Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Musical for "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady"... Really?

Yes, it's a development that came as a surprise, even to me. It was enough that my play was able to bag a slot in Virgin Labfest 9, and that audiences seemed to like it. That the play was selected to be restaged in next year's Labfest (June 2014) was a bonus. It was a great learning experience seeing the words on paper translated pitch-perfectly on the theatre stage by Kiki Baento, Skyzx Labastilla, and Hans Eckstein, under the able direction of Chris Martinez.

I thought of adapting the play into a comic book, not just for the purposes of cross-media extension, but also because I do know that a lot of plays staged in the Captial Region hardly get a chance to reach the provinces. The comic book cannot replicate the theatre experience, but at least I can share the story outside the capital.

Then... bazoom!! When the producers of Maxie: The Musicale (a definite must-see; worth every penny) contacted me with the intention of turning the one-act play into a musical, I was, well... in utter disbelief. It felt like 2005 all over again, when Tanghalang Pilipino said they wanted to bring Zsazsa Zaturnnah to the theatre stage.

Truth to be told, Chris Martinez had asked about an "Act Two" to the play. Though I did have ideas about how the rest of Leading Lady's story would pan out, nothing was set in stone. A scenario here, an exchange there, and bits of background tossed in--but not a complete narrative. As far as I was concerned, the play is what it is, nothing more.

But this new development has had me writing down those ideas and mulling over themes, structures, and other details that I never had considered before. For sure, I won't be active in the actual writing of the libretto since I have to work on my writing fellowship with De La Salle University. But I will be involved.

Since the ball hasn't rolled yet, nothing is concrete about the actors and the creative staff for the musical. I'm just thankful right now that someone chose this story over the hundreds of stories out there. To quote a line from that song from The Sound of Music, "I must have done something good."

Incidentally, the one-act play's comics adaptation (illustrated by Elmer Cantada) will be available at this Saturday's Komikon to be held at the Bayanihan Center along Pioneer Street in Pasig. The book will also be available on select show dates of Maxie: The Musicale. No word yet on when it'll be out in bookstores and comics shops.

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