I got to love watching plays and musicals because of Cebuano friends who are into performing arts in Cebu – Hendri Go who produces and organizes plays and musicals, theater actor Dave Feril Bargamento , and producer slash actor Vince Paul Gaton. Pretty much I got my liking and appreciation for theater arts from these three people.
During the last week of March 2019, I got to watch the award-winning musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo” at the RWM Newport Performing Arts. It was my first time to watch a theater production in the capital, and what really got me excited is that the whole production features songs from one of my all-time favorite Pinoy rock bands, the Eraserheads.
The story is set during the 90s and runs around four friends who will take you on a sturm and drang of emotions, making you deeply feel the lyrics of each song, perfectly woven together by the brilliant mind of playwright Dingdong Novenario, and personified onstage by director Dexter Santos. I tell you, if you ever get the chance to watch it on its 3rd run, better bring a pack of tissue.
For its second run, the musical featured new cast members including Nicco Manalo, Lance Reblando, David Ezra, Phi Palmos, Myke Salomon, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Gabriella Pangilinan and Carla Guevara-Laforteza, and is joined by the original casts Gian Magdangal, Reb Atadero, Boo Gabunada, OJ Mariano, Bibo reyes, Jon Santos, Tanya Manalang, and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. Bringing in a more polished the narrative for this run is prominent dramaturg, Floy Quintos.
“Ang Huling El Bimbo” is one of those productions that made it possible for the general Filipino audience to understand and appreciate theater more, as the setting is much more relatable to us. I personally find it nostalgic, as it gives me an organic feel, somehow seeing my friends and family in some of the characters being portrayed.
“Ang Huling El Bimbo” deserves a third run as more Filipinos should have the chance to watch it. And, as for me, I can’t wait to see more plays and musicals at Resorts World Manila.