Tabing Ilog, the ABS-CBN teen drama TV series which aired from 1999-2003, is set to open as a stage musical at the Dolphy Theater this March.
Raymund Dizon, business unit head of ABS-CBN’s Star Hunt and executive producer of the original series, shares what set Tabing Ilog apart. “It tackled the realities of teenagers growing up at that time. The show did not shy away from topics like teenage pregnancies, pre-marital sex, bitter arguments with parents, alcoholism—themes that are still very relevant today.”
The creative team is set on taking the characters that audiences loved and bringing them to the present, taking on issues that are relevant in 2020.
“It’s really a story about friendship, about this second family, and about the issues that they go through,” says director Topper Fabregas. “So what we wanted to come up with was, ‘What would happen if we took the same characters, and 20 years later, ano na mangyayari sa characters na ito?”
Composer, lyricist, and musical director Vincent A. DeJesus adds, “Same characters, pero of course, iba na iyung kwento. It’s taking its own form. Para kang nandoon pero bago. It’s a modern take.”
Film writer Jade Castro, who is writing the book of a musical for the first time, shares that the show will continue to tackle the hard issues.
“Hindi siya magiging Tabing Ilog kung hindi magkakaroon ng mga issues (…), tulad ng mental health for example, at tsaka environment, at iba pa. Kasi ang goal was, i-imagine natin kung iyung characters ‘nung Tabing Ilog ay nabubuhay ngayon. Anong klaseng kuwento ang meron sila.”
The cast for the production will feature a mix of performers from different backgrounds. Theater actors who are part of the cast include Gab Pangilinan (Ang Huling El Bimbo, Mula sa Buwan) as Eds delos Santos, Teetin Villauneva (Desaparesidos, Kundiman Party) as Corrine Ledesma, Justine Narciso (The Dresser, The Quest of the Adarna) and Krystal Kane (Ateneo blueREP’s Spring Awakening) alternating as Jerry Ricafort, Franco Ramos (Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Hair) and Ian Hermogenes (Guadalupe: the Musical, Mabining Mandirigma) alternating as Ely, Noel Comia Jr. (Ang Buhay ni Galileo, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Sammy Collantes, Miah Canton (Kundiman Party, Lam-ang) as George Fuentebella, Ian Pangilinan (Ateneo blueREP’s Spring Awakening) as Rovic Mercado, and Vino Mabalot (Dekada ’70) as Fonzy Ledesma.
They will be alternating with TV personalities from ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) and Star Hunt, and members of Filipino idol girl group MNL48. PBB’s Kiara Takahashi and Abi Kassem alternate as Eds delos Santos, PBB’s Sky Quizon and Hanie Jarrar alternate as Rovic Mercado, PBB’s Batit Espiritu and Emjay Savilla alternate as Badong Magtibay, PBB’s Jem Macatuno, Gian Wang, and Gabby Sarmiento alternate as James Collantes, PBB’s Argel Saycon and Star Hunt alumni Elyson de Dios alternate as Fonzy Ledesma, MNL48’s Abby Trinidad and Belle Delos Reyes alternate as George Fuentebella, PBB’s Lou Yanong and Missy Quino alternate as Corrine Ledesma, PBB’s Shawntel Cruz as Jerry Ricafort, PBB’s Art Guma as Ely, and MNL 48’s Brei Binuya, and PBB’s Lie Reposposa as Sammy Collantes.
Theater and film actors Jojit Lorenzo (Changing Partners), Paolo O’Hara (33 Variations, Buwan at Baril), Joann Co (Tagu-taguan Nasaan Ang Buwan?, Rak of Aegis), and Agot Isidro (Changing Partners, Rabbit Hole) complete the adult cast.
Other members of the creative team include Riza Romero (production designer), JM Cabling (choreographer), Meliton Roxas (lighting designer), and Glendfford Malimban (sound designer).
The musical will run from March 7 to April 26 at the ABS-CBN Dolphy Theater in Quezon City. VIP tickets are P2500, orchestra side tickets are P1,500, Balcony Center tickets are P1,200, and Balcony Side tickets are P1,000. You can buy tickets exclusively at ktx.ph.
Watch the cast perform the opening number in the video below.