‘Sa Wakas’ ties together sugarfree hits in reverse chronological musical

Songs by Filipino band Sugarfree are combined into a story that revolves around a distressed relationship in Sa Wakas: A Pinoy Rock Musical.

Set in rewind, the musical starts with a heartbreaking ending. Topper, a passionate photography enthusiast, and Lexi, a budding neurosurgeon with a pre-planned career, have broken up.

The former couple sings “Kwarto” in the first scene, manifesting their attempts to move on from the relationship that was.

The story then introduces Gabbi, uncovering how she plays a part in Topper and Lexi’s break-up.

As with other musicals based on an artist’s discography, Sa Wakas ties together situations to allow the use of Sugarfree singles and not merely forcing these tracks together into a presentation.

As the play progresses, it underscores that, despite being popularized years ago, these songs still encapsulate the different phasescpeople go through in a relationship and in life. The actors perform “Wag ka nang Umiyak” when consoling a partner and “Huling Gabi” when bidding goodbye to someone a character loved dearly, with a live band playing Sugarfree arrangements to add an element of magical realism of the show.

Vic Robinson, who plays Topper, is a gem in the cast for his indistinguishable vocal mimicry of Ebe Dancel.

The rewind strategy effectively elicits pre-sentiments on what led to this “ending” at the first scene, but this approach has its disadvantages. As the audience gets clarity to what happened along the way, the scenes towards the “beginning” have become dull.

After concluding the first act with a strong performance of “Bawat Daan,” the play somehow moves into a drag and ends with a confused and sad silence from Topper, without a Sugarfree song to help him express his emotions.

Nonetheless, the dialog has been wittingly injected with humor all throughout, adding a tinge of fun amid plight of the characters in the story.

After its first and second runs in 2013 and 2017, respectively, the musical is having its farewell run this year.