Maya on the Block | Pinched by Ang Huling El Bimbo: The Musicale 2023

(AHEB photos courtesy of Newport World Resorts and Full House Theater Company Facebook pages)
(AHEB photos courtesy of Newport World Resorts and Full House Theater Company Facebook pages)

For those who are familiar with Eraserheads’ songs, “Ang Huling El Bimbo” is most likely the most poignant. The Eraserheads — composed of Ely Buendia, Raymund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, and Marcus Adoro — has dominated the music industry since their big break in 1993.

Their songs evoke nostalgia and resonate with Filipino listeners. “Ang Huling El Bimbo” recounts an unrequited love story between childhood friends who grew up and grew apart, only for it to come to a terrible conclusion.

One can feel a bit of pain just singing the song, how much more if it will be acted on stage? It was my first time watching “Ang Huling El Bimbo” (AHEB): The Musical at the Newport Performing Arts Theater on April 27, 2023. I am not a musical aficionado but AHEB was truly “nakakaindak,” “nakakaaliw,” and “nakakatindig balahibo.”

 

The story focuses on the complicated relationships of 4 friends – Joy, Hector, Anthony and Emman – whose friendship is tested after a personal tragedy. Each scene was carried out infused with the iconic songs of Eraserheads such as “Alapaap,” ” Ligaya,” “Tindahan ni Aling Nena,” “Toyang,” “Pare Ko,” ” With A Smile,” “Tikman ang Langit,” “Magasin,” “Sem Break,” and many more.

(AHEB photos courtesy of Newport World Resorts and Full House Theater Company Facebook pages)

 

I found myself singing along from the very first scene and the musical’s stage, lighting, costumes and choreography were visual treats. Now on its 5th year, the cast of AHEB is composed of some of the best theater actors in the country namely Gab Pangilinan, Gian Magdangal, and Topper Fabregas, who reprise their lead roles as young Joy, Hector, and Houng Anthony respectively.

(AHEB photos courtesy of Newport World Resorts and Full House Theater Company Facebook pages)

They were also joined by new cast members, theater actor and The Voice finalist Niño Alejandro (Anthony), Indie folk artist Bullet Dumas (Emman), GMA-7’s The Clash grand finalist Anthony Rosaldo (Young Hector), Gawad Buhay Award-winning theater actor Paw Castillo (Young Emman), and professional voice teacher Katrine Sunga (Joy).

 

The musical is produced by Newport World Resorts and Full House Theater Company. Very special thanks to Newport World Resort’s Cluster Director of Marketing Communications Archie Nicasio , Laurence Joy Andrade , Aina Elinon , Judd Jhocson, Sofia Vital and the rest of the team, and to Cebu Pacific. La la la la la….. la la… la la…. la la la..

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