The cast for Ang Huling El Bimbo has finally been announced!
The upcoming original musical based on the songs of iconic 90’s rock band The Eraserheads stars Gian Magdangal, Tanya Manalang, Jon Santos, OJ Mariano, Reb Atadero, Topper Fabregas, and Boo Gabunada. Told in two timelines, with over 20 of the band’s hit songs, the musical tells the story of three friends who have drifted apart in adulthood until fate reunites them to confront their haunted past.
Director and choreographer Dexter Santos said that it is a lifelong dream of his to direct an Eraserheads musical. “We all know the songs. Ely, Buddy, Marcus, and Raimund have decided to create songs that are very, very significant to our everyday lives– the first time we fell in love, the first time we got hurt, even the times we were drinking with our barkadas, or one-on-one emo talks with our best friend. So it’s such a fitting idea to come up with a musical that would encapsulate all of these beautiful stories of friendship and love.”
Joining the creative team is musical director Myke Salomon, who has co-written a total of 4 jukebox musicals (Rak of Aegis, 3 Stars and a Sun, Dirty Old Musical, Ako si Josephine) over the past 3-4 years. In reorienting rock and pop music for the theater, Salomon says, “Usually I take energy from the scene. So kung ano iyung binibigay ng scene, iyun iyung ibibigay ko rin,” He adds, “I’m not a slave of the original work. We retell the story again in a different way, in an interesting way.”
Santos also mentions, “You’ve heard the [the music] on the radio already. We now have the opportunity to translate it live into a Pinoy musical, so might as well grab that opportunity to retelling stories, creating new contexts, finding new characters, and changing the dynamics of it. I think that’s the best thing about doing a musical based on an iconic band’s songs.”
Also part of their team is playwright Dingdong Novenario. Known for his one-act plays (Kafatiran, Nothing but Dreams, Daddy’s Girl) in The Virgin Labfest, this musical marks Novenario’s first full-length stage script. They are joined by Full House Theater Company’s artistic directors Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Michael Williams.
The musical opens on July 20 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. You can watch performances from the cast below!