5 Must-See Filipino Musicals (January-April 2017)

Last year, I was able to see ten stage productions–3 Stars and a SunLes Miserables, GodspellRak of AegisAko si JosephineDirty Old MusicalChanging PartnersThe Tempest ReimaginedMula 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!

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Sa Wakas, A Pinoy Rock Musical

Sa Wakas - Full Cast

SA WAKAS! ^_^

Sa Wakas–yes, that 2013 Sugarfree musical you missed (oh, was it just me? okay.)–is back to mess with our feelings and break our hearts one more time this 2017! Excited yet? I know I am. In fact, I am SO excited I already have tickets to two shows. Heh.

About The Show

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. Lighting design will be done by Miguel Panganiban, while Julian Vincent Cayabyab will design the set.

Click on the Continue Reading button to learn more about this upcoming show!

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Review | Black Box Productions’ Mula Sa Buwan

mula sa buwan

When I saw Mula sa Buwan‘s teaser a few months ago, I immediately decided I’m going to watch this production without even knowing yet what it was about. It was THAT pretty and catchy. I followed their Facebook page, watched out for updates, and panicked a little when they released show dates and realized it was only going to run ONE weekend.

ONE. WEEKEND. Imagine that.

Fortunately, we were able to secure tickets for its closing night last Sunday (December 4), and let me tell you–it was everything I wanted and more.

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Review | PETA Theater’s The Tempest Reimagined

the tempest reimagined review

I walked into The Tempest Reimagined with only the vaguest idea of what the story was about. I already expected to drown in Shakespeare’s words like an inexperienced person was wont to do, but PETA’s masterfully written adaptation always managed to pull me back to shore.

Weaving two different stories from two different cultures, worlds (fiction vs. real life), and eras could not have been an easy feat, but the team behind The Tempest Reimagined made it look like a walk in the park. Special mention to Norbs Portales as the fisherman Jaime, who provided slivers of wisdom and laughter as the show’s narrator. He also tugged at my heartstrings toward the end of the show. (In short, umiyak ako.)

Topper Fabregas was hilarious, especially when he momentarily traded his Trinculo character to portray a masked foreign aid “god.” Kuya Bodjie Pascua‘s portrayal as Papa Bons was heartfelt and inspiring as usual. Seeing him in 3 Stars & a Sun in March made me want to watch him on stage again, so thanks, show! John Moran did a awesome job portraying the “monster” Caliban, while Neomi Gonzales, Gabriela Pangilinan, and Gio Gahol were enchanting as the elemental spirit Ariel. I’m a sucker for music so I always loved it when they played the instruments and sang. I wished there were more of that, actually.

I’ve always loved how PETA designs their stages, and The Tempest Reimagined‘s stage was no different. Almost bereft of color, the dominantly white stage was a great backdrop for the vibrant characters of the play. I also appreciated how functional everything was on stage, especially toward the end when the characters were, quite literally, building something new out of the ruins.

The play’s run was pretty limited (it closed yesterday, December 4th), and it made me sad to see a lot of empty seats when we came to watch. I hope this doesn’t discourage the company from bringing this closer to the viewing masses, one way or another. Every story needs to be seen and heard, and this one, most expecially, needs to be put out there for many others to enjoy and learn from.

Rating

review 4 stars

PETA Theater’s The Tempest Reimagined was a magical attempt at putting Shakespeare in a perspective more relatable to the Filipino viewing public. It wasn’t perfect, but it was heart-wrenching and inspiring all the same. Kudos to everyone who made this production possible! Congratulations!

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[ Press Release ] Vincent De Jesus’ Changing Partners: A Lovechild of Heartbreak and Music

The PETA Theater Center houses Vincent De Jesus’ newest production, CHANGING PARTNERS, a torch musical that explores the alchemy of relationships and  questions the nature of fidelity and the complex issues partners face regardless of gender.

Opening at the PETA Theater Center in October, CHANGING PARTNERS is an intimate peek inside Cris and Alex’s challenging May-December relationship. Though most people would glance skeptically at May-December romances, they also accept them, depending on the couple’s gender and who gets to be ‘December’ and who gets to be ‘May’.

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