Comic book fanatics, musical theater lovers and political activists are bound to enjoy Ballet Philippines’ newest production, “Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero Musical,” the final production of its 45th season.
Inspired by comic-book superheroes, “Manhid” introduces a new generation of Filipino superheroes based on Filipino myths and folklore, hence the names of the characters: Bantugan, Lam-ang, Apolaki, Mamalahim-ma, etc. Set in an alternate present-day Philippines where the Edsa Revolution has failed, the musical features heroes and villains with superpowers.
First staged 23 years ago at UP Diliman, “Manhid” holds cult status among those who remember it because the Eraserheads—the band that helped compose the music and performed it in the original production in 1992—has become one of the country’s legendary pop groups. “Kailan,” one of the songs from “Manhid,” was released commercially and became a top-selling hit.
The main author of the work is Kanakan-Balintagos (aka Aureaus Solito), the multi-awarded film director of “Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros” and “Busong.” Noted film, TV and stage composer Vincent de Jesus also cocomposed the musical.
Ballet Philippines artistic director Paul Alexander Morales directs the 2015 production and shares the choreography with Alden Lugnasin, BP’s resident choreographer.
The cast includes some of the most vibrant young talents in the local theater scene: Sandino Martin (who recently won Best Actor at the Cinema One Originals Awards Night for his role in “Esprit de Corps”), BP apprentice Mark Anthony Grantos, Teetin Villanueva, Regina De Vera, Gold Villar, Kim Molina, Jean Judith Javier, KL Dizon, Ronah Rostata, Fredison Lo, Ricardo Magno, JV Ibesate and Mayen Estanero.
Joining them are Ballet Philippines dancers 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.
The Radioactive Sago Project will play the live music in all the performances, which are slated on Feb. 20-22, Feb. 27-March 1, and March 6-8, all at the CCP Main Theater.
Call 5511003, 8323704 or 8919999. Visit www.facebook.com/balletphilippines