REVIEWS

 

 

Anna in the Tropics

The texture of the social ambience was a challenge to convey, and the production directed by Joey Mendoza delivered splendidly.

Mendoza’s extensive experience in production design was an advantage here; his set, beautifully versatile in shifting scenes with just screens and props, was an exquisite feast for the eyes. Along with the costumes (Becky Bodurtha), lights (Barbie Tan-Tiongco), sound (Fabian Obispo) and projections (GA Fallarme), the play elegantly and economically brought a whole period and world to life. - Arturo Hilado

Company

 

Fabregas opted for a theater-in-the-round staging, with set designer Joey Mendoza placing a rectangular stage at the center of the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, with the audience on all four sides. It’s an unexpected setup but, to borrow a line from the show’s anthem “Being Alive,” it forces the audience to care. Or at least be more attentive. - Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBN News

Meanwhile, the show’s minimalist visual design not only allows us to imagine its settings any way we see fit, but it also makes Bobby’s circle of friends seem more like ever-present judges of his actions. And Fabregas guides small interactions skillfully, letting humor give way to profound sadness and back again.  Emil Hofileña  - Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

A Doll's House Part 2

 

This constricted battleground finds resonance in Joey Mendoza’s set design, which Villonco makes skillful use of to emphasize a point or a game change. A shadow looming over the wall, a crash on the floor, a character walking away by a few steps—they end up speaking thematic volumes. - Cora Llamas

Villonco also plays up the modern themes of both Hnath and Ibsen with Joey Mendoza’s set of plain white walls, with projections (by GA Fallarme) of whichever character is set to confront Nora in the upcoming scene. Mendoza’s costumes, too, seem to add to the feeling that the story is suspended in a time between then and now, with characters wearing clothes that are a mix between the 19th century and modern times. - NIkki Francisco

 

Without exploiting the obvious, directing is made infinitely easier with a technical unit that's dependable and battle tested. Theater critics would be remiss not to notice the ubiquitous touch of John Batalla's lighting design (is there a production in town he's not working on?), and Joey Mendoza's understated but compelling scenic idea: a sparsely furnished living room with two period cushioned chairs under an elegant chandelier (we're not sure if that one's a fixed theatre item). The empty walls painted in French gray (with minimal projections by GA Fallarme) evoke a stark sense of abandonment. Mendoza's scenic design suggests a life devoid of maternal care, which is an eerie sight as Nora recalls the meaningful items that once conveyed her presence. - Robert Encila-Celdran

Maybe it’s the anachronistic production design (by Joey Mendoza), maybe it’s Nora’s ideas of a post-marital society (written by Lucas Hnath), but Villonco put all the elements together and helmed something unique and gripping that it’s only downside was that it ended far too quickly. - TheaterfansManila

 

 

 

Eto Na!  Musikal Napo!

 

What works best for Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! are two things. First is the nostalgia factor as further amped by Joey Mendoza's very ‘70s set design including an oversized public pay phone (yes, the iconic red one), as well as the colorful costumes created by Eric Pineda. - Edwin P. Sallan, Daily Tribune

 

What propels you to enjoy this show from beginning to end is the right amount of nostalgia (credits to Eric Pineda's costumes and Joey Mendoza's set design) and a fitting finale that will surely make you get up from your seat and give an ovation. - Jude Buot, Broadway World

 

Design-wise, “Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!” captured the period flavor without going overboard. Set designer Joey Mendoza used groovy geometric patterns for the simple set, while Eric Pineda's costumes had the right details and silhouettes and looked authentic instead of mere retro chic. Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBN News

 

Joey Mendoza’s set design makes one realize how such a simple platform can do so much for the material’s themes and characters. With minimal sets, we are drawn closely to the characters, making us a part of the group, and ultimately becoming part of the narrative, without dismissing that needed ‘unAPOlogetically’ nostalgic pull.  - Orly S. Agawin

 

 

Silent Sky

Set and costume designer Joey Mendoza created atmosphere with a streamlined, modern aesthetic that places the emphasis on the characters and the drama. In lieu of overwrought, heavy sets, he opted to establish the period with choice furniture and accessories that defined the era as well as through historically accurate costumes with the right colors — somber earth tones for the women in a man’s world and sweet pastels for the rural, home-based Margaret. A lot is achieved with minimal structures that fuel the imagination, suggesting without showing too much.  You know it’s an observatory even without the giant telescope when Shaw emerges taking the stairs from an opening on the floor. Even a railing is sufficient to evoke the glorious experience of being on an ocean liner. - Ricky Toledo, Chito Vijandre, The Philippine Star

 

The set transformed through space and time. A church façade, seamlessly fades into an attic office. Then with just a suggestion of railings, becomes a deck on a cruise liner. And we are constantly treated to a silent sky of twinkling little stars.  - Sujata S. Mukhi, Business World

 

 

Hair

 

From start to finish, Repertory Philippines’ Hair is an electrifying display of talent and creativity. Upon entering the theater, the audience is greeted by a bevy of hippies dressed in gorgeously period-faithful outfits (by James Reyes with hair by Leslie Ferrer Espinosa) frolicking across the colorful, bead-curtained stage designed by Joey Mendoza (the sun projection on the stage floor was a particularly nice touch). Isabella Olivares, People Asia 

 

Like in its original 1967 production, Joey Mendoza's set rejected the conventional theater design with its center, relatively bare, but not neglected of color and breathable space....If this is not what Art is supposed to do, I don’t know what is. - Orly Agawin

 

Repertory Philippines, also celebrating its golden year, mounted “Beauty and the Beast,” based on the classic French novel and not Disney, with a wow stage design by Joey Mendoza; then closed the year with a rousing production of that ’70s cult classic, “Hair.” - Amadis Ma. Guerrero, Inquirer
 

 

 

Blackbird

 

Set designer Joey Mendoza created a sterile environment bursting with meaning, which made perfect sense in a cathartic scene near the end. He also enclosed it in opaque plexiglass panels as another reminder of the haziness of the unfolding action.... Meanwhile, lights designer John Batalla uses harsh fluorescent lights for much of the place yet dims everything save for a spot shone solely on Uma for a heartbreaking monologue. The near blackout at the end effectively conjures the horror Uma felt during that fateful night. - Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBN News

 

 

Joey Mendoza’s set design sketches a well-lighted rectangular space, littered with pantry and office junk. At some point, you’d ask if this is an office at all, and if so, who allowed such mess in a workplace. Mendoza’s design paves a careful preparation for the audiences, sprinkling a few hidden hints of a messy past of the two characters that are about to take center stage. As early as the first minutes in your seat, you’d feel a certain level of discomfort, silently preparing you for whatever lies ahead. - Orly Agawin

 

Mr. Fabregas is rather fortunate to elicit the support of a dream production team. Joey Mendoza's appropriate set design recalls the callous ambiance of an efficient but drab corporate lunch room. John Batalla's lighting is basic but effectively dramatic where it counts (he's used to far more complex demands). Jethro Joaquin's sound design deploys an electronic eeriness of a dissonant variety, sufficiently placed to heighten dramatic tension. All in all, it's a team astute enough to complement a play for and about actors. - Robert Encila, Broadway World

 

 

Beauty & The Beast

 

While this Beauty and the Beast may not be the version that we all know and love, it is by no means any less visually enchanting. The production design captures the gilded opulence of 18th century France quite elegantly.  Joey Mendoza’s ornate proscenium — which features gold rococo-inspired curls on a blue field — and textured sets perfectly complement Bonsai Cielo’s costumes, which utilize frills, fabrics, embroidery, and powder to such an extent that they become both stately and comical. - Isabella Oliveres, People Asia

 

The stage design by Joey Gonzalez-Mendoza is excellent especially given the space at Onstage Theatre and its proximity to the audience. If you think you have had enough of the story, the stage will definitely make you want to come back for more. The stage itself is a masterpiece. - Emmanuel Evan Alba, Broadway World

 

 

Agnes of God

 

Complementing the stellar acting is Bart Guingona’s direction and the inspired output of the technical team. The stage’s bare set – with nine textured, stone gray panels and a table with two chairs, is the perfect canvas on which the dramatic shadows, silhouettes and music help the cast build the emotional tension of the play’s climactic reveal, upon which the entire play is hinged. Repertory Philippines’ Agnes of God is a masterful weaving of stellar acting and production design that is pulled at its tightest in the play’s final moments. It holds its own as the psychiatrist prods, the Mother Superior pleads and the young nun breaks for a final time so that when it’s time to drop the curtains, the audience is left stunned by the astonishing show of talent and design. - Isabella Olivares, People Asia

 

But “Agnes of God” isn’t just an acting triumph. It’s also beautifully staged and designed. Mendoza’s minimalist set, inspired by the giant pillars in old churches and monasteries, and dramatically lit by John Batalla, has an otherworldly, almost spiritual glow. Jethro Joaquin’s sound design, meanwhile, accentuates the ethereal quality of Agnes’s singing. - Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBS News

 

 

Hyena

 

Daring in its cynicism, adorable in its nastiness, Soutus navigated that spectacular stage knowing each movement, each step mastered with her director Rachel Levens....the technical aspects of this production are top notch. The work that Joey Mendoza and Gareth Hobbs did is of equal importance to Soutus’ performance. But what you should know the most, is that you will miss out on something truly remarkable if you don’t see this show. - Nelson Diaz-Marcano

She creates striking and imaginative tableaux via Joey Mendoza’s elegant set design. - Rachel Kerry, New York Theater Review

 

 

Full Gallop

 

Who else describes red as “Rococo with a spot of Gothic and a bit of Buddhist in it” but her (Vreeland)? We have to raise our glasses to Joey Mendoza, for a spectacular rendition of that description in his set design… Once the curtains go up, you are immediately thrust into her mind. How often can one take a tour that intimate? - Aya Tantiangco, Spot.ph.

 

But if there's anything that people will be talking about long after the curtain has dropped, it is the set design of Joey Mendoza, which was so exquisite it's worth its own story. - James P. Ong, Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

Joey Mendoza’s set design for FULL GALLOP is breathtaking… and paints a vivid picture of what could have been Vreeland's state of mind. -  Jude Cartalaba, Broadway World

 

It isn’t every day that a set design receives applause from an audience...Joey Mendoza’s scenery for “Full Gallop”... received applause for every single show… Audiences invariably burst into spontaneous clapping at the sight of Mendoza’s interpretation of Vreeland’s apartment. - Walter Ang, PDI

 

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