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 1960 to the 90s, Manhid introduces a new generation of Filipino superheroes 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 Ballet Philippines’ 45th anniversary season.
Super-powers, entertaining scenes with well fleshed out characters and an exceptional score spells the rare formula for Manhid. It 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 that became a top selling hit.
The main author of the work is Kanakan-Balintagos (a.k.a. Auraeus 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: No. 1. the origin issue, No. 2. the “dark/crisis” issue and No. 3. the all-out / good versus evil battle episode of the “annual”.
The play is about the battles of two groups of superheroes: 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.
The cast is led by Sandino Martin as Bantugan, who recently won Best Actor at the 2014 Cinema One Originals for his role in Esprit de Corps. He alternates with BP apprentice Mark Anthony Grantos.
The female lead, Lam-Ang, is played by recent UP Diliman Theatre Arts graduate Teetin Villanueva, and award-winning Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company member Regina De Vera. Also starring in this production are Gold Villar, Kim Molina, Jean Judith Javier, KL Dizon, Ronah Rostata, Fredison Lo, Ricardo Magno, JV Ibesate, and Mayen Estanero.
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, Denise Parungao, Kazier Policarpio, Ma. Celina Dofitas, Victor Maguad, and Erl Emmanuel Sorilla.
The artistic and creative teams of Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero Musical are led by Paul Alexander Morales (Director and Choreographer), Alden Lugnasin (Choreographer), Francis de Veyra (Music Director), Zard Eguia (Set Designer), Victor Ursabia (Costume Designer), Roman Cruz (Lighting Designer), and the Radioactive Sago Project (Live Band).
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, 2015.
For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at Tel. No. 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at Tel. No. 832-3704 or Ticketworld at Tel. No. 891-9999 or to visit TicketworldOnline, CLICK HERE.