The musical adaptation of “Bituing Walang Ningning” will feature the ’80s hits of Willy Cruz, who has scored and arranged the soundtrack for more than 100 films and enriched the OPM canon with his classic melodies. The Resorts World-Viva production is directed by Freddie Santos.
In ‘Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical,’ the music of Willy Cruz is the other star
A fresh-faced leading lady plucked from obscurity. An exciting roundup of pop stars and stage celebrities. The promise of a great production from a major player in the local theater industry.
We’ve already heard all that’s going on for Resorts World Manila’s “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical,” which premieres June 17 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. But in case you haven’t heard, there’s another significant lure to the show—the music of Wilfredo “Willy” Buencamino Cruz, one of the country’s most prolific and award-winning composers of all time.
Hall of Famer
Not only has Cruz penned the melody and lyrics for the Sharon Cuneta karaoke/videoke anthems “Bituing Walang Ningning” and “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas,” he also scored and arranged the soundtrack for more than 100 films.
The composer-pianist-musical director won Best Musical Scoring more than five times at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (Famas) that he was eventually inducted into the award-giving body’s Hall of Fame.
He created iconic hits for the top recording artists of his time, such as Basil Valdez, Nonoy Zuñiga and the Megastar.
Cruz, born in San Miguel, Manila, in the 1940s, inherited a musical lineage from the maternal side of the family. A great grandfather of his was a sarswela composer and Bulacan choirmaster, while a grandmother was a sarswela songstress. Composer Francisco Buencamino is a great-granduncle while pianist Cecile Licad as well as composers Lorrie Ilustre and Nonong Buencamino are among his cousins.
Cruz’s lovely melodies dominated the ’80s and ’90s, said Freddie Santos, writer and director of “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical.”
Santos, who early in his career had directed concerts, sought the expertise of the veteran composer in nearly all his shows in the ’80s.
“His melodies are timeless,” the theater director said about Cruz’s music. “He is actually in the Top 2 of that generation that really exemplified [in composing melodies], him and (George) Canseco.”
Cruz and his contemporaries were melody-conscious, a characteristic seemingly lacking in today’s generation of music-makers who would rather go for pop and effects, the theater director lamented.
Featuring 11 songs by Cruz, the musical—starring 20-year-old Cebuana discovery Monica Cuenco, as well as young performance and recording artists Mark Bautista and Cris Villonco—will become a modern platform to showcase the beautiful melodies of the master composer. “Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical” runs June 17-July 18 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. It is presented by Resorts World Manila, Viva Communications Inc. and Full House Theater Company Entertainment and Productions Inc.
For updates, visit www.rwmanila.com; tel. 9088833. Tickets available at ticketworld.com.ph