Around 200 theater actors were featured in Philippine theater’s biggest gathering of artists this year for ‘MUSIKAL’ – a 45th anniversary presentation of the Cultural Center of the Philippines held last September 5 and 6 at the halls of CCP!
The evening opened with ‘overture’ played by The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra led by Gerard Salonga.
Focus was rendered first on musicals which tackled the old Philippines – “Walang Sugat” represented by the comic spot “Makikiliti Kang Totoo” performed by international musical star Sheila Francisco and Red Nuestro. It was then followed by chosen numbers from “Ang Kababaihan Ng Malolos” and “San Andres B.”
The Ryan Cayabyab Singers performed a medley of songs from the musical “Lorenzo” while former Sugarfree frontman Ebe Dancel’s vocals soared in the “Rock Supremo” spot. He was accompanied by Ballet Philippines’ stars Carissa Adea, Kathrina Trofeo, and Richardson Yadao.
The children musicals segment started with “Sandosenang Sapatos” followed by last year’s multi-awarded “Bluebird of Happiness” and “Batang Rizal.”
The “vaudeville” musicals were presented next with Roeder’s sexy, comic number “Titina” and the showstopping “Aba Ba Boogie,” from the 1980’s hit musical “Katy” with Isay Alvarez, the star of last year’s revival.
The first act closed on a high note with a performance of some of the songs from Ryan Cayabyab and Bienvenido Lumbera’s “Noli Me Tangere” by the world-renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers and the “Munting Pangarap” number of perhaps the most successful musical in recent years “Rak of Aegis.”
The second act opened with Myke Salomon’s performance of “Magsimula Ka.” Followed by spots from Ateneo’s “Sinta,” “Toilet the Musical,” and Ed Gatchalian’s “Rivalry.” The cast of “Sa Wakas” performed next with the song “Bawat Daan.” The “Himala” spot was undeniably intense with powerhouse performances from May Bayot, Isay Alvarez, Cynthia Guico and Dulce.
The mood turned gay when Myke Salomon opened the “Rainbow Segment,” with performances from “gay-themed” musicals like “Caredivas,” “Zsa Zsa Zaturnah,” and “Maxie.”
These fun numbers were followed by a revue of “Rama Hari,” perhaps the most important Filipino musical as it was made by icons of the industry – National Artists Bien Lumbera, Alice Reyes, and Salvador Bernal with the well-respected Ryan Cayabyab. “Rama Hari” is based on the love story of Rama and Sita, as presented in the Asian epic “Ramayana.”
OJ Mariano opened the suite with “Tagistis ng Ulan.” He was followed by Karylle, singing the most popular tune from the musical – “Magbalik Ka Na Mahal.”
Karylle is one of the newest mainstream artist-singer who joined the great theater masters performing lead roles in stage musicals like “The Little Mermaid,” “West Side Story,” “Cinderella,” and Ballet Philippine’s “Rama Hari.”
A dance solo was performed by dancers from Ballet Philippines while Robert Sena joined OJ and Karylle in singing “Awit ng Pagsinta.”
The celebration ended with “Minsan Ang Minahal Ay Ako,” a song from the musical “Katy.” The said anthemic song has unofficially been the “theme of stage performers.” Dulce, Isay, and Aicelle, stars of last year’s revival, led all the performers in singing the song.