Backstage Access: ‘Sa Wakas’ Is Back With The Heartbreaks In Its Final Run

Sa Wakas brings back everybody’s beloved storyline but with an even more dynamic set and a more seasoned ensemble for the third and final run of the beloved production.

The popular original Pinoy musical features the most iconic songs of Sugarfree and singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel even appeared at their 2017 gala night to give us all the feels of love and life. Looking to surpass the accolades and impressive feedback they gained in their previous runs, Sa Wakas is back just in time for their namesake album’s 15th year release anniversary.

When the band disbanded in 2011, people shared the same heartbreak that drove creators Charissa Pammit, Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, and Marianne Abuan to conceptualize the musical in the first place.

Set in contemporary Manila, Sa Wakas hits real-life situations close to home with relatable characters Topper, Lexi, and Gabby. We’ve all had to face life-changing situations —whether choosing love versus career, fulfilling responsibilities versus the pursuit of passion, choosing desire over your duty — and sometimes (many times), simple decisions affect people around us in the long run.

It’s like a box of memories. The most recent ones are on top. And the beauty of unraveling, the beauty of looking back. TBT ‘di ba,” said Director Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan.

The theatrical production imparts lessons that despite the heartbreaks and loss of a loved one, we should learn to value the present. With their inverse narrative, the story works its way from the crushing breakup in an agonizing way to the relationship’s sweet beginning.

Familiar yet different

Sa Wakas is still the same love story that many people loved, but now seasoned with the growth and maturity the whole production team developed throughout the years. The musical that everyone admired is back with better character depth, set design, costumes, and even better acting.

Most main actors in the stage play are still playing their roles. Topper, the 27-year old aspiring freelance photographer will be played by Pepe Herrera and Vic Robinson. The kind, diligent, and neurotic doctor Lexi is played by Cara Barredo alongside actress Kyla Rivera-Soong —who played Gabbi’s role in the first run, is making a comeback as Topper’s lover. Maronne Cruz and Justine Peña are playing the funny, clumsy, and hopeless romantic Gabbi.

The musical still sets the Sugarfree songs into a distinct “Broadway-fied” sound, with Ejay Yatco developing an organic arrangement of the songs. The reverse ticks of the clock until it bursts make for a fitting musical interpretation for the crumbling relationship of Topper and Lexi.

The production has set 60 shows from April 7 until May 27 for this farewell run.

“We don’t want people to get fatigued over it. We just want to give the people a chance to see it, kasi I know there are a lot more people who haven’t seen it before and wants to,” Producer Charissa Pammit said in an interview with Manila Insider.

Relatable to people across generations

You can identify yourself with any of the three characters, whether you’re in college, a working millennial, or a middle-aged adult. While the show might not leave you with existential crisis or a major reality check, you can surely learn about how simple life decisions affect you and your loved ones in the immediate future.

Whether you’re a Topper, Lexi, or Gabbi, Sa Wakas provides a great execution of real-life situations in a musical. Expect familiar slangs like “woke,” and other contemporary manila references like Poblacion, Pineapple Lab, and events like Fringe Manila.

Even the actors playing say they can easily relate to the characters, especially with their career and life choices.

Vic Robinson (Topper) shared he can perfectly relate to Topper as an artist and the pursuit of his passion since he quit his day job to pursue a full-time acting and singing career.

Kyla Rivera-Soong (Lexi) identifies herself as Lexi as a mother planning for the future of her family. She also relates to her character as she was driven to give the best for her loved ones.

Justine Peña shared that Gabbi is like her “spirit animal.” They are both into arts, into the pursuit of their craft. But she’s more of a Lexi in terms of career decisions.

“We can watch The Lion King, we can watch Wicked. But we also have our stories. Stories that the Filipino can identify with, that they can relate to. I think it’s just as important as any other musical from Broadway or the West End,” Pamintuan shared.

Insider tip: If you watch within the first week of Sa Wakas, you may win a Sa WaKit and break it in case of love emergency.

Ready your hearts (and tissues) for the last run of Sa Wakas, Pinoy Rock MusicalYou can watch Sa Wakas on its final run at Power Mac Spotlight Theater at Circuit Makati from April 7 to May 27. Tickets are available on their website.

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