Actor-musician Myke Salomon, in his usual wacky self, made a joke that there should be Rak of Aegis also during the time when the musical Rock of Ages was still having its sold out run in here. This joke was a light bulb moment for Maribel Legarda, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Artistic Director. Almost a couple of years later, the joke Rak of Aegis is now a brand new musical featuring the music of the legendary pop-rock band Aegis that is set to sweep the local theater scene starting on January 31, 2014 and will go on for six weekends until March 9, 2014 at the PETA Theater Center.
A total of 20 songs from the Aegis catalog, ranging from chart topping hits to unreleased gems will be belted out by the cast led by Isay Alvarez-Seña, Robert Seña, Aicelle Santos, and Joan Bugcat. Also included in the cast are Kalila Aguilos, Ron Alfonso, Jet Barrun, Kakai Bautista, Poppert Bernadas, Gimbey Dela Cruz, Neomi Gonzales, Pepe Herrera, Carlon Matobato, Julienne Mendoza, John Moran, Jerald Napoles, Gie Onida, Phillip Palmos, Myke Salomon, Paeng Sudayan, and Gold Villar.
Rak of Aegis is described as a story of love, fame and resilience set in the Ondoy devastated
. At the center of
the story is Aileen (Acielle village
of Villa Venizia Santos
alternating with Joan Bugcat), a young mall promo girl aka promodizer who is
seeking fame via uploading videos online to support her family. And love gets
in the way not only for Aileen but also for her father and the rest of the
residents of Villa Venizia.
This musical is the brainchild of director Maribel Legarda and writer Liza Magtoto, the same duo behind Care Divas, PETA’s hit comedy musical. Musical arrangement and musical direction is by Myke Salomon. The rest of the artistic team includes Gio Gahol (choreography), Jonjon Villareal (lighting design), Mio Infante (production design), Carlo Pagunaling (costume design), Maco Custodio (shoe design), and Joan Pamintuan (accessory design).
During the press launch held at the
, I was able to hear Aicelle
Santos belt the songs out in the same key as Aegis, extending beyond the range
that she normally performs as an alto with her trio La Diva. It was also teased
that comedienne Kakai Bautista will have one solo aria which could possibly one
of the most highly anticipated scenes in the whole musical. Aicelle and Kakai
along with the rest of the cast auditioned for their roles with the exception
of the Señas: Isay and Robert. The real life couple told the press that this is
one of the rare times that the two of them would not be playing a couple on
stage. Instead, they would be playing former lovers who end up with someone else.
This adds another layer to the story in which the tension and unresolved
conflicts will be brought to light as their village remains submerged in flood
waters. PETA Theater
Myke Salomon, during a brief chat, told me that it was not only Aicelle who would be singing the songs in their original key but also Robert Seña. Aegis is known for the lung busting, vocal cord tearing tunes (usually of heartbreak) sung by the band’s vocalists Juliet and Mercy Sunot. And it would be definitely very interesting to hear Robert’s attack with these songs that have ingrained themselves in Philippine pop culture.
All this may have started as a joke, but as opening night draws near, I can’t help but feel the excitement of hearing Aegis music on stage, seeing how PETA will pull of the arena staging with actual water and how the production will fare as it goes head to head with a major touring production.
Schedule of performances: