50 Shades, The Musical, To Invade Manila Theater
By Patricia Simone Dauz
Worldwide, the musical has played to over a million audiences and has had more than 3,000 shows.
“We start with the Book Club ladies, so that, on purpose, two of them had not read the story at all,” director Albert Samuels clarified. The musical parodies some scenes taken from 50 Shades of Grey, a book by E.L. James. The material is so relatable that even those who are not familiar with either the book or the 2015 film version will still be laughing their hearts out at the puns, antics, and explosive expletives which the kooky characters will bring.
The cast includes a mix of both foreign and local thespic talents. The Filipino theater actors in the cast are Bituin Escalante, Karel Marquez, Lorenz Martinez, George Schulze, and Julz Savard. Some cast members of the Las Vegas and Broadway productions of the musical were even flown in to reprise their respective roles. The foreign artists who will grace the Philippine stage are Brenna Wahl, Greg Kata, Chloe Williamson, Kaitlyn Frotton, Chris Hodgson, Casey Renee Rogers, and Isaac Saleh.
Rogers recounted a Wednesday show wherein an older woman put her forefingers together to make a crucifix, apparently because the woman was conservative. She and some other cast members are confident that the show with its mature content will be appreciated by Filipinos, even though we are still a predominantly Catholic country. “Women throw panties up onstage…it’s funny,” said Kata
There are dance numbers all throughout the show, as well as live band which play the accompaniment. There are 11 original songs and some of the catchiest are “How Much Can I Take?”, “I Don’t Make Love”, and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me.”
Some other members of the creative team are Emily Dorezas (writer/producer), Andrew Asnes (executive producer), Robbie Guevara (assistant director) Mindy Cooper (choreographer), PJ Rebullida (choreographer), Only Torres (musical director for vocals), Mio Infante (Scenographer), Martin Esteva (lighting designer), and Daniel Bartolome (musical director for instrumentation).
The musical is made possible through the combined effort of Vivre Fort Entertainment and 9Works Theatrical. Tickets may be availed at SM Tickets, Ticketworld, and Ticketnet Outlets. The show will open on February 12 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in RCBC Makati. It will run until March 1. For more information, you may visit www.50shadesmanila.com or call 4706956.