endearing performance as Vera Joseph in the Repertory Philippines adaptation of Amy Herzog’s critically acclaimed stage play 4,000 Miles.

Barredo brings to the play the same wisdom her character imparts to the male protagonist, her grandson Leo portrayed by Jeff Flores in his first theater lead role. Above all, she gives the production validity and stature as a must-see of this season.

The audience was delighted and amused as she exchanged lively banter with Flores, who also impressed the crowd with his winsome performance as the bewildered yet brazen youngster. Even though they portrayed characters with a generation gap of supposedly “4,000 miles” from each other, they had good chemistry onstage, more importantly engaging the crowd to their hostilities and their endearment.
We were hooked.

Vera was just as irritating and vexing as she was sympathetic and amorous to the troublesome Leo, who had to deal with personal demons, a hopeless relationship, and a traumatic experience to change for the better—of course with Vera’s help.

4,000 Miles revolves around the unconventional dynamic between a nonagenarian and her grandson, who biked cross-country from Washington State only to meet misadventure and tragedy, and ending up in her grandmother’s West Village apartment to seek solace.

As it is, director Bart Guingona has crafted this light yet enlivening play in the same hypnotic manner it was revered in the New York stage circuit.  For sure, Filipinos will identify with the characters, become heartbroken by the misfortune, and become reassured and revitalized by the heartwarming message of understanding through the journey towards growth and wisdom.

And, how else can that be more special than spending that journey with family, and even more extraordinary, that is, sharing an old-fashioned flat with your grandmother.
“4,000 Miles” runs from March 6-29 at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.