You're hearing it here first: Tanghalang Pilipino's musical version of the landmark Eddie Romero film Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon, slated for staging in February 2009 as the closing production of its 22nd season, has been scrapped. Taking its place: a restaging of ZsaZsa Zaturnnah.
The reason, says TP artistic director Nanding Josef, is money--the lack of it. TP cannot, at this point, bankroll the creation of an original Filipino musical, much less a sprawling, multi-character piece like Ganito Kami Noon.
“Among other things, we don't have enough funds right now to pay the composer a decent, professional fee to write about 21 songs for the musical; it wouldn't be fair to him to go forward with this,” says Mr. Josef. Lutgardo Labad was set to write the music for the production, as he did for the film.
Instead, TP has decided to once again wheel out its unfailing moneymaker: ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, the blockbuster musical based on the Carlo Vergara comic book, with music and lyrics by Vince de Jesus and stage adaptation by Chris Martinez.
Director Chris Millado has confirmed the casting. Eula Valdes will be back as Zaturnnah, ditto with Tuxqs Rutaquio as Ada, Arnold Reyes as Dodong and Joey Paras as Didi. Nar Cabico, who played the sidekick part in the RCBC run, might alternate with Joey. Lauren Novero? No word yet on whether he'll be back as well. Aside from Arnold, alternate Dodongs will be cast through auditions, the dates of which will be announced later.
PLUS: One more time, who's your Dodong?
Lauren Novero or Arnold Reyes? The hunk or the heartthrob?
To make the choosing easier, listen first to their respective recordings of Dodong's song, “Ikaw ang Superhero ng Buhay Ko.” Arnold's version is in the commercially released cast album; Lauren's is the rarer clip because it was part of a very limited-edition Zaturnnah CD featuring the alternate cast that sold out during the first run.
So candidates, whom would you choose as your Dodong and why? [Cue music: children's choir singing “You Are My Star”]