(SPOT.ph) When 9 Works Theatrical and The Sandbox Collective staged the musical version of the 1982 classic Filipino film Himala in February 2018, it proved to be one of the successful film-to-stage adaptations in Philippine theater history. Himala: Isang Musikal dominated the 11th Gawad Buhay Awards and bagged eight citations, including Outstanding Musical Existing Material for a Musical and Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical (Aicelle Santos). So it's a no-brainer that it's being restaged from September 20 to October 20 at Power Mac Center Spotlight in Makati City.
Himala, which was directed by Ishmael Bernal in 1982, is known as the film that shot Nora Aunor to stardom.
Himala: Isang Musikal is written by Ricky Lee, who also penned the script of the Ishmael Bernal film, in collaboration with Vincent De Jesus for the music and lyrics. It was first staged by Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2003, then again in 2013 by the Philippine Educational Theater Association as a musical concert. The 2019 production puts Ed Lacson at the helm, while Jed Balsamo takes over the piece's musical arrangement.
Himala follows the story of Elsa (originally played by Nora Aunor) who reports seeing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and being able to heal the sick in their small town of Cupang. Local and foreign patients, tourists, and reporters then start arriving in the otherwise ignored community. An epidemic spreads and the once bustling town returns to its sleepy state. "Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao, nasa puso nating lahat! Tayo ang gumagawa ng mga himala," Elsa reveals. These words eventually made their way to become one of the most quoted lines in Philippines cinema.
Himala: Isang Musikal runs from September 20 to October 20 at Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater, Circuit Makati, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P1,100 to P2,400, are available through Ticketworld.