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‘One More Chance, The Musical’ Explores Self-Agency, Empowerment, and Mental Health

‘One More Chance, The Musical’ Explores Self-Agency, Empowerment, and Mental Health

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PETA’s One More Chance, The Musical, which has just been extended for two more weeks due to overwhelming demand, is set to run at the PETA Theater Center from April 12 to June 30, 2024.

Based on the 2007 motion picture One More Chance produced by ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc., PETA says that the musical adaptation, which will feature existing music by Ben&Ben, aims to not only bring the love story of Popoy and Basha to life, but also create a more nuanced and expanded experience for audiences.

“When we thought about putting together One More Chance and Ben&Ben, it was like, ‘Yeah! It makes sense,’ shares One More Chance, The Musical director and PETA’s Artistic Director, Maribel Legarda. “We have two icons of two different time frames, but put them together and what’s going to happen. It’s such an interesting, creative exercise, as well as what we feel, something that works– the musical tones and ideas of Ben&Ben merging into this story that was first created in 2007.”

She, along with PETA, believe that making different kinds of art interact with each other is a very important aspect of making art grow. “The music, the stories, they’re adapted for new times, for new generations, kasi iba iyung thinking noong 2007 at iba na ang 2024. At ang ganda ganda that both the music, the film and the theater are growing with it.”

“These new adaptations will strengthen our own Filipino art and culture because we’re going back to our own text, our own music, and we try to re-envision it, re-imagine it, and try to enrich that experience along the way so it doesn’t disappear. It just keeps on growing.”

How faithful will it be to the movie? Playwright Michelle Ngu-Nario says, “Very faithful, kasi malaki ang respeto namin sa materyal. Alam namin na marami ang nagmamahal sa kuwento, so we’re not trying to deconstruct it. Kung ano iyung napanood niyo sa pelikula, makikita niyo iyun and more. Ngayon kung ano iyung ‘and more’, iyun po ang exciting because what else can you add to something so beautiful, at may ikaka-beautiful pa pala siya.”

2024 Update

Legarda says that an update to the stage adaptation is a focus on mental health. “Kasi nakikita na namin, healthy society, healthy country, especially now super prevalent ang mental issues and other challenges. It’s also a social issue right now, the whole idea of mental health, coming from the pandemic, feelings of isolation, all the things that came out of three years of that kind of isolation.”

Ngu-Nario adds that there will also be a focus on self-agency and empowerment. “Lahat naman ng pagbabagong hinahanap natin sa pangmalawakan sa lipunan nagsisimula sa sarili at iyun iyung inexplore namin na organic dito sa storya natin. Paano ba palalakasin iyung self-agency, empowerment in terms of the choices that we make? Do we give ourselves enough grace to fail, to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to make other choices learning from those na ginawa na nating mga desisyon?”

“Hindi tayo lalayo kung ano iyung essential doon sa storya pero at the same time, hindi pinapakawalan iyung ganung pinanghahawakan ng PETA na nagsisimula sa sarili lahat ng pagbabagong gusto nating makita. It doesn’t have to be big all the time. It starts with the self, sa jowa mo, sa mga kabarkada mo, hanggang umabot ka sa gusto mong makitang pagbabago sa lipunan.”

“Giving yourself grace to learn from your mistakes, to breakdown so you can get to your breakthroughs.”

She also shares that the musical will be using around 29 songs, including reprises and other characters’ versions of the songs. Musical director and sound designer Myke Salomon, who is known to have arranged the music of other jukebox musicals such as Rak of Aegis, Ang Huling El Bimbo, 3 Stars and a Sun, Ako si Josephine, and Dirty Old Musical, says that arranging the music for this upcoming adaptation poses a similar challenge. 

“It’s considering the script and the existing songs at the same time and what’s the best thing to do for the whole narrative, for every scene. Malaki siyang artistic or musical decision na kailangan kong gawin araw-araw na hindi lang siya basta bastang ginagawa. It requires my whole life experience to decide on one bar and the next bars.” 

Iyun iyung foundation ko and iyung puhunan ko as a musical director because I’m also an actor. That’s my lens. How do I tell the story through music? How do I embody the melody, the songs, the harmony, the music? Everything.”

The cast features Sam Concepcion and CJ Navato as Popoy, Anna Luna and Nicole Omillo as Basha, Kiara Takahashi and Sheena Belarmino as Tricia, and Jef Flores and Jay Gonzaga as Mark.

They are joined by Ada Tayao and Rica Laguardia as Krizzy, Poppert Bernadas and Paji Arceo as Kenneth, Via Antonio and Dippy Arceo as Anj, and Jon Abella and Johnnie Moran as Chinno.

Completing the cast are Chez Cuenca and Coleen Paz as Helen/Guia/Roselle, JC Galano and Matthew Barbers as Francis/Mr. Tan, Neomi Gonzales and Carla Guevara Laforteza as Rose/Edith, Raul Montesa and Floyd Tena as Bert/Willie, and Hazel Maranan as Elvie.

Joining Legarda and Ngu-Nario in the artistic team are J-mee Katanyag (Dramaturg and Assistant Director), Myke Salomon (Musical Director and Sound Designer), Michael Barry Que (Choreographer), Ohm David (Set Designer), Carlo Pagunaling (Costume Designer), David Esguerra (Lighting Designer), and Bene Manaois (Projection Designer).

You can watch excerpts from the show performed by the cast in the videos below.




One More Chance, The Musical will be running from April 12 to June 30, 2024, at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City. The musical is presented by PETA and co-presented by Metrobank and Robinsons Malls. Tickets for the extended run will be available starting March 7 via Ticketworld.

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Founder and Managing Director of TheaterFansManila.com. Thinks about the performing arts scene 2/3 of the day, everyday. A firm believer in the Filipino artist.