Sa Wakas, A New Rock Musical (Review)



Sugarfree’s music had always been associated with my high school and early college years. I dunno why. Maybe because those were the years when Filipino pop rock and alternative bands enjoyed their heydays—they dominated the airwaves and topped local music channels’ hit charts. Along with Hale, Bamboo, Imago, Moonstar 88 and even Spongecola, my friends and I began to find their music weaved with our adolescence, our dreams and all the other things in between those teenage years. By the time they began to compete with newer acts for stage presence and airtime and recently the band’s break up a few years ago, Tulog Na was slowly fading at the back of my mind.

And then I saw over the internet that Sugarfree’s songs will be featured in a new rock musical entitled Sa Wakas. I said wow. I was looking for somebody who might want to join me watch the musical at PETA Phinma Theater when Ate Anna gushed about the play during one of our office breaks. Ok then. We caught the 8PM show last Sunday when it should have been tomorrow night. No worries, except that Kuya Paulie wasn’t available so RJ used his ticket.

Sa Wakas was a love story—the end of one and the beginning of another. There’s Topper (Victor Robinson III), professional photographer who falls in and out of love with two women, Lexi (Laura Cabochan), an ambitious neurosurgeon vying for residency and Gabbi (Justine Pena), a budding writer.

The play has two acts and the story is told through a series of flashbacks and several flashforwards. The plot, for me, was quite typical: Lexi tries to balance love and career, Topper felt he was on the backseat; both try their best to make up for lost time and missed opportunities but eventually Topper kind of give up. He meets Gabbi, sleeps with her, Lexi learns of it and the two end their five-year relationship. Time gives the characters a bit of relief and from there, new beginnings form for everyone.

The whole soundtrack courtesy of Sugarfree’s powerful songs and Ebe’s stirring vocals gives the play a fresh spin. I hope more Filipino songs get this kind of treatment—there’s APO’s, which got featured in Chris Martinez’s film, I DooBiDooBiDoo. A play with an Eheads libretto might also be good. But what will thrill me most is when playwrights decide to use Aegis’ heart wrenching songs as their soundtrack. I’d pay to see that one. Hahaha!

I like Act Two better than Act One. The first half was just a bit messy for me. I tried to weave the whole thing through the flashbacks but the scenes came in too fast. Plus, I felt Topper was just such a douchebag. He can’t make up his mind and his indecision hurts much more. He could have just ended the relationship. But of course, it wasn’t easy.

The second half was much better and was more coherent. I liked the scene where Gabbi and Topper were on top of a building just swapping stories and then Kwentuhan plays. But of course, the last scene was both romantic and hurting—Lexi and Topper just moved in together and they were chatting happily of how they met, the future plans that they have for each other and the promise to stay together in the end. They dance and sing “Parang atin ang gabi, para bang wala tayong katabi, at tayo’y sumayaw na parang di na tayo bibitaw..” and then, the lights fade to black.

It can be both true and not in real life. I wouldn’t really know because I haven’t been in any relationship at all. But I guess, with the stories I heard, the movies I saw and the experiences I’ve seen from friends and other people pretty much gives me general picture of how relationships tend to get not-so-happy endings. I get sad for them in a way, but well, that’s how some things end.

3.5 out of 5.

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felix felicis: Sa Wakas, A New Rock Musical (Review)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sa Wakas, A New Rock Musical (Review)



Sugarfree’s music had always been associated with my high school and early college years. I dunno why. Maybe because those were the years when Filipino pop rock and alternative bands enjoyed their heydays—they dominated the airwaves and topped local music channels’ hit charts. Along with Hale, Bamboo, Imago, Moonstar 88 and even Spongecola, my friends and I began to find their music weaved with our adolescence, our dreams and all the other things in between those teenage years. By the time they began to compete with newer acts for stage presence and airtime and recently the band’s break up a few years ago, Tulog Na was slowly fading at the back of my mind.

And then I saw over the internet that Sugarfree’s songs will be featured in a new rock musical entitled Sa Wakas. I said wow. I was looking for somebody who might want to join me watch the musical at PETA Phinma Theater when Ate Anna gushed about the play during one of our office breaks. Ok then. We caught the 8PM show last Sunday when it should have been tomorrow night. No worries, except that Kuya Paulie wasn’t available so RJ used his ticket.

Sa Wakas was a love story—the end of one and the beginning of another. There’s Topper (Victor Robinson III), professional photographer who falls in and out of love with two women, Lexi (Laura Cabochan), an ambitious neurosurgeon vying for residency and Gabbi (Justine Pena), a budding writer.

The play has two acts and the story is told through a series of flashbacks and several flashforwards. The plot, for me, was quite typical: Lexi tries to balance love and career, Topper felt he was on the backseat; both try their best to make up for lost time and missed opportunities but eventually Topper kind of give up. He meets Gabbi, sleeps with her, Lexi learns of it and the two end their five-year relationship. Time gives the characters a bit of relief and from there, new beginnings form for everyone.

The whole soundtrack courtesy of Sugarfree’s powerful songs and Ebe’s stirring vocals gives the play a fresh spin. I hope more Filipino songs get this kind of treatment—there’s APO’s, which got featured in Chris Martinez’s film, I DooBiDooBiDoo. A play with an Eheads libretto might also be good. But what will thrill me most is when playwrights decide to use Aegis’ heart wrenching songs as their soundtrack. I’d pay to see that one. Hahaha!

I like Act Two better than Act One. The first half was just a bit messy for me. I tried to weave the whole thing through the flashbacks but the scenes came in too fast. Plus, I felt Topper was just such a douchebag. He can’t make up his mind and his indecision hurts much more. He could have just ended the relationship. But of course, it wasn’t easy.

The second half was much better and was more coherent. I liked the scene where Gabbi and Topper were on top of a building just swapping stories and then Kwentuhan plays. But of course, the last scene was both romantic and hurting—Lexi and Topper just moved in together and they were chatting happily of how they met, the future plans that they have for each other and the promise to stay together in the end. They dance and sing “Parang atin ang gabi, para bang wala tayong katabi, at tayo’y sumayaw na parang di na tayo bibitaw..” and then, the lights fade to black.

It can be both true and not in real life. I wouldn’t really know because I haven’t been in any relationship at all. But I guess, with the stories I heard, the movies I saw and the experiences I’ve seen from friends and other people pretty much gives me general picture of how relationships tend to get not-so-happy endings. I get sad for them in a way, but well, that’s how some things end.

3.5 out of 5.

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