Curtains have opened once again for one of my favorite Filipino musicals, Mula sa Buwan, and I AM ECSTATIC! I always thought it was a shame the runs for this show were extremely short, so I’m really happy they’re producing a total of sixteen shows now (well, down to twelve now, because they’ve already opened last Friday). I caught yesterday’s 3PM show, and here’s a list of notable things I loved in this rerun:
Front of house. I was super excited to see that FOH setup because I am a sucker for whimsical stuff and it was super-duper cute! Also, I have a thing for paper planes so that giant one suspended by the door made me kilig. I think it was also such a cool idea that there were post/pre-show performances (post show for the 3PM peeps, and pre-show for the 730PM folks), because it gets people in the mood and also showcases the endless well of talent we have in the OPM scene. It was just too bad I couldn’t stay long and enjoy yesterday’s performances, especially since Zsaris and Nar Cabico were there. ;; I hope there will be more of that in the coming weeks.
They’re also selling some cute merch over there (I was looking for the cast recording but was told it wouldn’t be available till next week HUHU), so if you’re seeing the show, you’d better check them out! Souvenir programs were available for P100, the Moontis (collectible figurines) are P350 each, and the 2-CD recording will be P600.
Set and lighting design. Mula sa Buwan‘s set was very minimalist on its first run, rather textured on the second, and picture perfect this time around. You can literally snap a photo of every single set change and it would look majestic every time. Kudos to Ohm David (set design) and Meliton Roxas, Jr. (lighting design) for an amazing job!
Choreography. LovedlovedLOVED the new choreography! The energy was simply several notches up from before, and I particularly enjoyed the new Manifesto. <3 Congratulations to choreographer JM Cabling for injecting an extra dose of vigor to the dance numbers. Loved it.
Musical arrangement. I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that I last saw the show in February of last year and my memory’s rather hazy, but man did those big numbers sound MAJESTIC! Despite some very obvious audio issues which I trust would be addressed, the music was glorious and almost tactile. I felt that. Dana Marquez (musical arrangement), great job!
The cast. Whoever made the choice of casting Phi Palmos as Rosana did an amazing job. Call me biased because I love Phi, but the energy he brought to the role was fierce and electric, and his Manifesto is something I will remember for years to come. (Also that hamon joke? Super benta.) Love you, Phi!
Cris Go was wonderfully charming as the lovestruck Roxane. I thought she resembled KL Dizon (which made me miss her), but Cris was able to make Roxane her own and wowed me with those impressive pipes. Kudos to her for not getting distracted when the audio kind of went bonkers during the very emotional Ang Sabi Nila.
Edward Benosa just keeps getting better and better as Christian every time I see this show. The prelude to Tinig sa Dilim will forever be pure comedy gold, and I loved it every time Edward had bouts of kilig because he would squeak out his dialogue, draw his shoulders into his body, and basically shrink. Hilarious, especially because he’s practically built like a Norse god. (His white shirts deserve an award for merely surviving that ordeal, by the way.)
I was so happy to have finally seen Boo Gabunada as Cyrano, and boy, he DID NOT disappoint. That I could see every bit of emotion on his face–the kilig, the longing, the heartache–from where I was seated in the balcony speaks volumes of his talent. I adore Nicco Manalo and his take on Cyrano will forever be etched in my memory, but I loved how Boo lent a more carefree, childlike air to the character in the first act. He made me believe that Cyrano was, indeed, just a child, experiencing love and heartbreak and loss for the very first time. And when he launched into that monster of a monologue toward the end? Glorious. He captured every emotion perfectly and I, per usual, ended up clutching a bunch of tissues and sobbing my eyes out. Thanks, Boo.
No love lost for Mula sa Buwan this time around, but I really really hope that audio problem gets addressed very soon because it would be a shame if the audiences miss important dialogue or get stolen away from an emotional moment. I’m watching again on the 24th, and I am so looking forward to seeing Nicco Manalo again, and of course, the lovely Gab Pangilinan, who will be playing Roxane. <3 Kita-kita sa buwan!
Mula Sa Buwan runs from November 9-25 at the Hyundai Hall of Arete in Ateneo de Manila University. Click here for tickets.