A preview of Chuva Choo Choo Vehnee, Vidi, Vici
- Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2015 - 10:00am

The preview run of the Stages’ musical Chuva Choo Choo was a wonderful celebration of the music of Vehnee Saturno, the fabled hitmaker of Philippine Pop Music. With story and direction by George de Jesus III, Vehnee’s compositions scored new highs in nostalgia, as comedic counterpoints and as dramatic interludes. Both Vehnee and George conquer the rapt audience, and we submit willingly.

The story may come straight out of numerous Shakespeare comedies, and via films such as Some Like It Hot but the gender-bending is given a facelift thanks to the improbable scenario of two promdi singing sisters fleeing to Manila with their gay confidante to escape what they perceive is the wrath of the local mayor.

In Manila, they end up working in a gay bar by claiming to be singing gay impersonators. So yes, it’s women passing themselves off as gays who dress up as women. Joanna Ampil and Morissette Amon take on the roles of Dina and Darla; and both their acting and their singing astound.

At the gay bar, we encounter the trio of characters named Zsa Zsa, Lani and Regine who provide much of the humor as they try to keep the business afloat; complicated by the fact that Regine keeps making the macho dancers abscond by getting too attached to them. Via Antonio plays a series of roles and subtly scene-steals in every instance. I especially loved her as the host of the reality TV show, Pinoy Got Boses.

What makes the musical magical is how George has interspersed the songs of Vehnee in his story. Given his naturally subversive nature, there are times when the song is so off that it just ends up being hilarious and we tear with laughter.

To my mind, this is a far more successful rendering of this tried-and-tested formula than say, Bee Gee songs and Saturday Night Fever, where the local production’s performers couldn’t be faulted, but the original material was just weak. And given the relatively smaller production budget, I applaud how George makes full use of the Spotlight, Circuit Makati theater space, and turns simple props such as tasseled ribbons on a stick into production number highlights.

The regular run of Chuva is slated for January 2016, so if you didn't get a chance to watch one of the performances of the preview run, reserve your tickets now and do watch this musical that celebrates what it is to be so Pinoy. The musical singing Pinoy in all of us, the Senti Pinoy, the kenkoy and barok Pinoy, the ever hopeful in Love Pinoy, the Taray and over-enthusiastic Pinoy: they are all reflected in this musical that charms and conquers!

 

BEE GEE BOTH VEHNEE AND GEORGE CHUVA CHOO CHOO CIRCUIT MAKATI DINA AND DARLA IN MANILA JOANNA AMPIL AND MORISSETTE AMON LANI AND REGINE LOVE PINOY PHILIPPINE POP MUSIC PINOY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with