November 24, 2007
Tanghalang Pilipino's "Himala the Musicale" (sic) was the Philippines' entry to the third annual Asian Contemporary Theater Festival in Shanghai, China. Ricky Lee wrote the script with lyrics and music by Vince De Jesus. May Bayot plays Elsa, who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary and starts healing people in her village. The faith healer was played by Nora Aunor in the original movie. Isay Alvarez of "Miss Saigon" fame plays Nimia, her childhood friend who's turned to prostitution. Cynthia Culig-Guico is Chayong who devotes herself to Elsa while Lionel Guico is the filmmaker who documents Elsa's miracles. According to the Philippine Entertainment Portal, the production received a standing ovation on their 22 November debut performance at the festival. The cast is due back in Manila 25 November.