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ZsaZsa Zaturnnah (Ze Muzikal)

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8 pm … February 26, 2006 … CCP Studio Theater … my friends (Madz, Alz (Madz’ friend), Nudge, Silverhakai, Dekya, and Maigaray, and I watched that AWESOME musical play ZSAZSA ZATURNNAH (Ze Muzikal). I’m actually having some difficulty writing this review because, so far, everything about it is not just good, it’s great! The set, the costumes, the actors, the lines, the music … everything!

In any case, I will try my best to break it down into coherent components … for the benefit of those who may want to see this play. By the way, as far as I know, the tickets are sold out already and they may not extend the show ’cause of the schedule of the actors. Info taken from Carlo Vergara’s blogsite.

Carlo Vergara‘s Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah is considered by many readers and critics alike as a tour de force among the recent crop of Filipino comic books. Combining irreverent humor, pop culture sensibilities, and nuanced writing, Zsazsa Zaturnnah has been postively received by readers of various age groups and economic backgrounds.

Zsazsa Zaturnnah tells the story of Ada, a cynical resident of a small provincial town, who gains superhuman abilities through a stone that falls from the heavens. With the ability to transform into the voluptuous and powerful Zaturnnah, Ada defends his hometown from dangerous otherworldly threats.

Adding color to this simple tale is the fact that Ada is a homosexual, proprietor of his own quaint beauty salon. Joining him in his extraordinary adventure is his frilly-mouthed assistant Didi and his secret love Dodong. Because of strong language and suggestive imagery, the comic book is strictly for mature readers.

Zsazsa Zaturnnah was first released in December 2002 as a two-part limited series, and since then has been prominently featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Businessworld, Manila Standard, Art Quarterly Manila, Culture Crash, etc. as well as the television show Knowledge Power.

After winning a much-coveted National Book Award, given out by the discriminating Manila Critics Circle, the two part Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah has been compiled into a single trade paperback by Visual Print Enterprises, and should hit the shelves of major bookstores within the first half of 2004.

For more information on the Collected Edition of Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah , please email Visual Print Enterprises through book_inquiry@visprint.net

The Author

Carlo Vergara — I have a funny feeling he is not only a Trekkie but also a lurker member of  Via Astris. Trek references are all over the place! We are Amazonistas (a.k.a Borg).

The Story and The Play

Very funny, very entertaining, and beautifully adapted from a comic book to the stage by Chris Martinez. I don’t normally watch anything in the vernacular, but this is DEFINITELY a show to watch.

The Songs/Original Soundtrack

I LOVE the songs and the arrangements! This is superior work by Vincent de Jesus, folks! I loved the songs so much that I bought the soundtrack.

The Actors

Eula Valdez in the title role as Zsazsa Zaturnnah

Eula Valdez
Eula Valdez

Eula will always be remembered by me as that lovely girl in Bagets. I was frankly surprised that she sings so well. And she plays gay so well. I knew she could sing, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t know she had those pipes! Excellent acting as ZsaZsa Zaturnnah. If there is any downside, all I can think of is that she doesn’t quite fit the top of the costume so well. ZsaZsa Zaturnnah is supposed to be top-heavy and Eula is supposedly well-endowed also, but I guess the skin suit she was wearing must have suppressed her “endowments”. But that is a minor detail.   I’m sure that in succeeding shows they will fix that inconsistency with the character.   Overall, fantastic performance!

Tuxqs Rutaquio as Ada, the gay parlorista and secret identity of Zsazsa Zaturnnah

Ricci Chan, Lauren Novero, and Tuxqs Rustaquio
Ricci Chan, Lauren Novero, and Tuxqs Rutaquio

Tuxqs’ (on the right) rendition of Ada is very soulful and moving and at times quite saucy. He was not the greatest singer in the group but he sang very well. He was able to project Ada’s emotions so well that I felt as if I was going through them with him. The pain of rejection, the anxious hope of love, and the fear of disappointment. He was just fantastic! I would love to catch him again. I can imagine that life has not been kind to Ada. He was lucky to have such a class act of a friend like Didi (played by Ricci Chan).

Ricci Chan as the irreverent Didi

Ricci, Ricci, Ricci (on the left in the picture above with Ada). All I can say is … I love you, I adore you. The first time I ever saw you perform was in Rent (by New Voice) as Angel. In my opinion, your star was born on that day. If I could I will watch every play you are in. Ricci as Didi is the SCENE STEALER of the show. In just about every scene he is in, he steals … but you forgive him for it. He is just too adorable. In my opinion, the best singer in the show … and the best actor in the show. At the same time, Ricci’s acting reminded me so much of Miao. It was actually eerie, ’cause Miao was sitting in front of me but I was seeing and hearing him on stage as well. If Miao were to audition for the part he wouldn’t be acting at all … he would be himself.

Arnold Reyes as Dodong, the hunky boy-next-door

Sigh … sigh … sigh ulit. I word to describe him Y-U-M-M-Y! I realize it doesn’t seem like it in the picture (he does not photograph well) but believe me, under those clothes, is your favorite dessert dripping in honey. He isn’t as beefy as the other guy who plays Dodong (see picture above. He is between Ada and Didi), but that is immaterial. What he has is good enough for me! When I saw him by the (fireman’s) pole making sexy poses I was thinking — cheesy but sexy still. And then he takes his shirt off and I almost lunged out of my seat. WHOA! Especially later when his shirt got ripped to pieces right by our (VA peeps) feet. Singing was not stupendous but I can forgive him for it. Pretty good acting. I really loved the part towards the end when he was declaring his intentions to Ada. He looked unsure and nervous — exactly how Dodong would be in that situation. There is speculation in the group if he is straight or not. Truth is … I don’t really care. I just think he is great! It’s not like I have any chance of intimacy with him, right?

Agot Isidro as Queen Femina Suarestellar Baroux, the antagonist

Agot is an established singer and I was curious to see how she would fare on the stage. I am happy to say she plays the role of Queen Femina magnificently! She was able to maintain the accent even when she sings. Actually, her acting and singing really reminded me of another actor (and friend of mine) — Lynn Shermann.  On a side note: she looked really good in the “battle gown”.

There are only 3 performance days left and from what I hear all shows are sold out. I hope I can watch it again. I’m still trying to score tickets from Vince.

The remaining playdates are:

  • March 3 – 8 pm
  • March 4 – 3 pm
  • March 4 – 8 pm
  • March 5 – 3 pm
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17 thoughts on “ZsaZsa Zaturnnah (Ze Muzikal)

  1. Nakikita Ko Na Ang Nakakasilaw Na Ilaw lyrics

    I already mentioned, I think that this is my favorite song from the production. I love it so much I took the time to get the lyrics. I have to say, though, that it isn’t just the lyrics gripped me. I loved the music, I loved the way Ricci sang it … and I loved the YUMMY MEN in skimpy towels and angels’ wings (the company) who came in and shook their booty for us, hehehe.

    Anyway, here are the lyrics …

    Ada, bakit ka lumuluha?
    Hindi naman bagay sa yo
    ngumiti ka na lang
    kahit may lamat ang puso mo

    Mula noong pagkabata
    hanggang tayo ay nagdalaga
    nilulunok na natin ang kirot
    siguro naman ngayon ay sanay ka na

    nakikita ko na ang nakakasilaw na ilaw sing init ng araw
    ako’y sinusundo patungo sa isang tahimik na lugar
    kung saan walang pangalan ang pagmamahal, ooh ooh

    Ada, bakit pati sila ay lumuluha?
    dahil ba pagpumanaw ako
    ay wala na silang pagtatawanan
    Ni minsan ay ‘di nila ako kinilala
    Maliban sa pagiging bayot ko
    Sa akin ay wala na silang nalalaman pa

    nakikita ko na ang nakakasilaw na ilaw sing init ng araw
    ako’y sinusundo patungo sa isang tahimik na lugar
    kung saan walang pangalan ang pagmamahal

    nakikita ko na ang nakakasilaw na ilaw
    Kailangan kong dumungaw
    machugi man ako aking nakita
    Ang tunay mong pagmamahal
    aking mahal na kaibigan
    ako sana’y huwag kalimutan
    ooh

  2. At the same time, Ricci’s acting reminded me so much of Miao. It was actually eerie, ’cause Miao was sitting in front of me but I was seeing and hearing him on stage as well. If Miao were to audition for the part he wouldn’t be acting at all … he would be himself.

    It was, like, seeing my campy byotch persona on-stage!

    And to be compared to such a great & talented performer, yes I’ll take it as a compliment… very much!

    ^_________^

    Ang ganda! Ang gandagandagandaganda!!!

    1. That was DEFINITELY a compliment, Miao … DEFINITELY.

      Btw, regarding the CD. I think you got the one we wanted. I got the clear case and it is the Kalila/Lauren Cd. Waaaah! I called TP and they said that I could go to TP on a playdate and ask the people assigned to swap it then. I don’t know if I should go … I’d feel bad if I wouldn’t be able to watch the play again after going all that way from Kamuning.

        1. Buti na lang umandar ang aking minsanang pagkamangha sa fenk at yun ang kinuha ko.

          Ang galing! Played the whole CD from start to finish. ^__^

          1. Normally I stay away from anything FENK, but when the guy made me pick between the two CDs, I caught the “catch” when he mentioned FENK, so I went ahead and took the bait.

            Happiness!

    1. Re: thanks!

      I would really, really like to. Whenever possible I do my best to watch live performances — plays, ballets, concerts, etc. The experience is just … different.

      Is there any way I could find out when you are in a production/play? Preferably in a musical? I’m really keen on musicals, hehehe. I would be ever so grateful if you could pass on the info.

      I realize that you are very busy so I will be content with a URL or a short message or email occasionally. 😀

      Also, any chance there are any spare tickets so I can watch you guys again this weekend? Please, please, pretty please? I’m beggin’ on my knees! 🙂

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