This is the third time that I would be posting a Live AIDS review. Doing the reviews for the Silver edition and the Circusmaryosep edition were pretty easy. They were so much fun to do. It hurts me that I cannot say the same for this year’s version: Live AIDS 27: Jokebox Musical.
Now before you jump into any conclusion, the performance was good. It was funny. It wasn’t boring. It just wasn’t what it used to be.
For this year’s performance UP Samaskom took a different route. Instead of the usual segmented performances, what they presented was a straight out musical that is loosely based on the Wizard of Oz. Complete with a Wicked Witch of the Wild Wild West (flanked of course by your usual winged sidekicks…in the personae of Ecstasi, and you guessed it, Ecstano).
The usual things were still there, sexy dance numbers, original songs, funny antics, and even funnier characters. But somehow I miss the parodies. The political commentaries. The randomness of the funny moments brought about by ad libs. Sure, there were pretty funny lines, but after some time I found myself laughing not because what I was seeing was uber funny, but because the rest of the hall was laughing out loud.
If you will ask me to name one memorable act, all I can think of is Shalami. She stole the show for me. She was amazing. She livened up that otherwise boring “coming out” scene. I loved her “energy”, her “emotions”, and best of all her idea of getting married in a white top and jeans…with a veil. She was that tiny reminder of the kind of characters Live AIDS showed.
Now the actresses who made the Witch and Dora T. come to life were equally amazing and laudable. I have to commend them with their ad libs and quick wits. Dora’s energy was unfaltering throughout the performance and the Witch is my new life peg. Come on, with followers who are dressed in fierce feathered costumes (Twitter followers), who wouldn’t love her?
Overall, the 27th installment of Live AIDS is still noteworthy. It may have missed a few bricks on its newly paved yellow brick road, but as long as they still wear their Ruby Red shoes–their signature Samaskom brand of comedy–whatever format they choose will still be worth the tired jaws you will get from laughing.
I just hope that by the time of their June performance, they would have ironed out the less funny bits of the whole thing. But as always, go go Samaskom!