Sabel is a homeless madwoman in Manila that artist Ben Cabrera obsessed about from a distance. He’d see her from his window, her bags forming an almost abstract image capturing the artist's imagination that would later give birth to recurring images in his museum and a cafè named after her.
"I would see the derelict woman who would become “Sabel” when I was still living in Yakal Street. I saw her only from a distance. I didn’t have any interaction with her, but I would do a lot of quick sketches of her from life, mabilis lang, parang abstract," BenCab said in an interview.
‘Sabel,’ acrylic on canvas, 1968
Decades later, Sabel takes form on stage with the luminous Iza Calzado narrating as National Artist Ben Cabrera’s infamous madwoman of the streets. The Philippine Ballet Theater dances out the whole story while singers Aicelle Santos, Bo Cerrudo, Joaquin Pedro Valdes and Timmy Pavino sing out the vocals with Music and Musical Direction by Louie Ocampo and Lyrics, Script and Direction by Freddie Santos. Set in Manila at the turn of the century, Sabel is about a woman who goes from being a comfort woman to nightclub headliner to crazy dancing lady in her sad, misfortune-laden life.
The show which was initially staged at The Theater at Solaire returns on August 11 and 12, 8pm at the Music Museum. Tickets are very limited. Call TicketWorld (891-9999) and at Music Museum Ticketron (721-6726) now!