As perky as its ube latte gourmet coffee
By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – If you want to spend the finest of Fridays, try Kabisera Kape on Allen Street in the city’s lower east side. Other than gourmet coffee and mouth-watering panini, it has become a well-spring for interactive community arts since it opened less than a year ago.
There’s a certain air of magnetism about this quaint, radiant spot owned and managed by Joey and DJ Chinita with their hip baristas. On September 8, 2018, it offered a triple treat of art and culture for New Yorkers.
Early in the evening, two readings of social commentary plays sat well among theater literatis. The first reading was the Isang Araw sa Karnabal (One day in the carnival), a sharp expose of the brutality of militarization in the Philippines by writer Nicolas Pichay. Produced by the Manila Collective for New York, it featured Angela de Marie and Joseph Pe as readers, under the direction of Margaret Guzman.
The second reading was the hysterical Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna (The sorrow of queens), a satire on the delusions of grandeur and greed for power of a royalty wannabe politician. The play was written by Flor Quintos and read on stage by Bing Magtoto, Herb Go, and Rogelio Penaverde Jr.
Magtoto did an amazing reading on the lead role Yolanda, the delusional politician who banked on the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow to brainwash her people into hoping to become noble. William Herbert Sigmund Go directed Ang Kalungkutan, which actually tickled the audience with its allusion to truth.
These productions of the Manila Collective should go places. (It went to Mountain Province Cafe in Brooklyn the following weekend.)
The third treat was a delight, paint night! I did my colorful mermaid through the generous coaching of artist Debra Simsek. Creativity is so much fun! The workshop was created by the International Women Artists (IWA) which is headed by president Ann Beck.
The paint night was a prelude to the IWA’s first exhibit “Art Feminae” which celebrates the work of local women artists on September 15, 2018 in Queens.
I was absolutely blown away on a Friday by Kabisera Kape’s authentic art offerings. It went so well with my ube latte and bibingka. Oh what a night! Keep it going, Kabisera Kape. (Featured photo: DJ Chinita shows her mermaid; Photos by Jan Andrada and Edmund Mercado)