Last year, I was able to see ten stage productions–3 Stars and a Sun, Les Miserables, Godspell, Rak of Aegis, Ako si Josephine, Dirty Old Musical, Changing Partners, The Tempest Reimagined, Mula sa Buwan, and Mabining Mandirigma–and I could tell you that even as my wallet protested, my heart and soul were happy and content. This year, I have my eyes set on even more productions, most of them original Filipino musicals. Because hey, love your own, right? Here are five Filipino musicals you definitely must see from January to April 2017!
Sa Wakas (FringeMNL)
Sa Wakas is a critically acclaimed, homegrown musical based on the songs of one of the country’s most beloved rock bands, Sugarfree. Co-written by Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan and Mariane Abuan, with the music beautifully arranged by Ejay Yatco, Sa Wakas was one of the first to bring together the world of pop rock and theater in one groundbreaking musical. The show is created and produced by Charissa Pammit and is presented with the Manila Fringe Festival.
A bittersweet story set in contemporary Manila, Sa Wakas raises the timeless question of why relationships fall apart. What makes the show unique is its unconventional perspective, adopting an inverse chronology wherein the narrative begins at the end of the crushing breakup and works its agonizing way backwards to the relationship’s starry-eyed beginning.
Dirty Old Musical (Spotlight Artists Centre)
Dirty Old Musical is about “The Bench Boys”, a male group band in the 80s who had a one-time big time hit and disbanded after sometime due to personality differences among other reasons. Now they have to do a one-time concert for an ailing member and here unfolds the reality that they are not young anymore and people probably don’t know about them any longer. Reality check…they are now in their 50’s and already showing the signs of a DOM – andropause, diminishing sex life, erectile dysfunction and different medical conditions that face men their age.
Can they still do this concert? Thus, the riot and other complicating subplots, from the other supporting characters like the son, a mother and the girlfriend.
Sing along with them in their comeback reunion concert.
Care Divas (PETA Theater Center)
Care Divas is a disarmingly funny and candid musical drama about 5 transgender Overseas Filipino Workers in Israel who work as care givers in the morning and transform into glamorous drag queen performers at night. While desperate to make ends meet, they also struggle to search for acceptance in a foreign land
The musical dominated the 2011 Philstage Gawad Buhay! Awards, bagging seven trophies including Outstanding Stage Direction, Outstanding Musical Direction, Outstanding Musical Production and Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical.
Mula sa Buwan (Black Box Productions)
Mula sa Buwan is a new Filipino musical about love, ideals, and the heartbreaks in between.
Based on Cyrano de Bergerac, the play is now set in 1940s Manila, among young ROTC cadets and blushing colegialas. The play shows the innocence and beauty of our nation where music, harana, kundiman, wit, passion, and hope abound! However, when World War II strikes, virtue, honor, and love are all tested – the young now forced to suddenly…grow up.
The story moves to a time after the war, to a field of ruble, of forgotten memories, of heroes lost in a country struggling to survive. At the center of it all, the tragic love story between Cyrano, Roxane and Christian.
A Game of Trolls (PETA Theater Center)
PETA, in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), presents A Game Of Trolls, a timely and educational production about Martial Law meant for students and Millennials. The production will tour year-round to different cities all over the Philippines.
More about this show will be posted as information becomes available.
So, what say you? Shall we see each other at the theatre? ^_^ I hope you could squeeze any (or all!) of these productions into your busy schedule. I promise you, it’ll be worth it!
P.S. I am not, in any way, affiliated with the producers of the shows mentioned above, BUT I might be able to connect you with showbuyers for Care Divas if you wish to buy directly from them. Leave a comment below for inquiries! Kitakits sa teatro!