‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros’ soon to become ‘Maxie the Musical’

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Director Dexter Santos. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

This early, Peta (Philippine Educational Theater Association) is preparing for “Maxie the Musical,” the stage version of the hit Cinemalaya film “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros,” which made waves here and abroad after it was first presented at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

“Ang Pagdadalaga…” is the story of a gay adolescent, Maximo, who falls in love with a handsome policeman, grows up in the process but retains his homosexuality, nurtured by his macho family of petty hoods.

The musical, with libretto by Nicolas Pichay based on the screenplay by Michiko Yamamoto, won’t be staged until November, but already Peta has called for initial auditions at its theater center (behind Quezon City Sports Club).

So for two days recently, young hopefuls auditioned, singing one OPM and one Broadway-West End song and dancing before director-choreographer Dexter M. Santos.

Auditionees

We chatted briefly with auditionees Jeffrey Hernandez, Chesko Rodriguez, Ruth Alferez, Paulo Rodriguez, and Maybeline Rose Balunsat and her sister Micaela Balunsat.

Composers JJ Pimpinio, Arkel Mendoza and William Mendoza. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

Jeffrey is taking up Theater Arts at the University of the Philippines and has appeared in Dulaang UP plays like the recent “Collection” and “Orosman at Zafira.” He considers himself more of a dancer.

Chesko has acted and sang in plays in Metro Manila, and has performed as a stiltswalker (for a moment I heard “streetwalker”) at the Universal Studios theme park in Singapore.

Ruth has done theater, TV and indie films (along with two National Geographic documentaries) and considers herself basically a freelancer.

Paulo usually plays a contrabida (villain) in GMA teleseryes, which struck me as rather odd as he is soft-spoken and baby-faced.

Siblings Maybeline and Micaela (13 and 9, respectively) have appeared in telenovelas. Maybeline has also sang in “Talentadong Pinoy.”

“It was trial-and-error transforming this cult movie into a musical play,” said Santos, the director. “We started from scratch, meetings, brainstorming and then we came up with a team of musicians.”

Auditionees who want to be part of “Maxie the Musical”. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

From the start, the filmmakers felt it should be a musical, according to Santos, “and so I told them we would use the power of theater to make it very entertaining, a song-and-dance play.”

“The moments highlighted in the film are very exciting,” he said. “The first time Maxie falls in love, family, social problems…” And, he added: “The two main characters, Maxie and the policeman, are hard to cast.”

Three composers

The three composers are Arkel Mendoza, J.J. Pimpinio and William Manzano, who have long been working as a team. Mendoza is the group’s pianist, Manzano plays the guitar and Pimpinio is the singer. Mendoza and Manzano are with Dulaang UP while Pimpinio is from St. Louis University in Baguio City.

“There were workshops every Saturday,” recalled Mendoza. “Nic (Pichay) would throw us some lyrics and he gave us the liberty to change these, to make them fit into the music.”

Mazano chimed in, “everything is agreed upon.”

Mendoza observed that “we did not want the music to sound too pop. If we can sum it up, basically what we wanted was to encompass Filipino song history, contemporary Pinoy—from Canseco to Cayabyab and Ely Buendia (Eraserheads).”

Pimpinio added, “and when Maxie sings, it’s pop-kundiman.”

“The setting is Sampaloc, Manila, so we strove for kanto (streetsmart) sophistication and class,” Mendoza concluded. “And all the characters sing, even the policemen, even the press. Everybody sings!”

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  • bugabee

    How about Sabah musical?

  • kilabot

    perils of perverted education.
    open rebuke is better than flattery;
    return to back-to-basics education to avoid perversion;
    try this:

    corrective biology for deviants 101
    ===================================
    human anatomy hides the anus deep between the buttocks;
    it is hidden because it is one of the dirtiest human part used for bowel movement;
    not supposed to be used other than its intended purpose, as passageway of human waste;
    anus is not a reproductive sex organ, either. not designed for that;
    what one gets when using it for sex is orga$m of germs;
    foolishly, lgbts defy nature and in their perverted lu$t misuse the hole;
    treating it like a hidden treasure to be expropriated instead of to keep away from;
    so they caress it, kiss it, put makeup on it and penetrate it;
    calling it love; deadly love; not the romeo&juliet deadly type; it’s the hiv/aids deadly type;
    this love spreads hiv/aids; 25% more and faster;
    many famous people have become victims of this love. all dead;
    rockhudson, liberace, fredmercury, to name a few;
    one thing good about this perversion is it is self-liquidating; no need for rhbill.

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