It’s hilarious because it knows precisely the reputation it’s earned in today’s pop culture. The show thrives on slapstick comedy and caricatures. 50 Shades! features a naïve, sweet-voiced Anastasia Steele who somewhat resembles a Disney princess (except with handcuffs and spanking). You almost expect to see woodland creatures emerge from the backstage until you realize she’s singing about “the hole inside of her.” On the other hand, there’s Christian Grey himself who is a caricature of the brooding YA protagonist we’re all too familiar with. Think Edward Cullen but less pale. Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones except not a Jedi. In some ways, the show is a playful, unabashed reminder of how horrible our taste in protagonists and storylines can be sometimes. Like Anastasia says towards the end, good thing this is real life. If it were a book, it’d be horrible.
50 Shades! brought in a lot of its cast from the US, but the fun part is they’ve brought in a lot of the local talent as well. You can expect to see the familiar faces of Bituin Escalante, Lorenz Martinez, George Schulze, Karel Marquez, and Julz Savard onstage.
What to expect? Crass, sass and a whole lot of ass. It’s extremely difficult to put it otherwise. Besides, it’s 50 Shades! we’re talking about here. You might as well stop pretending to be uncomfortable and just enjoy the ride. (Pun intended? I think yes.) When asked what E.L. James thought of the whole shebang, director Albert Samuels’ reply was, “Well… she hated it!” Doesn’t that make you want to grab tickets, like, right now? (Only if you’re 18 or above, though. Sorry.)
Tickets are available at SM Tickets, Ticketworld, and Ticketnet outlets. The show opens on Feb. 12 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater of RCBC Plaza, Makati. For more info, visit www.50shadesmanila.com or call (02) 470-6956.