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‘Rak of Aegis’: Philippines’ Only Jukebox Musical to be a Biggest Hit!

Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) ‘Rak of Aegis’ is considered to be the longest hit musical after ‘Care Divas’ and will have its final shows tomorrow, December 14 at 3pm and 8pm, respectively, PETA Theater in Quezon City.

The said production opened its re-run shows on Friday, December 5.

A shot of PETA's 'Rak of Aegis' cast members. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

A shot of PETA’s ‘Rak of Aegis’ cast members. Photograph by Erickson Dela Cruz.

PETA’s Pride, Filipinos Pride, Too!

The said theater company has been known for producing original Filipino stage productions could take credit for mounting the country’s jukebox musical, which is comparable to the foreign hit jukebox musicals like British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed former members of the band by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus—‘Mama Mia’ and American Chris D’Arienzo’s 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical—‘Rock of Ages’.

If Britain has ‘Mama Mia’, the America has ‘Rock of Ages’, Philippines also has its own version which featured the music of the popular Aegis Band.

Audiences are guaranteed with a fun ride adventure with the stories of the characters that revolve around the love interests of the main characters, and whose names are derived from those of Aegis band members as a tribute to the Filipino novelty rock group that made waves in the 90’s. Its running time of two hours and 20 minutes won’t be noticed since the show has been tightened and has made it more engaging for the viewers. In fact, according to the director Maribel Legarda, it’s shorter by 10 minutes from its first run.

It MUST be Toured Worldwide.

Like what I’ve mentioned, Filipinos can take pride for the creation of this musical that can compete with the successes of both ‘Mama Mia’ and ‘Rock of Aegis’.

Alvarez-Seña and Salomon played mother-and-son in PETA's latest musical opus. Photograph courtesy of Erickson Dela Cruz.

Alvarez-Seña and Salomon played mother-and-son in PETA’s latest musical opus. Photograph courtesy of Erickson Dela Cruz.

In the last show I caught, I was hoping to watch the alternates of Isay Alvarez- Seña and Robert Seña—Kalila Aguilos and OJ Mariano. However, Aguilos couldn’t reprise her role since she’s preggy and Mariano was still doing Resorts World’s ‘Priscilla’, for the second time—I was dismayed not seeing them act onstage, but watching Alvarez as Mary Jane and the way she interacted with her real-life husband Seña, who plays as her former lover Kiel in this re-run of the musical—It has given me the impression that both made not just ‘convincing’ portrayals of their roles, but they were both ‘naturals’ and made the flow or the scenes involving them both easy to identify with.

Assuming the role of Aileen was a different actress—Kimverlie Molina proved to be effective and one who may have watched Aicelle Santos in its previous re-runs; they won’t regret catching the show with Molina as the female lead this time. Her voice is equally powerful, but I still find her even more ‘effective’ and ‘sensitive’ in tackling the character. Her voice gave me goose bumps.

A Perfect Musical Tele-Novela for Filipinos!

Given the story is set amid a subdivision that has been flooded for two months as it highlights how Filipinos can be resilient when it is faced with compromising situations—be it a natural disaster or a personal struggle like mending a ‘broken heart’.

Apart from it centered in a love story, the moving scene between the mother and son characters—Mary Jane and Kiel as breathed by Alvarez-Seña and Myke Salomon (the show’s musical director) made it more real and touching. Perhaps, it was one of the moments where the ties of Filipino families are shown to be strong and not a calamity or any differences could separate or break the bond.

Even the confrontation scene between Aileen and Kiel was a perfect epitome of a tele-novela formula that pierces the hearts of its audiences; making them not just teary-eyes but cry as well.

Another notable part of the musical is the music direction that Salomon did. There has been minimal tweaking scene, but it helped the show give such punch. While the added sunflowers scene that showed the confirmation of Tolits and Aileen’s love for each other provided that ‘kilig’ factor.

‘Rak of Aegis’ is written by Liza Magtoto. Mio Infante is the show’s set designer; Jonjon Villareal, lighting designer; Carlo Pagunaling, costume designer; Maco Custodio, shoe designer; and Jo-ann Pamintuan, accessory designer.

For tickets, visit ticketworld.com.ph or call (632) 891-9999, or email petatheater@gmail.com.

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