Picture this: You’re resting from walking your dog in the parks of Bonifacio Global City. You notice the HD LED billboards and you wish you have those at home to watch Game of Thrones. And while you wait for the dear baristas to finish crafting your Jamba Juice, you hear a familiar electric guitar riff. Then the drums kick in. It’s the first few bars of Green Day’s song “American Idiot.”
The South East Asian première of Green Day’s American Idiot breaks barriers as it brings the theater experience outside of a regular theater. The show transforms the BGC High Street Amphitheater to a humongous theater-slash-concert stage where Filipino talent and technology converge to bring entertainment and the arts to the public. Personally, I haven’t seen anything like the American Idiot stage. When I first arrived at the venue, I was immediately amazed at the scale of this production—the first of its kind in the Philippines. Two super high-definition billboards tower on both sides of the stage. LED screens shaped like lightning skyscrapers on center stage serve as dynamic backdrop. Three-level scaffolding on both sides of the stage becomes the cast’s playground, strategically placed to give height and depth to the biggest outdoor theater stage I’ve ever seen. No kidding! Having witnessed it firsthand, it’s really really impressive.
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.
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 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!
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!
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. 😱