Monday, March 25, 2013

One of the most celebrated Filipino films that has ever graced the Philippine Cinema has been transformed into the most heart-warming musicals ever written, HIMALA (Panibagong Pagtingin sa Mukha ni Elsa) now celebrates its 10th anniversary celebration,and is now reinvented into a musical concert - Himala, A Celebration of the Musical.


Production Details:
  • Production Company: Touchworkx Group, Inc. & PETA Theater Center
  • Direction: Soxie Topacio
  • Playwright and Lyricist: Ricky Lee
  • Composer, Lyricist and Musical Director: Vincent de Jesus
  • Production Design: Gino Gonzales
  • Choreography: Carlon Matobato and Jay Cruz
  • Piano Arrangement and Asst. Musical Director: Jed Balsamo
  • Cast: May Bayot-de Castro, Isay Alvarez-Seña, Cynthia Culig-Guico, OJ Mariano, Mia Bolaños, Kalila Aguilos, Myke Salomon, Lionel Guico, Melvin Lee and Dulce. Together with Angeli Bayani, Bong Cabrera, Joann Co, Mayen Estañero, Neomi Gonzales, Carlon Matobato, Red Nuestro, Onyl Torres, Kenjie Villacorte and John Kenneth Cuare. Featuring Viva Voce and UST Singers Alumni.

Plot: In the remote village of Barrio Cupang, a young girl named Elsa claims that the Virgin Mary has spoken to her during a solar eclipse. She reveals her vision and starts healing people. Soon, Elsa becomes a national figure. Hundreds of pilgrims and curiosity seekers invade her village and forces townsfolk to examine their own beliefs. 

HIMALA is a story of faith, of truth and delusion, and of man’s endless quest to find something, and someone, to believe in.

  • Best Characters: Elsa, Nimia and Chayong
  • Best Scene: The ‘Ang Himala ay Nasa Puso’ number would probably the most iconic scene ever written, both in the movie and stage version of Himala.
  • Best Actor: Dulce is marvelous in playing Aling Saling, mother of Elsa. She hits those critical notes perfectly and really draws the audience into her when she’s on stage. She’s not dubbed the ‘Asia’s Diva’ for nothing. Also, fresh from KATY!, Isay Alvarez-Seña is outstanding as she usually is. She plays Nimia, one of Elsa’s best friends who lost track on her faith. She definitely gives everything she’s got to offer in her performance as the strong-willed Nimia, especially in the ‘Ako Ang Tunay Na Birhen’ number. It’s like seeing her Gigi performance again!
  • Notable Performances: Maybe May Bayot wasn’t in her A-game during the performance so the others stood out instead of her Elsa. But, as to what we’ve heard, the succeeding shows during the opening week, May was phenomenal! Now that’s the 2004 Aliw Award Best Actress in a Musical Role giving her tour de force portrayal of Elsa. Note: Don’t forget to pull out your Kleenex when Elsa sings Magpakita Kang Muli!
  • OJ Mariano (Orly) is currently going places and we’ll be definitely seeing him more often than not. OJ is the real deal when it comes to casting lead actors for a musical. He plays Orly, the young filmmaker who captures the miraculous Elsa through his camera’s lens. And we would want to see more Cynthia Culig-Guico’s (Chayong) heartfelt performances in the Philippine theater scene.
  • Direction: The show is intended to be in concert style. Yes, we know you guys are thinking more like Les Miz 25th-ish kind. We’re sorry to disappoint you guys but no - because you’re seeing more than just a concert! Soxie Topacios’ vision on this anniversary concert is like seeing the actual show itself! We’re guessing that this would not be called a concert if it weren’t for the uber-talented singers of Viva Voce and UST Singers Alumni singing along with the whole company.
  • Set/Lights: The production design is very minimal but it really works. The lithe chiffon, a thin tree branch and few tumbleweeds, along with the intimate lighting gave the production a more eerie, sincere vibe, rather than being extravagant and being concert-ish.
  • Music, Lyrics and Book: Vincent de Jesus is a genius! His music sends out very genuine melodies, along with Ricky Lee’s lyrics and his own. The music is overwhelming to the ears and the lyrics punches you right at the heart! On the other hand, Ricky Lee’s brilliant book conveys a different Himala. No, we’re not watching the critically-acclaimed movie set on a stage all over again. We’re seeing a different perspective folks - yes, some of the most memorable scenes from the flick are still there but the musical now raises the questions: What happens when people are faced with the miracle that they’ve long been searching for? How do they react? What do they believe in? 
  • Why You Should Watch It: This musical event may not happen again - ever. Everyone should definitely catch HIMALA, A Celebration of the Musical. Be moved by the music, be inspired by the book and be amazed by the performances. This is more than just a concert, we tell you.

  • Watch HIMALA (A Celebration of the Musical)
     on its closing night MARCH 24, 2013 | SUN |  8PM @ PETA    
    Ticket Prices: 2000 (VIP Orchestra), 1000 (VIP) and 650 (Balcony)   
    For reservations, contact: Onay Sales (0917.908.0565) 
    RC Marzan (0922.888.5348)  

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