MAKING MUSICALS based on the popular songs of established musical stars seems to be the thing to do — abroad, think Mama Mia! which features the songs of ABBA, and locally, there is PETA’s popular water-logged musical Rak of Aegis, which features the songs of the popular jukebox band Aegis. Now Resorts World Manila (RWM) is getting into the game, presenting two musicals based on existing popular music. First announced was Ang Huling El Bimbo which features the iconic songs of local band the Eraserheads which will run from July 20 to Aug. 26 at RWM’s Newport Performing Arts Theater. This will be followed up in October with All Out of Love the Musical featuring the hits of Australian soft rock duo Air Supply.
Seventeen classic Air Supply songs including “All Out of Love,” “Two Less Lonely People,” “Here I Am,” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All,” are incorporated in the original romantic story.
The musical will have a short run — from Oct. 18 until 28 only — and stars Mig Ayesa, Rachel Alejandro, Tanya Manalang, Raymund Concepcion, and Jamie Wilson.
The story revolves around the challenges in the music industry, and naturally there is a romance angle. It all happens in one evening, when music mogul Tommy King (played by Concepcion) convinces the struggling rock star Jamie Crimson (Ayesa) to do a world tour, not only to save his singing career, but also the record company. This as Jamie is struggling after having left his song writing partner and lover Rayne (Alejandro) and Tommy deals with the loss of his wife and his distant relationship with his daughter (Manalang).
With all Filipino cast, the musical has an Australian creative team: Jim Millan is the playwright, Stephen Amos is the musical arranger and orchestrator, Yvette Lee is the choreographer, Bob Brunton is the stage designer, and Naomi Toohey is the producer.
Ms. Toohey said she approached Air Supply six years ago to pitch the musical, and the rest was history.
“We’ve been working on the script on and off for four years so it is not something that we put together in the last minute,” Ms. Toohey told BusinessWorld when asked to comment problems of some musicals that prioritize the song lineup over a cohesive story.
“It is a development process to make sure that the music and the script work together. You need to combine the right song and the right script,” she said.
The musical is not intended for the Air Supply fans alone. Ms. Toohey said: “The story is universal story of love: boyfriend-girlfriend and father-daughter. We always think of romantic love, but there is family love. It is for anyone who loves Air Supply and anyone who loves romantic musical. You can be at any age to be in love.”
All Out of Love tickets are available on www.ticketworld.com. — Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman