7 reasons to catch the Parokya Ni Edgar musical

COMEDY. Pepe Herrera as Mr. Suave.
COMEDY. Pepe Herrera as Mr. Suave.

ANYONE who can say the title without pausing is downright impressive but transforming Parokya Ni Edgar (PNE) jams into a fantasy musical? That’s next-level genius.

“Buruguduystunstugudunstuy: Ang Parokya ni Edgar Musical” is very Filipino and has no shortage of comedy and drama. The musical grabs you by the collar from the get-go and doesn’t let go. This acid trip of a play is in a way a love letter to PNE fans of all ages, from the OG MP3 listeners to the streaming generation. And if that’s not enough, here are 10 more reasons why this musical is an absolute must-see!

TALENT. Felicity Kyle Napuli as Aiza.
TALENT. Felicity Kyle Napuli as Aiza.

Songs

In the musical, a whopping 47 songs by PNE were carefully handpicked. Musical director Ejay Yatco confessed to feeling the weight of responsibility, tasked with honoring such an iconic band that has left a mark on OPM. But you’ve got to see it to believe it: as the Parokya-verses gracefully find their way into the actors’ mouths, it’s like they were born for this role. Yatco’s genius shines through as he transforms these tunes into a smorgasbord of genres — from rock and pop to funk, rap, country, Caribbean and Spanish — accompanied by a 14-piece orchestra, all in homage to the band’s legacy. The musical draws its tongue-twisting name from the band’s 1997 album, “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy.”

Female-led

In Rody Vera’s original conception of the story, he envisioned a female-led narrative exploring the multiverses of aswangs, sirenas and aliens. The production team had a bit of a head-scratcher in making PNE songs jive with a woman’s perspective but luckily, they pulled it off. The characters, portrayed by Kyle Napuli as Aiza, Marynor Madamesila as Jen, Natasha Cabrera as Girlie and Tex Ordoñez-De Leon as Norma, were all born on Dec. 6th. Their journeys take an unexpected turn when they are drawn together by a mysterious drumbeat. After they discover a portal, the women find themselves facing their fears and discovering countless what-ifs.

Visuals

From the theater production that brought “Ang Huling El Bimbo” to many successes, “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy” is the most expensive musical they put out yet. Newport World Resorts musicals and Full House Theater Company have created such visual storytelling that takes audiences into a magical adventure. As the curtains rise, the stage is initially shrouded in darkness, but quickly bursts into a kaleidoscope of colors. It’s a full-on sensory overload in the best possible way. Think mind-blowing visuals, jaw-dropping costumes and characters that practically wing its way to magical spaceships and outer dimensions.

Orchestra

The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is the heartbeat of the production. To jump, to cry, to laugh, the MPO is the secret magic that adds depth and layers of the dialogues and emotions. Established in 1998, MPO has risen to prominence as a top-tier orchestra over the past twenty years, marked by acclaimed live shows, recordings, tours and inventive initiatives that connect the orchestra with communities. At the heart of MPO is a deep-seated love for music, fueling its mission to make music accessible to all, not just a select few. With exceptional talent and dedication, MPO serves as a vital link between the orchestra and its audience.

Mr. Suave

You absolutely can’t talk about Filipino music without mentioning the iconic groove of “Mr. Suave” by Parokya ni Edgar.

Filipino actor and comedian Pepe Herrera portrays Mr. Suave like never seen before. Pepe slips into the shiny, pointed shoes and slides into the smoothest hips of the character like it’s second nature. He’s got the swagger, the wink-and-smile combo and those unforgettable lines down pat. “Mr. Suave” is a certified hit from Parokya ni Edgar’s 2003 album “Bigotilyo.” It has been a Filipino cultural phenomenon that did not just dominate the airwaves but also infiltrated commercials and even political campaigns. Its catchy stanzas became part of the Filipino lexicon and now extends its influence to an original Filipino play.

Relatability

With four women at the helm, “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy” delves into four profound issues that set the narrative in motion. Despite its fantastical setting, the musical tackles real-world challenges head-on. Poverty, bullying, heartbreak and personal crises are on the agenda, but they are served up in a magical package. The cast are addressing it all with such poetic charm and infectious rhythms, you’ll be humming along in no time. You walk out feeling like you can take on the world because the musical gives a reminder that even when life throws some serious curveballs, you got what it takes to knock them out of the park.

Filipino talent

Filipino talent shines bright in “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy.” Beyond the stellar award-winning cast, the colorful ensemble adds another layer of magic to the stage. Their energetic dance moves and graceful glides bring the production to life, making it a truly complete experience. Director Dexter Martinez Santos said it took a village to mount this original Filipino musical. Kingson Sian, Newport World Resorts (NWR) president also shared that saying the title is the least challenging, the NWR is driven by the belief in the importance of telling Filipino stories and opening opportunities for local talents.

“Buruguduystunstugudunstuy: Ang Parokya ni Edgar Musical” is the tenth major theatrical offering from Newport World Resorts and their most expensive Filipino production to date. “We spared no expense because the Filipino audience deserves the best. We want to see to it that if others can do it on Broadway, we can also do it here in Newport,” Sian said during the gala night.

The jukebox musical has been stealing the spotlight at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, kicking off with a sold-out show on April 26 and a full house gala night performance on May 2, 2024. With thousands of theatergoers expected to attend, the excitement is building as the musical continues its run until June 8.

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