Must Watch: 50 Shades! The Musical Parody

50 Shades! The Musical Parody has been extended until March 20! If I were you, I’ll be running to get my tickets now! (Or just get it online, sorry, I’m trying to be fit.) I was lucky to catch one of its few remaining shows last Sunday. It was a breath of fresh air especially after watching Les Mis the night before. (I felt Eponine a little too much. #spiritanimal) I was not really expecting anything. I did manage to finish the first Fifty Shades book, but I couldn’t stand the other two so I just gave them away to charity. Kidding! Relax. I gave the books to a friend, an adult friend! I did like the movie, though it bored me in most parts except the sexy stuff, duh.

Amiciness with 50 Shades' dancer-actors
Speaking of sexy stuff…
The musical parody, however, was in a different league. I knew it would be funny but I didn’t know that I would be laughing the whole time. It wasn’t just me. The whole auditorium was laughing out loud. Everyone, adults of all ages (of course, no one below 18 was allowed). There was even a group at the back that couldn’t stop laughing even when everybody had already stopped. It was then when I realized that everyone got the jokes, even the kinkiest ones. The show bonded (pun unintended!) and equalized the audience. In some way or level, we each had thought about sex like how Christian Grey did.

The ladies of 50 Shades Manila
Anastasia Steele and the Book Club Ladies
The musical opens with a lady’s book club deciding to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Through their interpretation of the novel, the audience is led on a hilarious roller coaster ride of this unlikely bestseller. The show is full of dance numbers, 11 original songs and a live band backing the performances. Original songs include “How Much Can I Take,” “I Don’t Make Love,” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me.” I love “There’s a Hole Inside of Me.” It can almost be a classic pop song and Anastasia’s voice is Disney material. Trivia: The actress Brenna Wahl did work for Hong Kong Disneyland!

My friends and I with the talented and awesome cast of #50ShadesManila
My friends and I with the talented and awesome cast of #50ShadesManila
The cast features foreign actors with amazing voices! (fresh from the Las Vegas and New York productions) namely Brenna Wahl, Greg Kata, Chloe Williamson, Kaitlyn Frotton, Chris Hodgson, Casey Renee Rogers and Isaac Saleh. Our very own talented thespians Bituin Escalante, Karel Marquez, Lorenz Martinez, George Schulze, and Julz Savard also join the riot. Last Sunday, the only Filipinos were Bituin and George. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! <3 The actor playing Christian Grey (I won’t tell you who, it’s one of the surprises) was also a stand-out!

50 Shades! The Musical Parody Manila Poster

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, have fun with this one-of-a-kind musical that will make you laugh out loud, open your eyes, and fill that hole inside of you. Catch 50 Shades! The Musical Parody, from Vivre Fort Entertainment and 9works Theatrical, on its last week (March 18, 19, 20) at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City. I promise, you won’t regret it!

PS. I can never look at white ribbons the same way again. 😱

Steven Silva is Jean-Michel in 9 Works’ La Cage Aux Folles

Steven Silva as Jean-Michel
Steven Silva as Jean-Michel

Life’s not worth a damn, ‘Til you can say, “Hey world, I am what I am.”

La Cage Aux Folles has reopened in Manila last February 28 and will be back after a week off, this Saturday. Literally translated as “The Cage of Mad Women”, the show promises a feel good musical that speaks to everybody not to mention fabulous costumes and production numbers. Whether you are gay, straight or whatever, anybody can relate to a story of self-acceptance and the true meaning of family. Plus, you can never go wrong with glitter.

Audie Gemora as Albin/Zaza
Audie Gemora as Albin/Zaza

First staged in 1983, the show revolves around Georges (Michael de Mesa, Hairspray) the manager of Saint-Tropez nightclub, Albin a.k.a. Zaza (Audie Gamora, The Producers) the star attraction and Jean-Michel (Steven Silva, Grease), Georges’ son from a confused youthful liaison many years back. The unconventional family lives happily until Jean-Michel invites his fiancée, Ann (played alternately by Missy Macuja-Elizalde and Joni Galeste) to their home. And as ridiculous as it sounds, he requests his father to put on a facade acceptable to Ann’s ultra-conservative family. A front that hides the glitz and glamour embedded in the very core of their home.

Michael de Mesa as Georges
Michael de Mesa as Georges

I am watching La Cage on March 28, 8pm (because I have a One Direction concert to attend this week :-P). I am very much excited to watch this show. It is not a secret that I am a big fan of Steven and watching him sing and dance in last year’s Grease was a delight. However, his role as Johnny Casino was limiting and has not fully showcased his singing voice. Who would have known that he will be following that as a romantic lead. I’ve been listening to the songs and I can’t wait to hear Steven as Jean-Michel. This, considering that he almost quit showbiz. Few years ago, I read somewhere that Steven has given himself an ultimatum (2 or 3 years) to be successful. Good thing, he decided to stay or else, he wouldn’t have found his place in the wonderful world of theatre.

Of course, I am also thrilled to see Michael de Mesa (coming back from a 6-year hiatus from the theater stage) and Audie Gamora in one stage. I am also eager to see how the Les Cagelles turned out. I’ve been teased by a lot La Cage posts in my Instragram and Facebook feeds and I can’t wait to actually see the grand spectacle in person.

Don’t miss what people are calling the best production of 9 Works yet!

Catch the last shows of 9 Works Theatrical’s La Cage Aux Folles directed by Robbie Guevara on March 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati, with Friday and Saturday galas at 8:00pm, selected Saturday matinees at 3:30pm, and Sunday matinees at 4:00pm.

For tickets or inquiries contact 0917-5545560, 586-7105 or email info@9workstheatrical.com.

La Cage Aux Folles