Video: PETA Welcomes KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad

They will star in PETA’s new musical comedy, ‘Walang Aray.’

By: Nov. 28, 2022

Manila, Philippines--Philippine Educational Theater Association, which produced hit musicals "Rak of Aegis" and "Care Divas," has officially welcomed young stars-singers KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad to its family. Estrada and Ilacad, both Star Magic contract artists, are set to lead PETA's return to producing original Filipino musicals via "Walang Aray," a humorous and entertaining take on Severino Reyes' 1898 zarzuela "Walang Sugat."

Across around 40 performances from February 17 to May 14, 2023, the young stars share the roles, Tenyong and Julia, with seasoned theater-film actors Gio Gahol, who also choreographs the show, and Marynor Madamesila.

Originally a film project, "Walang Aray" was a collaboration between prolific playwright Rody Vera and filmmaker, great-grandson, and creative heir of Severino, Jun Reyes. Mainly featuring jukebox hits, the film's production costs became too prohibitive. The project has been shelved since 2007 until a possible musical stage adaptation was pitched by Vera to PETA Artistic Director Maribel Legarda about a decade later.

The jukebox score was dropped in favor of composer-musical arranger Vince Lim's original songs--a mixed bag of pop, rap, and novelty.

As a work in progress, the initial drafts of "Walang Aray" were workshopped at PETA in 2018-2019. The material has continued to be reworked, especially its spoken dialogues, and its songs' lyrics toy with the present-day jargon and tech speak.

"It's a farce and a tribute with several layers: the musical form of the zarzuela that has been labeled as 'outdated' has been reinvented for new audiences without compromising its roots, and its historical narrative also resonates with the present time," said PETA in a statement.

"Samahan mo kaming tumindig at umibig," the cast and creatives prodded the audience at the trade launch on November 28.

The cast also has Jarred Jaicten, Kiki Baento, Carlon Matobato, Gie Onida, Norbs Portales, Neomi Gonzales, John Moran, Yeyin Dela Cruz, Ayla Garcia, Ada Tayao, Tom Bienvenida, Donn Boco, Gerard Dy, Gardo Exconde, and Csai Habla.

Ian Segarra directs the production, while Lim does the musical direction and sound design. They are joined by Julio Garcia, production designer; Jaylo Conanan, costume designer; and David Esguerra, lighting designer.

PETA's production of "Walang Aray" is made possible with industry partners Indie.go Media and Star Magic.

Tickets go on public sale on December 10, 2022.

Video: Oliver Oliveros/