#TheaterPH - “MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical”

PC: BalletPH


On February 2015, “MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical” wraps up Ballet Philippines’ 45th anniversary season. Comic book fanatics, musical theater lovers, and political activists are bound to be moved by Ballet Philippines’ newest venture, “MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical”. Inspired from comic book super heroes of the 60 - 90’s – MANHID introduces a new generation of Filipino super heroes redefined for today’s times. Set in an alternate present day Philippines where the EDSA revolution failed, this musical features heroes and villains with superpowers, and a people sick with Kamanhiran (Apathy). “MANHID” is the final production in BP’s 45th anniversary season.

Super-powers, entertaining scenes with well fleshed out characters and an exceptional score spells the rare formula for MANHID. MANHID has already achieved cult status because the Eraserheads – the band who helped compose the music and performed it in the original production in 1992 performed at the University of the Philippines – have gone on to become one of the country’s leading pop groups. They released “Kailan”, one of the songs from MANHID, which became a top selling hit.

The main author of the work is Kanakan-Balintagos (a.k.a. Aureaus Solito) multi-awarded film director of Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros and Busong. Noted film, TV and stage composer Vincent de Jesus also co-composed the musical.  Ballet Philippines artistic director, Paul Alexander Morales directs the musical and shares the choreography with Alden Lugnasin, BP’s resident choreographer.

MANHID is a musical take on comic books. It is divided into three “books” that are patterned on classics of the comic book genre; 1. the origin issue 2. the “dark/crisis” issue and 3. the all-out / good versus evil battle episode of the “annual”.

The play is about the battles of two groups of super–heroes: the Maragtas headed by tabloid writer Bantugan Buenaventura and the lady activist Lam-ang Panganiban versus the Tulisan ng Bayan headed by General Apolaki Regalado.

The Tulisan are employed by Mamalahim-ma a demonic Minister of Humanity who plans on enslaving whole generations of Filipinos with her epidemic of Kamanhiran. The heroes and villains, as children of their native land receive their powers when they were named after the gods and heroes of Philippine myth as a protest for the Masaker ng Taong Bayan. In their battles these opposing teams fight for the future of the Philippines.

  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.

BalletPH


  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 BroadwayWorld 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.

  Tickets to the show may be purchased via:

Ticketworld: www.ticketworld.com.ph, (02) 891-9999
CCP Box Office: (02) 832-3704
Ballet Philippines: (02) 551-1003, (02) 551- 7919

Schedule and ticket prices:

BalletPH
February 20: 8PM
Feb. 21: 2PM, 6PM
Feb. 22: 2PM
Feb. 27: 8PM
Feb. 28: 6PM
March 1: 2PM, 6PM
March 6: 8PM
March 7: 6PM
March 8: 2PM, 6PM

Orchestra Center (rows K, L, M, N): P1,500
Orchestra Center (other rows): P1,200
Orchestra Side: P1,000
Parterre Box: P1,200
Lower Box: P1,000
Upper Box: P700
Balcony 1 Center: P600
Balcony 1 Side: P500
Balcony 2: P400

Discounts: 50% for student (4-21 yrs. old) 20% for senior citizen, government employee & SM Global Pinoy cardholder.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:
Twitter:         @balletph
Instagram:    @balletphilippines

The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Season. Rare scenes of power and grace. Love, valour and redemption. Under the artistic directorship of Paul Alexander Morales, this is a toast to 45 years of dance excellence! 

See you at the theater!



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