Ang Huling El Bimbo returns as a concert

THE VERY popular Pinoy jukebox musical, Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical, returns, this time as a live concert.

The concert, presented by Full House Theater Company, will be held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila on Dec. 10, 8 p.m. Two days following the live show, it will be streamed on ktx.ph on Dec. 12, 8 p.m. (Philippine time).

“The public really loves this show,” Michael Williams told BusinessWorld in a joint e-mail along with his fellow co-artistic director in Full House Theater, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.

“There were quite a few amazing performances turned in by the cast members during the run, as well as amazing theatrical moments that absolutely deserve to be revisited,” Mr. Williams said about staging a concert inspired from the musical.

“We felt a good way to kick start live performances was to feature music from a show that resonates with our audiences,” said Ms. Lauchengco-Yulo, who also starred in the musical.

First staged in July 2018, Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical, written by Dingdong Novenario, features nearly 40 songs by the rock band Eraserheads, including “Pare Ko” and “Alapaap,” “With a Smile,” “Ligaya,” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” which were popular in the 1990s.

The musical revolves around four college friends — Emman, Anthony, Hector, and Joy — whose lives and friendship fall apart after a rape. Many years later, the men are reunited because of Joy’s death.

In May 2020, the musical gained 7 million views when it was streamed for 48 hours via ABS-CBN’s online channels as a fund-raising effort for families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. Its last live run was from July to Aug. 2019.

“AHEB (Ang Huling El Bimbo) is very contemporary and honestly talks about the human condition in all its grit and beauty,” Mr. Williams said.

Directed by Jamie Wilson, the concert will take on the personal experiences of the actors.

“[It will give focus on] the perspective of each cast member and what they went through while staging the musical,” Ms. Lauchengco-Yulo said.

Performing live are the musical’s principal cast members — Gab Pangilinan, Tanya Manalang, Reb Atadero, Bibo Reyes, Phi Palmos, Vic Robinson, OJ Mariano, Carla Guevara Laforteza, and Sheila Francisco.

Ang Huling El Bimbo‘s musical arrangement by musical director Myke Salomon will be performed by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. The show is choreographed by Fritz Esase, with original choreography by Dexter M. San-tos.

Similar to the musical’s original staging, the Ang Huling El Bimbo The Concert will have a video component using the Newport Performing Arts Theater’s video walls and monitors.

“We worked hard to ensure that the video elements made substantial contributions to the narrative and the overall impact of the show…,” Mr. Williams said.

“And in true AHEB tradition, we observe the same care for both the live component and the streaming component of the concert and therefore the audiences will be treated to everything from very intimate moments to full company production numbers,” he added.

During the live performance at the theater, COVID-19 health safety protocols will be followed including social distancing (audience members will sit one seat apart), hand sanitizing, and temperature checks before entering the venue. Audience members must always keep their masks on. All guests aged 13 years old and above must be fully vaccinated. For tickets to the concert, contact Girah Manaligod (0917-872-8309); Neil Crisostomo (0917-658-9378); or King Feria (0917-823-9602). Tickets via Ticketworld (https://premier.ticketworld.com.ph/default.aspx) are also available for P7,451 (SVIP), P6,387 (VIP), P4,790 (Gold), P3,194 (Silver), and P1,065 (Bronze). Tickets for the livestreamed concert are available on ktx.ph. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman