#ChangingPartnersTheStageMusical : #TheKneeJerkCritic Theater Review

Ever since napanood ko yung Changing Partners The Movie, i have been hoping they would restage  the show dahil hungshonga-shonga ko at namiss ko yun first run nila.

Lo and behold, the universe heard my call at eto na siya! Changing Partners The Stage Musical is back! And. It. Was Worth. The. Wait!

I must say, after seeing the stage musical, walang ganap na changing ng opinion. Magkaibang experience pero parehong maganda. Bilib ako kay Vincent de Jesus.

Mas tumaas pa lalo ang appreciation ko sa cinematic choices na ginawa ni direk Dan Villegas sa movie. Typically kasi, when a stage play or musical is made into a movie, parang  nag-run-thru lang sila nung show tapos kinunan ng camera in multiple angles.  Di kaya, tinatransplant lang yung play to a more realistic setting tapos ginawang mas glossy. Yun na.

With Changing Partner, direk Dan made the movie a totally separate creature, while still being true to the storytelling style ng original source material. Elibs ako kay kuya talaga.

Super happy ako that for the rerun, Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Anna Luna and Sandino Martin returned to reprise the roles they originated. Iba rin syempre ang dating pag yung original cast ang napanood mo no?

For those na wititit nakawatch ng Changing Partners in either incarnations, ganito yung device at kwento. So may magjowa, si Alex at si Cris.

Androgynous ang names right? There is a reason for it.

Agot and Jojit both play Alex, the older partner of the couple. Jowa nila sina Sandino at Anna who alternates as Cris naman, the more bagets of the couple. So iisang kwento, iisang couple, pero may apat na variations ng pairing. There’s cougar Agot at si fuccboi Sandino; there’s DOM Jojit at si pokpokchinang Anna; there’s lola tungs Agot at lipstick lesbian Anna, at si beshie Jojit at si harvat boylet Sandino.

Love nina Alex at Cris ang isa’t-isa maski may 15 years age gap sila. They are in live-in bliss.

Sort of.

Kaso may ahas sa paradise of love nila rearing it’s ugly. Meron silang pinag-aawayang character named Angel pero ang truliling main ahas sa buhay nila ay pwede nating itago sa namesung na Insekyora.

Yes, si Insekyora ang sumisira sa samahan nina Alex at Cris. Insekyora kasi si Cris dahil wala siyang natapos at wala pa siyang naaachieve at his/her age so kailangan niyang dumepende kay Alex na super-accomplished na.

Si Alex naman insekyora rin sa youth at attrativeness ng bowakel niya. Kasi wititit na siya spring chicken habang the  jowa is much much more bagets. Na Hot.

At maharot.

Tapos may umaaligid na Angel sa paligid. Nyetang yan.

Dito ko lang sa stage version napagtanto na tumakbo pala ng six years ang kwento nina Alex at Cris. It was a slow death of  a realationship. All the while, sa movie, i thought na nangyari yung mga ganap all within a year, max.

Performance-wise, sina Agot at Jojit pa rin ang anchor ng show. Mas may harot ang cougar-Alex ni Agot onstage kesa sa movie. I find na mas stronger ang differentiation ng straight ang gay variation nina Agot at Jojit sa movie kesa sa stage though. Sa movie, Agot was sopistikada as femme-Alex while turning really butch as tungs-Alex. Jojit was really flaming as beki-Alex sa movie while sa stage, aside sa beki-infused dialogue, hindi naman masyadong magkalayo sina beki-Alex at macho-Alex.

As Cris naman, i felt both Sandino and Anna were more truly co-star on stage kesa sa movie where parang support lang sila sa tour-de force perfomances nina Agot at Jojit. Sandino’s singing also seems stronger sa live. Mas may feels. Though hindi siya Broadway-level pwerful, bet na bet ko ang timbre ng singing voice ni Sandino.

The biggest surprise sa akin was Anna Luna. She really went toe-to-toe with both Agot and Jojit on stage. At sa kantahan, boom!, she has the strongest live singing voice of all four! Pang-teatro talaga! Napa-You go gurl! ako sa kanya.

Dahil sa movie there were scenes na ni-replay-out  a couple time with gender variations, i was readying myself na manonood ako ng same scene acted out several time with with different actors lang. Thankfully that, didn’t happen. Linear pa rin ang story-telling  but with the characters seamlessly shifting actors lang sa gitna ng eksena.

Tapos it upped the ante pa in that climactic four-way confrontasi!!!Wowz!!!

Apat silang artista onstage, playing just two characters na nagbabangayan, weaving around the stage.

Hunggaling ng blocking at hungtight ng bagsakan ng linya!

Nakakaloka yung intense emotional lines ng isang character na sisimulan ng isang actor pero tatapusin nung alternate niya! Shutanginerns! Hindi mo nararamdaman na naghihintayan sila ng cue kung kailan papasok. Walang bumibitiw sa emotions. Worried ako baka natadyakan ko yung mga katabi ko kasi tumatumbling ako habang pinanonood yung eksena.

Hunggaling rin ng judicious use ng uncomfortable silence ni stage director Rem Zamora. Effect na effect siya sa akin. Masakit siya sa dibdib in a good way.

Good way talaga? Paano nangyari yun? Basta, ganun.

I feel though that the rerun could have used more updating sa pop culture references sa dialogue. Like may linya sa present time nina ALex and Cris that Uber was mentioned. Eh wala na ngang Uber ngayon di ba? Call me nitpick pero it kinda took me out of the scene. That line could have easily been replaced by using Grab and it would have made the scene up to the minute on point.

Also, though pwedeng swak ang paggamit ng 2008 movies na Black Cobra at Julie and Julie sa takbo ng  timeline ng kwento ng Changing Partners in it’s original run, the line seemed majorly outdated hearing it in 2018.  Tuloy, it didn’t get the amount of laughter that it was inteded to elicit from today’s audience.

But i still luuurv both the movie and the stage versions. Ang pinagkaiba lang siguro, sa movie, while i wanted to know further kung ano ang nangyayari sa mga characters after the closing scene, satisfied ako sa closure.

Sa stage version, i felt na though nagalingan ako, parang first act pa lang ang napanood ko. Parang meron pa dapat.

Sa Into the Woods ni Stephen Sondheim kasi, the first act was all about how the characters struggle to get their happily ever after, tapos may second act featuring what happens after they all get what they thought wanted.

Sa Hamilton ni Lin Manuel Miranda, the first act was about Hamilton wanting to make a mark in American history ang achieving it. Yun second act naman was his trying to preserve his legacy after making his mark.

Dito sa Changing Partners, Alex and Cris was moving towards separation allthroughout the show and finally gets it sa dulo. Parang kailangan pa ng second act  para magclose yung story arc for me.

Arte ko no?

Pero paano ba tatakbo yung continuation ng istorya kung itutuloy pa?

Aba malay ko, pakialamerong manonood lang ako na mahilig humanash.

Itanong niyo kay Vincent de Jesus.  Better yet, tara, idemand natin from Vincent. I’m sure he can come up with a brilliant second act for Alex and Cris, and Alex and Cris, and Alex and Cris saka kay Alex and Cris.

And also kay putang Angel.

Interesado ako diyan. Papanoorin ko yan.

Ano, Vincent, game? Go na!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s