Mula Sa Buwan: it knows how to charm and break your heart

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  • Character driven story revolving around the ugly but quick-witted childhood/bestfriend, dense girl-friend, and debonair airhead. It makes the audience wait for two things to happen: the war, and Roxane learning the truth about Cyrano and Christian. Roxane deserves neither of them.
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  • Script is witty, especially between Christian and Cyrano. The songs are solid and memorable you hum it on the way home, like a Disney song.  The ballads could pass for contemporary OPM.
  • At the beginning you see Christian as a nuisance, you immediately root for Cyrano, and yet Christian slowly creeps in to you because he is aware that he is lacking.

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  • They used implication as a story telling device. Most of the tragedies that characters went through during the war: rape, death, torture, were all implied in a single scene. It relied heavily on the ensemble’s acting and they delivered. Another device they used is off-stage action: Christian’s fatal injury happened off stage, same with Cyrano’s accident, when we see him he’s already bleeding, and his death was also implied.

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  • The beginning was slow, a quarter through the play and you’re still figuring out what it’s all about. It needs editing to make the plot tighter. Some scenes need to be cut, lines re-written, and (except for the three leads) characters and their connection amongst each other need to be cleared.

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  • That whole sequence at the pub/restaurant was too long, bordering forgetful, and had unnecessary song numbers. It served little to move the plot forward. Also, they need to make it clear that it’s a restaurant, maybe by adding more props, plates and utensils perhaps? Or at least cups for drinks.

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  • Actors were committed to their characters. The performance, including singing and dancing was effective, especially Nicco Manalo. What restraint and nuances he had in Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa, he brought it here except he didn’t hold back.

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  • “Ang Sabi Nila”, Roxanne’s final song on the second act could’ve been more effective if she sang it with fewer crying effects and pauses. It was distracting. It would’ve been enough to allow the melody, lyrics, and tone of her voice to create the emotion and communicate the sadness. I think this was directing call. It’s a shame because KL was brilliant and has the sweetest voice. She has this controlled, operatic style. It’s evident that she had musical training and not just mere talent or voice lessons.

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  • The paper mache stage design had a school-production feel to it. I don’t know if the it had a purpose. If it had I didn’t get it. It felt like the musical is still on the stage of development, looking for patrons or producers to pick it up.
  • Over-all it was surprisingly enjoyable. It warms you, makes you laugh at the right ques, then shatters your heart at the end. And yet it’s charming and sincere. Though it’s set during the mid-century it’s still relevant to the #hugot, #friendzoned, and #angsakitsakit generation.

 

*all photos courtesy of facebook.com/mulasabuwan

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