Meet The Cast Of Stage Musical "Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!"
Come August 3rd, 9Works and Globe Live unveil their latest collaboration, the stage musical Eto Na! Musical nAPO! at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater. Written and directed by Robbie Guevara, the music will be, as the title proudly declares, provided by Danny Javier, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garrovillo—who collectively, were more popularly known as the APO Hiking Society. A fixture on the OPM landscape from the early 1970s to the turn of the new century, this will not be the first time that the APO songbook has been used in such a presentation. In 2012, the film I Do, Bidoo, Bidoo, did a Mama Mia-type execution.
Sandy Santamaria, Jim Paredes and Robbie Guevara
Unlike the film though, Robbie Guevara’s story will center on University life in the late 70’s, utilising the songs as they resonate with themes and events that existed during the time they were composed. During a Press Event held for the show, Jim Paredes himself was present, and it was revealed that the three actually contributed to the story’s development—about friends who join a songwriting and singing contest. In fact, Robbie joked about how they were rehearsing with the 21st revision of the story, and that it would very much be a work in progress until the very last week of rehearsals.
The first APO song I heard was "Pumapatak Ang Ulan", and my favourites still are "Batang-Bata Ka Pa" and "Di Na Natuto." And like me, I’m sure there are legions of Filipino music lovers who will have their own favorite APO song. For the younger millennials, the music of APO may not be that familiar, unless via some retro-karaoke night or some playlist they had to upload for their parents; but Robbie promises that the story should charm audiences of any age, as first love, youth, identity, and college life are all themes that anyone can identity with.
Mark Bautista would be the most popularly recognizable name in the cast; but special mention must go to Jobim Javier, who is Danny’s son. Given the track record of these 9Works and Globe Live collaborations (Newsies an A Christmas Carol), I’m sure for a number of people reading this, August 3rd is too long a wait.
After Aegis, Sugarfree, and the forthcoming Eraserheads musicals, I’m just happy that the songbooks of these iconic bands and musical groups have found a new lease of life, and will find new audiences.
Photos by Philip Cu-Unjieng