Meet The Cast Of “Tabing Ilog: The Musical”

“Tabing Ilog: The Musical” producers explain absence of Paula Peralejo’s character

More than two decades since it first hit the airwaves comes “Tabing Ilog: The Musical,” a fresh take on one of the well-loved shows that has carved a space in the psyche of Filipino audiences. 

Before the advent of Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok, “Tabing Ilog” has been the launchpad of some of the industry’s most popular and reliable actors. Among them, John Lloyd Cruz, Jodi Sta Maria, Baron Geisler, Paolo Contis, Desiree Del Valle, Patrick Garcia, Paula Peralejo, and Kaye Abad, who played the roles of Rovic, George, Fonzy, Badong, Corrine, James, Anne, and Eds, respectively.

READ ALSO: “Tabing Ilog” Cast To Reunite In New Film

Theater first-timers and Star Magic artists Vivoree, Anji Salvacion, Andi Abaya, Kobie Brown, Omar Uddin, Sheena Belarmino, BGYO members Akira Morishita and JL Toreliza, and BINI’s Jhoanna Robles will be taking front and center in the show together with seasoned theater actors Teetin Villanueva, Neomi Gonzales, Lance Reblando, Red Nuestro, Joann Co, to name just a few.  

Akira and JL, together with Benedix Ramos, will alternately play John Lloyd Cruz’s Rovic while Vivoree, Sheena, and Jhoanna take on the role of Eds, originally played by Kaye Abad.

Theater actors Earvin Estioco and Jude Matthew Sevilla will play Paolo Contis’s Badong while Anji alternates with Miah Canton for the role of Corrinne, first played by Desiree del Valle.

Playing the role of Jodi Sta. Maria’s George are Andi Abaya, Kiara Takahashi, and Chaye Moga. Patrick Garcia’s James will be breathed life anew by Kobie Brown and Jordan Andrews. Lastly, Drei Sugay and Vino Mabalot will play Baron Geisler’s Fonzy.

Anne’s absence in “Tabing Ilog: The Musical

Directed by Phil Noble (“Dicktalks” & “Maynila”) with a script penned by Eljay Deldoc (“Virgin Labfest” & “Past, Present, Perfect?”) and musical direction and songs by Vince de Jesus (“Changing Partners” & “Third World Romance”), the show promises to offer an engaging narrative that tugs at the heartstrings of audiences.

However, “Tabing Ilog” loyal fans should expect some changes in the storyline and characters of the musical.

During the recently concluded press launch of the show, it was revealed that Anne’s character did not make it to the stage adaptation. Anne was previously played by Paula Peralejo.

Direk Phil explains, “When we were doing the new script based sa 2019 script, pinili namin yung three lang dapat ang papayabungin—si Eds, Rovic, and James, kasi sabi ko, maloloka tayo, ang dami-daming dialogue.”

As they continued creating the script, they realized that the story required more characters.

“So, nanganak based doon sa last script ang mga characters at ginawa na naming importante lahat. Plus the additional,” he said.

To address those who might miss Anne in the musical he said, “Hindi kami conscious na tanggalin ang character ni Anne pero ang tinungtungan namin ay yung script last year kaya naging ganito ang composition ng characters.”

But what made them decide to cut Anne out of the picture?

Kung may love team ka na, parang nauulit yung narrative. So, you provide different situations para hindi rin ma-repeat, so, kailangan mag-decide kung ano ang importante kung ano talaga ang focus and what will move the story forward at ano ang dynamics nila,” explained Vince.

Another PETA collaboration

Initially conceptualized in 2019, “Tabing Ilog: The Musical” faced a significant bump and potential shelving following the onslaught of the pandemic. The incident pushed back all the planning, rehearsals, and preparations for the show. 

After being inspired by the success of their first collaboration on “Walang Aray,” ABS-CBN decided to tread on and joined hands anew with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) to finally breathe new life into the musical this year.

“You know, while I was watching there at the back, we saw the talent. You see them having fun so sana they come up with something that is so comforting for the Gen-Z audience, even to the younger audiences.

“Comforting, inspiring at hindi lang entertaining na our young audience can pick up something na may matututunan sila,” said PETA’s President, CB Garrucho, when asked what she looks forward to about the new show.

Why did ABS-CBN decide to have “Tabing Ilog” as its first adaptation in theater?

“We feel that it’s fitting to be the first kasi magandang pag-usapan ang mga kabataan ngayon kasi ibang-iba na talaga siya from the previous generations.

Ang ganda rin talagang himayin siya kung kumusta na ba talaga ang mga kabataan ngayon especially after the pandemic na ang laki na ng pagbabago ng lahat,” said Joanna Santos, ABS-CBN Head of Operations.

The musical is set to open on November 10, 2023, and will run until December 17, 2023 at the PETA Theater

Banner Art Paulo Correa 

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