The world first met Maximo Oliveros in 2005, when ufo Pictures released Auraeus Solito’s Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Olveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Olveros), which was generally well-accepted for being “appealingly non-judgmental”.
In a gist, this is a coming-of-age film about a 12-year-old effeminate gay boy (Maxi). Living in a slum district of Manila with his father and brothers who are involved in petty crimes, he falls in love with a young(ish) police officer (Victor), so that – as that cliché goes – two worlds end up colliding.
This year, Filipinos will once again have a chance to meet Maximo (call him Maxie this time), as Bit by Bit Company, in cooperation with the PETA Theater Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, announced the slated staging of “Maxie The Musicale: Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.” Based on Michiko Yamamoto’s screenplay, the musical features book and lyrics by Nicolas B. Pichay, music by William Elvin Manzano, JJ Pimpinio, and Janine Santos, and direction and choreography by Dexter M. Santos.
From the very start, when the film was still in the rounds, the people behind it already recognized how Maxie’s story “will look fantastic as a musical,” Pichay told Outrage Magazine. Michiko Yamamoto’s screenplay eventually reached Darwin Mariano, executive producer of Bit by Bit Company; and it ultimately ended on Pichay’s lap, as he was approached to write the musical’s book and lyrics. “Maxie (the musical) is the movie, but it’s not (the movie),” Pichay said.
For Pichay, what makes Maxie the musical different from the movie is, “(while) the movie is the story of an effeminate boy, the musical goes beyond this. This is (also) the story of a community raising a child who just happens to be effeminate,” he said. “(The) viewers will realize that when they raise a child, (he/she) ends up representing the community.”
Considering that the movie was generally well-accepted, re-visiting Maxi’s story could prove challenging. But Pichay said that “we didn’t take that into consideration.” Instead, with Maxie, what is offered is a musical, “and the music is fabulous.”
For composers Manzano, Pimpinio and Santos, in the end, it is about love, since Maxie is a love story. As such, “gay or not, love is love,” Manzano said, adding that “Maxie is not even a gay story; it’s a story told from the gay perspective.”
The musical is, therefore, “not necessarily about being gay; (instead) it will speak to them about humanity,” Pichay said.
Maxie the musical’s cast is led by Jayvhot Galang (Maximo Oliveros), Roeder Camañag and Nazer Salcedo (alternating as Paco Oliveros), Jojo Riguerra (Victor Perez), Al Gatmaitan and OJ Mariano (alternating as Boy Oliveros), and Jay Gonzaga (Bogs Oliveros). Other members of the cast include Aaron Ching (Nar), Nomer Limatog, Jr. (Leslie), Teetin Villanueva (Monique), Eo De Guzman and Merdin Mojica (alternating as Peter), and Greg de Leon (Chief Dominguez).
The band is composed of William Elvin Manzano and Rigil Borromeo (guitar), Van Quiaong (keyboard), Jonah Ruiz (drums), and Allen Mamaid (bass). Other members of the artistic team are John Neil Ilao Batalla (lights designer), Gino Gonzales (production designer), Ohm David (technical director), Emman Feliciano (assistant director), Stephen Viñas (associate choreographer), and Arkel Mendoza (additional music).
Outrage Magazine is a media partner of the musical.
“Maxie The Musicale: Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” will run from November 9 to December 8, with shows on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8:00 PM and matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 PM. All performances are at the PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.
For show information, call (+63) 09178427346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are available at all TicketWorld (+6328919999) and SM Tickets (+6324702222).