Wednesday, March 08, 2006

O Zsa!

I caught the last show of “ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, Ze Musical” last Sunday at the CCP. The transition from comic page to stage hasn’t exactly been as flawless as ZsaZsa’s baby-smooth skin.

For me the biggest flaw in the musical was the undue prominence of what really is a support character—Didi, Ada’s friend. In the comic book Didi was clearly the sidekick character; sure he had some of the funniest lines, but he was often drawn on one side of the frame. Onstage Didi (played hilariously by new Benadryl AH endorser Ricci Chan) steals the whole musical hook, line and singer. I understand that Didi’s own story arch has its points to make, but there’s something discomforting about watching a musical wherein the titular characters (let’s include ZsaZsa’s alter-ego, Ada) are purposely upstaged by a secondary one. I felt like I was watching “Ada, Didi at ZsaZsa, Ze Musical”.

The musical goes all out with the camp and the fun; it also remains too faithful to the book. By the end of part one, it was close to becoming tiring actually. Thank goodness for the witty re-imagining of the Amazonistas’ formation-transformation; it gave me something new to watch in part two. Instead of the hilarious send-up of Japanese robot anime, the creators played around with the Amazonistas’ pop star alter-egos. It’s a great example of a successful adaptation from one medium to another.

The box-office success of the musical bodes well for a second run, maybe at a bigger venue. Rein in Didi, trim the first part for faster pacing, tell Wilma Doesnt that breaking the fourth wall the whole time isn’t funny, and it’ll be a sleeker, snazzier ZsaZsa. Fly, Zaturnnah, fly!

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