From the conceptualization to actual staging, the people behind Resort World Manila’s Ang Huling El Bimbo made sure that old and new fans of The Eraserheads would approve and agree that they did justice to the songs of the iconic ‘90s band. The musical finally opened to the public after months of anticipation. Here are our top five reasons why Ang Huling El Bimbo is one of the must-not-miss stage productions of the year.
5. It is a well thought out production
Considering that they had to choose from a library of more than 100 beloved songs from one of the most iconic Pinoy bands in history, the ones that made the cut, whether as a complete song or just a few lines, helped create a tight storyline that shows the choices weren’t just gratuitous in nature.
4. Enjoy old and also unfamiliar songs
Although the musical is peppered with Eraserheads hits that everyone can sing to like “Pare Ko,” “Tindahan ni Aling Nena,” and “Minsan,” the show also includes a selection of somewhat lesser known mainstream hits that aren’t familiar to many (unless of course you are a hardcore E-head fan).
3. Powerful voices all around
All nostalgia aside, the range of talent in the show is impressive with theater veterans Jon Santos, Gian Magdangal, and OJ Mariano leading the pack as the present day versions of college friends Hector, Emman, and Anthony who have become estranged after college graduation. Their younger selves are an equally entertaining trio with Reb Atadero, Boo Gabunada, and Topper Fabregas who get into all sorts of shenanigans that college boys unsurprisingly get drawn to.
2. A girl named Joy
Tanya Manalang (who played Kim in West End’s Miss Saigon in 2014) plays the lone female Joy who is completes the college barkada in this musical and her role, though seemingly less consistently seen on stage, becomes more pivotal in the show’s second act. Despite her small frame, Tanya easily commands the stage with her powerful voice.
1. A trip back to the ‘90s
It goes without saying that there’s already so much ‘90s nostalgia from listening to even just one Eraserheads song, so to see it being fleshed out onstage for almost two hours through so many compositions is definitely a welcome trip down memory lane regardless or not you studied in UP. But aside from the overall theme of friendship, love, and family, Ang Huling El Bimbo shows that sometimes all it takes for our lives to change forever is just one big unexpected moment.