It’s an all-Cebuano cast and crew for Monsters The Musical. | CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — There is much to be desired about Cebu despite the traffic gridlock that claws like monsters into each one’s lifestyle.

The musical that is a collaborative endeavour of singer-songwriter Cattski Espina, writer-director Jude Gitamondoc and producer Margarita “Margo” Frasco is one creative pursuit that tells those in the verge of giving up on Cebu to pause and revisit the beauty of this island-province that is blessed with extraordinary artists and performers.

Monsters The Musical is perhaps the first one of its kind to happen in Cebu; an-all Cebuano cast and crew who devoted time, effort and resources to make this the musical that every Cebuano should see.

The music? From a homegrown talent.

The show’s synopsis says that the musical features the story of two friends, Bea and Elle and will explore the “intricacies of a relationship that spans years, beginning in childhood, developing in adolescence, and peaking in their family and professional lives.”

It promises a “coming-of-age” love story that will show how the two main characters confront and battle their internal monsters.

The tedious audition process was conducted in June 2019 where each individual member was screened for three disciplines: voice, dance and acting. Rehearsals started in July 2019.

The cast collectively refers to themselves as #TheBraveCast, and they are brave alright for choosing to embark on a project that is bigger than themselves. The cast are champions and allies of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights.

While the cast strengthened the musical,  the foundation of this endeavour was set by the triumvirate of Espina, Gitamondoc and Frasco, who is ushering in a new milestone in Cebu’s music and art scene.

Think about this: 25 of Cattski Espina’s songs are woven in the narrative of this musical.

That’s more than 10 years of Espina’s work in one musical!

In a Facebook post, Espina says she will be also be releasing a new single that made it to the musical’s script at the last minute.

“Allow me to celebrate and pinch myself one more time. I still can’t believe that 25 of my songs were weaved into a beautiful story and will soon be performed by an amazing cast,” Espina says.

With the experience and expertise of Jude Gitamondoc, who has won several awards under his belt, this directorial debut is both a challenge and a showcase of his mastery of the art.

Completing the triumvirate is Margo Frasco, who is known to many as the chief operating officer of the local delicacy empire, Titay’s.

But those who know Margo can attest to how much she loves the performing arts. Her dedication to the art gave birth to MDF Productions and Monsters The Musical is MDF’s pilot production.

Singer-songwriter Cattski Espina (with microphone), producer Margo Frasco (front row, center), and writer-director Jude Gitamondoc (front row, third from left) join forces for Monsters The Musical. | CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Cebu is in for an exciting storytelling with “Monsters The Musical.” You only need to go to the Facebook page to see the news and updates as we move closer to the play dates.

The musical is slated to be on stage on November 16 and 17 at SM Seaside Centerstage with a matinee show at 2 p.m. and a gala show at 8 p.m.

Tickets are sold for only P350, P700, and P1,000.

These are affordable prices for a show that is guaranteed to give you more than your money’s worth.

“Monsters The Musical” is a must-watch production before you wrap up your 2019.

Tell everyone about it.

You might not see something like this ever happen again./dbs

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