Ballet Philippines wraps up its 45th anniversary season with MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical! A musical theater production set in an alternate present day Philippines where the EDSA revolution failed. A nation sick with ‘KAMANHIRAN’ (or Apathy) further tormented by a battle of superpowered heroes and villains.
Leading the cast of superheroes as Bantugan “Tag-inip” Buenaventura is Sandino Martin, who recently won Best Actor at the Cinema One Originals Awards Night for his role in “Esprit de Corps”. Bantugan is a journalist with the power to communicate with the other superheroes through his dreams. Alternating the role is Ballet Philippines Apprentice, Mark Anthony Grantos.
Female lead Lam-Ang “Amihabagat” Panganiban, who controls the Amihan and Habagat winds, will be played by Regina de Vera and Teetin Villanueva. A resident actor of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, de Vera won the Gawad Buhay award for Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play in 2013 for “Der Kaufmann”. Villanueva is a recent Theatre Arts graduate from UP Diliman. Her thesis role performance as Hermana Augusta Beata in Floy Quintos’ COLLECTION earned her nominations for the 26th Aliw Awards and Broadway World Philippines’ Awards in 2013.
Gold Villar takes on the role of Alunsina “Mura-dugo” Albano, who has the power to draw blood through her curse words. Villar is a senior teaching artist for the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and has been part of productions Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang, Batang Rizal, Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto and most recently, Rak of Aegis.
Urduja, the mysterious goddess of all insects is played by recent discovery KL Dizon. A graduate of the Philippine High School for the Arts, Dizon has performed with the Philippine Opera Company on various productions. Dilim, a nightclub singer whose tragic songs bring on darkness, is played by Jean Judith Javier, who was last seen in the premiere of Ang Huling Lagda ni Mabini with Dulaang UP, and recently appeared in Noli Me Tangere the Opera as the madwoman, Sisa.
The cast of villains is led by Mayen Estanero, essaying the role of the Demonyita Mamalahima, the Minister of Humanity. In 2013, Estanero played the role of Rosario, wife of Lorenzo Ruiz in the Filipino-language rock opera “Lorenzo” and Nyai Ontosoroh in “Pramoedya”, which was part of Virgin Labfest.
Fred Lo and Ricardo Magno alternate as Radya Indarapatra “Mata-balani” Evangelista, an actor by day who has the power to become one’s heart’s desire. A full time performer, some of Lo’s most notable roles have been Mark Cohen in 9works Theatrical’s “RENT” and “Prince Christopher” in Resorts World’s “Cinderella”. Magno, a scholar of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors’ Company, recently performed with Ballet Philippines in August 2014 as Emilio Aguinaldo in “La Revolucion Filipina”.
Ballet Philippines dancers also take on the challenge of portraying the roles of comic book heroes and villains. Featured are Jean Marc Cordero, Katherine Trofeo, Richardson Yadao, Earl John Arisola, Cyril Aran Fallar, Emmanuelle Guillermo, Timothy Paul Cabrera, Rita Angela Winder, Karmela Gaile Cortez, Gillianne Therese Gequinto, Kazier Policarpio, Victor Maguad, and Erl Emmanuel Sorilla.
This original Filipino dance musical is by Kanakan Balintagos, with musical collaborators Vincent de Jesus, Carina Evangelista, and the Eraserheads. This year’s production will be directed by BP Artistic Director Paul Alexander Morales and choreographed by Alden Lugnasin.
MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical will have a three-weekend run at the CCP Main Theater on February 20-22, February 27-March 1, and March 6-8.
For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.