Friday, February 24, 2006

I don't read novels much, much less those like Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. But I love Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li, so I went to see the movie adaptation. I emerged from the Podium theater two and a half hours later feeling half-robbed.

I've never seen a Rob Marshall film, not even his Oscar-winning Chicago, but I think many will agree that he's not the best choice to helm Memoirs. The best director should have been one who could dissect the Asian psyche and make it accessible. Then again, Memoirs could've benefited from a less flowery script, and even less two-dimensional motivations. In my book, there's hardly any weight in this film, and too much production design.

On the lighter side, Gong Li is gooorrgeeoouusss. She made the ticket price worth my while. Too bad her first foray into Hollywood didn't turn out to be the masterpiece it's meant to be. She deserves the "I will make you believe that I understand what I'm saying" award. It's all in her eyes.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

The sad, brutal news is that Tanghalang Pilipino can't add more shows given the schedules of the cast and crew. From what I hear from them, TP is under a lot of pressure with the deluge of calls over tickets, even until now that there's hardly any to be bought. It's sad that a number of people who've been more than eager to watch had to suffer through experiences of neglect, miscommunication, and even rudeness.

Why didn't TP book a bigger venue? Thing is, no one knew this was going to happen. It's very rare for an original Filipino musical to get this much attention, unless it's some big-budgeted spectacular like Rama at Sita, complete with the lifelike elephant, or a high-profile star-studded affair like Larawan. Someone in TP said that they expected to get a little more calls than usual because of those who had read the book, but not this much. In short, the Zaturnnah musical has taken TP by surprise.

In my own private thoughts late last year, I had made a safe assumption that 75% of seats would be filled per show. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, okey na sa akin kung 75%, laking pasasalamat ko na kapag gano'n.

Siyempre mali.

I joked to David Hontiveros once, "Ano ito, Les Misérables???" When that Boublil-Schönberg hit musical was staged here eons ago by Repertory Philippines, David was one of those hapless folks who stood outside the Meralco Theater hoping beyond hope that someone who had reserved a ticket wouldn't arrive. He never made it in.

That's almost what happened to Gabby last Saturday night. She and her two friends were promised tickets by their professor, who called with bad news at the last minute. So along with a dozen or so people, they stood outside the theater as the show was about to begin. I was powerless to do anything. Broke my heart. (Gabby texted the next day saying that they were still able to watch the show.)

Because of this unexpected set of events, it's very likely that TP will restage the musical in the future, though I'm not sure if they could squeeze it in this year. I can only hope.


Anonymous said...

i really hope so!
sa Nicanor Abelardo theatre na sa susunod! bwahahaha :))

Anonymous said...

hi there. i have four tickets on reserved with tp they're asking just now kung kukunin ko pa. thing is a friend of mine already got our tickets from ticketworld. maybe, you know anyone who i can pass them on to. sayang din yung reservation.


Carver said...

Henson...ahahaay, ambitious! Hahahahah! :))

theApostle... You're the best person to decide who the lucky recipients will be. :))

zee said...

i just started my internship at TP. hell yeah, the phone doesn't stop ringing! kulang na lang, gawin nang recorded voice ang sasagot every call eh.

"sorry po, sold out na po talaga. opo, hanggang march 5 na po yun. wala na po talagang chance eh. sige po. pasensya na."

yan na yan. hahaha.

i had the chance to watch their rehearsal last night. they had minor changes with the choreography on the last scene. yung Ada-Dodong dance number. you should see it! KILIIIIIG! naloloka ako kay Tuxqs at Arnold. nakakakilig! hahaha. saka watch out for the "basag pinggan" sounds on Dina B's number. katawa!

Anonymous said...


do you still have those 4 tickets? can i buy them all? i really need it badly for a surprise birthday gift for a friend who's so into zsa zsa zaturnnah.. please please please.. you can reach me at

please... dying to buy tickets!

Anonymous said...

Why not ask another theatre company to stage it then? I'm sure the cast would still be able to make it or at least hold auditions or something. It might not be the same, but hey, even the biggest musicals get different actors and even restaged by another company. just a thought.

zee said...

ok siguro yung idea to restage it with a different theatre company, pero iba pa rin pag yung original cast eh.

i can't imagine Didi played by another actor. Ricci talaga eh.


Mark said...

After seeing it last Sunday I went to work, and was not able to transfer all the photos taken that day. All thirteen of my team from work including my supervisor and the only Q/A analyst would love to see this.

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah was BIGGER than I thought. I only lend the book three weeks before I saw Zse Muzikal.

Too bad there's no more tickets to available. I guess I was one of the fortunate to see it.

Tanghalang Pilipino should think twice to grab this opportunity.

Its like road kill if they don't follow throught for the readers of this comics.

Maybe in the future a movie will materialize.

I hope its better. ^_^

tobie said...

Again, congratulations Carl! It simply shows how you really created something many can relate with, enjoy or embrace!

May your next project be as well received!!!!


Carver said...

anonymous, Mark and zee...

Well, I don't know what TP has planned for the musical. Would be nice for it to be restaged, though at present I'm just thankful that it all happened in the first place. I agree that other actors should get the opportunity to play the characters, that way the material won't be directly identified with specific actors. (Though I wish Piolo would play Dodong, kahit isang show lang. Heheheh)

Tobie...Hehehehe...Sana, 'di ba? Pero sana din other comics creators would get a chance at this, too.


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