If you ever wanted to see BGYO’s JL and Akira, BINI’s Jhoanna, Vivoree, Sheena Belarmino, Anji Salvacion, and more in a musical theater production, here’s your chance.
If you were a child of the 90s, chances are you probably grew up watching Tabing Ilog. The iconic teen drama aired from 1999-2003 and starred John Lloyd Cruz, Kaye Abad, Patrick Garcia, Paula Peralejo, Paolo Contis, Desiree del Valle, Baron Geisler, and Jodi Sta. Maria as a group of teens navigating the world.
The adventures, romances, friendships, problems, and more of barkada Anne, Eds, Corrine, George, Badong, James, Rovic, and Fonzy became a hit amongst audiences with its relatable themes that still feel relevant to this day. And more than two decades later, the show is back on the pop culture radar. No, it’s not getting a TV or movie reboot, but a musical theater adaptation. Here’s what you should know about the stage musical version of the 90s teen drama.
IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE STAGED IN 2020
Tabing Ilog: The Musical technically isn’t a new production. The musical was initially supposed to be staged in 2020. However, production of the adaptation was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years later, the show is back on and ready to welcome audiences to its long-delayed opening.
The show serves as a collaboration between PETA and ABS-CBN, with Phil Noble attached to direct and Eljay Deldoc writing the story and script. A total of 24 songs have been prepared for the musical, with Vincent De Jesus as lyricist, composer, and musical director. Stephen Viñas will serve as the play’s choreographer, Ohm David on set design, video design by Bene Manaois, lighting design by David Esguerra, and costume design by Tata Tuviera.
IT CENTERS ON A GEN Z STORY
The musical will not be a direct adaptation of the original TV show’s story. Instead, the production will use key elements of the series and place them in a modern setting. It will feature a new script, music, story, and cast members that emphasize its 21st-century environment. According to the creators of the show, they hope to stage a production that serves as a fresh take on the show that resonated with Filipino viewers through a Gen Z lens for today’s young audiences.
“We want younger audiences to see themselves in the play and we want not-so-young audiences to understand the youth of today. It’s a story about friendships, connections, and disconnections,” said Eljay Deldoc, who is writing the script.
IT’S A GEN Z CAST
In the same way the original Tabing Ilog series showcased young actors and actresses who would go on to be undeniable stars, Tabing Ilog: The Musical features a cast of some of ABS-CBN’s brightest and most promising young personalities. BINI’s Jhoanna Robles, Sheena Belarmino, and Vivoree Esclito will alternate as the lead female character Eds, the role originally played by Kaye Abad. BGYO’s Akira Morishita and JL Toreliza, both of whom are making their theater debut, and Benedix Ramos will share the role of lead male character Rovic, originally played by John Lloyd Cruz.
Alternating as George, originally played by Jodi Sta. Maria, are Andi Abaya, Kiara Takahashi, who played Eds in the 2020 adaptation, and Chaye Moga. Kobie Brown and Jordan Andrews, meanwhile, will act as James, the role originally played by Patrick Garcia. Miah Canton and Anji Salvacion will take on the role of Corrine, who was originally brought to life by Desiree del Valle. Drei Sugay and Vino Mabalot will share the role of Fonzy, who was played in the show by Baron Geisler. Rounding out the OG cast will be theater actors Earvin Estioco and Jude Matthew Sevilla, who will bring to life Paolo Contis’ character Badong.
But aside from the characters we all know and love from the show, the musical will also introduce a slate of new characters. Teetin Villanueva will be Anchang, Omar Udin and Benedix Ramos will alternate as Andoy, Red Nuestro will take on Panyong, Lance Reblando will play Meow, Vyen Villanueva will be Toots, Neomi Gonzales will play Azon, and Joann Co will bring to life Lola Juling.
THE SHOW WILL BEGIN THIS NOVEMBER
Tabing Ilog: The Musical will be held at the PETA Theater and run from November 10 – December 17, with show dates on Thursdays (8 PM), Fridays (8 PM), Saturdays (3 and 8 PM), and Sundays (3 and 8 PM). You can get your tickets now at KTX.PH. Do note that the cast rotates depending on the day, so make sure to check the calendar to see which shows your faves will be appearing in.
Continue Reading: QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Philippine Pop Culture Moments Of The 90s?