SUSAN VALDEZ, the actress most famous for her role in Mike de Leon's "Itim", is in town for a short visit, her first after moving to New York in 1985. We met up last Saturday after the one-night performance of ART at the Music Museum, and together with Raquel Villavicencio, Gina Alajar, Rez Cortez, Bembol Roco, and for a brief while, Ricky Davao and Mark Gil, reminisced about all the productions and film projects done in the past and good naturedly ribbed her about what the future might hold for her if she decides to come back for good.
I had the glorious fortune of working with Susan on a number of plays (that's us above flanking Barbara Perez, together with Tony Mabesa, Cris Michelena and Sonia Valenciano inBehn Cervantes' 1982 production of "Larawan" for UP Repertory, which we even toured to Cagayan and the Visayas) that included "Peer Gynt", "Hedda Gabler/A Doll's House", and Chris Millado's "Intermedyo" where she allowed me to direct her opposite Chito Jao for U.P. Dulaang Laboratoryo. Susan rues the fact that practically all of her memorabilia was lost with the Twin Towers.
Bits of trivia: Susan and Raquel both played Connie in different productions of Boy Noriega's "Bayan Bayanan", Susan for Gantimpala under Tony Espejo and then again for U.P. under Anton Juan, and Raquel for Tanghalang Pilipino under Pio de Castro. Susan also caught the bouquet during our wedding reception, oh, some years back.
Susan is scheduled to go back to her brood (husband, daughter and son) in New York next week. I wish today's audiences can get the chance to see her perform again, onstage, in film, or in television.