Himala: Isang Musikal dominates the 11th Gawad Buhay Awards

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THE Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical’s Himala: Isang Musikal dominated the evening, winning eight awards at the 11th Gawad Buhay Awards held on May 28 at Makati’s Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1.

Himala, a restaging of the original Himala which premiered in 2003, bagged the awards for Outstanding Musical Existing Material for a Musical; Outstanding Stage Director for a Musical (Ed Lacson, Jr.); Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical (Aicelle Santos); Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Musical (Bituin Escalante); Best Ensemble Performance for a Musical; Outstanding Lighting Design (Barbie Tan-Tiongco); Outstanding Costume Design (Carlo Pagunaling); and Outstanding Set Design (Ed Lacson, Jr.).

Himala: Isang Musikal is a musical adaptation of the 1982 film starring Nora Aunor and written by Ricky Lee. Set in the small town of Cupang, a girl named Elsa sees visions of the Virgin Mary and becomes known as a faith healer. The poor and sick suddenly arrive in town and seek to be healed by her.

The other big winner was 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live’s Eto na! Musikal nAPO!, an original musical using the songs of the Apo Hiking Society which took home five awards — Outstanding Musical Original Translation or Adaptation; Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical (Jobim Javier); Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical (Jon Abella); Outstanding Original Book (Robbie Guevara); and Outstanding Sound Design (Rards Corpus).

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Best Play went to PETA’s ’night Mother.

Ballerina, teacher, and choreographer Felicitas “Tita” Radaic (represented by her daughter Sofia Radaic) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Head of the National Drama Committee of the Philippine Lutgardo “Gardy” Labad were conferred with the Natatanging Gawad Buhay Lifetime Achievement Award.

Performances during the award show included medleys from Ang Huling El Bimbo, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! and Himala, Isang Musikal by their respective original cast members.

The evening concluded with a special song number on the “future of Philippine theater” by children of theater practitioners from Ateneo Blue Repertory, students of Trumpets Playshop and the Don Bosco Tulay Performing Arts Group, and scholars of Philippine Opera Company.

There were no nominations, thus no winners in the following categories: Male Featured Performance in a Play, Outstanding Original Script, and Outstanding Original Musical Composition.

The awarding ceremony, themed “Generations,” was hosted by Carlo Orosa and Kakai Bautista. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman


And the winners are…

FOLLOWING is the full list of winners of the 11th Gawad Buhay Awards given on May 28 at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati.

• Outstanding Musical Original Translation or Adaptation — Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live)

• Outstanding Musical Existing Material for a Musical — Himala: Isang Musikal (The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical)

• Outstanding Play Original Translation and Adaptation — ‘night, Mother (Philippine Educational Theater Association)

• Outstanding Play Existing Material — A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Red Turnip Theater)

• Outstanding Stage Director for a Play — Cris Villonco, A Doll’ s House, Part 2

• Outstanding Stage Director for a Musical — Ed Lacson, Jr., Himala: Isang Musikal

• Outstanding Featured Female Performance in a Play — Sheila Francisco, A Doll’s House, Part 2

• Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play — Manila Notes (Tanghalang Pilipino)

• Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play — Sherry Lara, ‘night, Mother

• Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play — Carlito Siguion-Reyna, A Doll’ House, Part 2

• Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical — Aicelle Santos, Himala: Isang Musikal

• Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical — Jobim Javier, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!

• Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Musical — Bituin Escalante, Himala: Isang Musikal

• Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical — Jon Abella, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!

• Best Ensemble Performance for a Musical — Himala: Isang Musikal

• Outstanding Translation or Adaptation — Ian Lomongo — ‘night, Mother (Philippine Educational Theater Association)

• Outstanding Original Book — Robbie Guevara, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!

• Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical — Dexter Santos, Ang Huling El Bimbo (Full House Theater Company)

• Outstanding Musical Direction — Myke Salomon, Ang Huling El Bimbo

• Outstanding Sound Design — Rards Corpus, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO

• Outstanding Lighting Design — Barbie Tan-Tiongco, Himala: Isang Musikal

• Outstanding Costume Design — Carlo Pagunaling, Himala: Isang Musikal

• Outstanding Set Design — Ed Lacson, Jr., Himala: Isang Musikal

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