I couldn’t be more excited when I learned they were doing a musical on the hit Eraserheads (a.k.a. Eheads) single, and arguably the best – Ang Huling El Bimbo.
The story is supposedly loosely based on the song. And then sprinkled with a healthy dose of other Eheads originals, albeit tweaked to make it more of the theatrical variety rather than merely belting it out as Ely would have. It is a musical after all. Not a tribute. But from what I’ve read in the reviews, the lyrics are kept as is*. Yes, even the swear words**. I’m looking at you Pare Ko! So you can bet fans who will be watching this play who grew up to the popular songs of the mega popular band of the 90s can still sing along to the tunes with ease.
So when I heard about this musical production towards the tail end of July, well I guess, I was amongst the last to know. But, I told myself, I have to watch it! No matter what.
The reviews have been fair so far for the musical, Ang Huling El Bimbo. Mostly good. Some said it could have been better. Still a few gave it a bad score. You can’t please them all. All critics ratings being 100% would have made it ridiculous too. Naysayers won’t deter me though. Let me be the judge of that –
Disclaimer: I am going to be biased. What with growing up during my secondary and Uni days practically memorizing all of the band’s songs by heart, and did I mention I had all their albums’ cassette tapes and CDs? No, the iPod was not even a word yet back then. Ever heard of the Walkman?
Yet, alas, it seems luck is running out for me. The shows started around July 20, if memory serves me right. Watch it too soon I could not because I was kinda of late to the party, and I’m sure the better seats were already taken. For the month of August I already had other plans lined up early on. And then going on the last week of August towards the first days of September, when the musical will have its final runs, I will be back in Singapore. Not permanently. But the timing couldn’t have been altogether worse.
Then there is the matter of who I’ll be watching it with. Or do I just high tail it to the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila à la carte? Well, I could do the latter. Definitely. Why not? As I said, I have to watch Ang Huling El Bimbo – The Musical. No matter what. And I am hoping, no, pretty sure, I’ll be nostalgically taking delight in watching the show With A Smile.
* Some of the lyrics of the songs were changed to suit the musical. Not so much that it is too obvious.
** Unless I have gone deaf or was not paying attention, I did not notice any in the songs. A lot of curse words were rather in the dialogue itself instead of in the song(s).