MANILA, Philippines – What happens when 3 ordinary ladies decide to read an erotic novel for their book club? You get 50 Shades! The Musical Parody, a play which will open in Manila Friday, February 12.
50 Shades! is EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey seen through the eyes of these women. The premise starts out innocent enough, but soon, they sing and dance their way through the novel to raunchy songs like “I Don’t Make Love” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me.”
A sneak peek for the media of '50 Shades! The Musical Parody' from last January! pic.twitter.com/biL7iJGk1j— vernise tantuco (@verntantuco) February 10, 2016
If you aren’t a Fifty Shades of Grey fan but are curious about the play, don’t worry! During the January 14 press conference for the play, director Albert Samuels said that regardless of whether or not you’ve read the books or seen the movie, you’ll be able to appreciate 50 Shades!.
“We started with the book club ladies so that on purpose, two of them had not read the story at all, so we bounce back and forth between them. Anything that needs exposition, we give it to the audience,” he said.
“We specifically wrote it (50 Shades!) and created it – half of us had seen the movie or read the books, the other half knew nothing about it. Because we didn’t want it to just be a show that was just a parody. We wanted it to be a good, funny, really heartfelt show, that also just happened to be also super, super dirty,” Al added to the laughter of the media.
50 Shades! The Musical Parody was originally from New York, but they’ve since held productions in Las Vegas, Germany, and Spain.
The Manila production will be held at the RCBC Plaza, Ayala cor Sen Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. It will run from February 12 to March 1, and tickets are being sold at Ticketnet, Ticketworld, and SM Tickets at the following prices:
- VIP front row – P5000
- VIP – P4,500
- Orchestra center – P4000
- Orchestra sides – P3,500
- Loge – P2,500
- Balcony – P1,500
Of course, no Fifty Shades of Grey retelling would complete without Anastasia Steele, and the character makes an appearance played by the Philippines’ own Karel Marquez.
This is the first time that Karel is playing a more mature role onstage – she previously played Gabriella in High School Musical and Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
The Philippines' own Karel Marquez plays Anastasia Steele in the Manila production of '50 Shades!' pic.twitter.com/EtCNemRkGa— vernise tantuco (@verntantuco) February 10, 2016
“I got the call nga saying that I should audition, sabi ko (I said), ‘50 Shades, oh my God, ano ‘yon (what’s that), no way!'” said Karel, on her reaction upon being offered the role. Karel spoke to members of the press after the conference.
After checking the play out, Karel decided that it was actually quite different from the risque movie. “When I looked at the material, sobrang nakakatawa nga (it’s really so funny), it’s totally different from the movie talaga (really), although ginagaya namin siya (we copy it), it’s not totally like that, they were, like, making fun of it, so it’s really, really fun.”
Karel isn’t the only Filipino actress in the Manila production. Bituin Escalante plays Carol, a conservative book club member who tries to find her confidence throughout the play.
Bituin Escalante in '50 Shades! The Musical Parody.' pic.twitter.com/JRWSxjMSQi— vernise tantuco (@verntantuco) February 10, 2016
“Actually, every year I do Children’s Theater, because it’s the only thing my kids can watch. They can’t watch this,” said Bituin after the conference, referring to her previous work for the Philippine Educational Theater Association. “But my husband can!” Bituin quickly added, to the laughter of the press.
While there isn’t any nudity in the 50 Shades! it’s still for mature audiences – it isn’t recommended for those below 18 years of age.
The press were curious about the actors’ reactions to such a risque musical being shown in the Philippines, which is known to have a more conservative audience.
On that issue, Bituin said, “I am the prude [in the play], but I don’t think she is inside. And that [goes for] a lot of us. Like I said earlier, you just gotta face it, embrace it.”
Bituin has been part of a play called Skin Deep for PETA, that she says carries the same message as 50 Shades!: “I’ve been part of these productions, and I’m happy that this one (50 Shades!) translates well, it carries the same message, but it makes it so easy to ingest, you know. That it’s okay to be sexual, that it’s okay to celebrate your femininity, and enjoying sex, it’s great.”
Lorenz Martinez from Heneral Luna and Save Me Hollywood’s lead singer Julz Savard are also starring in the musical.
Will you be seeing 50 Shades!‘s Manila production? Let us know in the comments! – Rappler.com
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