Changing Partners: The Musical opened its stage show rerun on Friday, May 11th, the night before its actual two-weekend showing at the PETA Theatre Center.
The theater was jam-packed with an audience composed of people who had seen both the stage musical and the film version before and those who hadn’t. I belonged to the latter.
As someone who hadn’t seen either of the two, I kind of went inside the theater blind. I didn’t have any idea how the story would go, except for the knowledge that it will be executed in an extraordinary way—thanks to its likewise unique concept.
And as I was expecting… it didn’t disappoint.
CAST AND CHARACTERS
The character of Alex is shared by Agot Isidro and Jojit Lorenzo, while the character of Chris is shared by Anna Luna and Sandino Martin.
In the story, Alex’s and Chris’ characters are in a long-term relationship. From the opening act, it has been established that one of the barriers between the characters is their 15-year age gap, which, like in real life, came with a lot of differences and conflict between the two. It has also been established that Alex is the one who’s more dominant in the relationship, while Chris mostly does what they’re told to do.
The story runs with the concept that Alex’s and Chris’ characters transform into being gay and lesbian, from their initial straight characters, hence the title Changing Partners. One of my favorite things about the Changing Partners: The Musical is that I was able to see the transition first-hand. The actors did it flawlessly.
Isidro, Lorenzo, Luna, and Martin, for sure, have done a lot of other challenging roles throughout their careers, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if their roles in Changing Partners are the most challenging ones—because it showed. The fact that they all did great in giving life into the characters of Alex and Chris, straight or gays, made me say that the producers couldn’t have picked a better cast.
As stated by the producers, the script of the stage musical is basically similar to the film version. But the fact that the stage musical carries a stronger presence from the cast and characters since the show is being done live, the impact of the dialogues was stronger as well.
Needless to say, the cast did a great job in delivering the lines soulfully. Even the simplest of lines were painful to hear, and even the lamest jokes were too funny to roll your eyes on. I believe that the secret behind it is that every sentence that was thrown came with intense emotions, and it’s obvious that the cast worked hard to understand every emotion fully, hence its strong impact.
I read articles before that the dialogues are killers. But even though I had a fair amount of warning, I still found myself feeling #shookt over every line. With the number of times that I heard everyone else laugh hard because of the sarcasm, gasp out of disbelief, and sniff due to the tear-jerking lines, I’m pretty certain that we all felt the same.
If there’s one thing I noticed about the soundtrack, it’s that every song is simple yet heavy. They were arranged in a way that one could easily understand the stories behind. The impact of the songs was strong as well and it’s for the same reason that the cast did a great job in incorporating emotions into them.
My personal favorites are “’Yung Pakiramdam” and “Maleta” simply for the fact that they were painful to hear. (Admit it: sometimes, the more painful the song, the more it’s your top pick.)
WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM THE STORY AND THE CHARACTERS
How the story goes, no doubt, is stressful. Most of the time, the characters are fighting over everything. The chances that they understood each other’s stands are small since they are always yelling and neither wants to compromise. Everyone was face-palming half the time, and at one point I even heard someone say “My head hurts!” out loud. I wanted to say, “Same.”
But as much as the whole thing was stressful, still, there are a lot of life and love lessons that you could get from the story and the characters. Here are some:
- Regardless of how much you love each other, you have to accept that your relationship has become toxic.
- The amount of time and the number of years you spend together don’t guarantee the success of your relationship.
- Trust issues are deadly. And so are lies.
- Sometimes, the person who brings you happiness could be the same reason for your pain.
- Being accountable for your decisions is important. You can’t face a problem and resort to blaming someone for it.
Aside from these, the most important message that Changing Partners: The Musical wants to send out to the audience is that love is universal and that it doesn’t choose any gender. When you fall in love, you fall in love—and you have to be brave to stand by it no matter the odds.
Catch Changing Partners: The Musical on May 12-13 and May 19-20 at the PETA Theatre Center. You can book your tickets through Ticketworld (http://bit.ly/CPticketworld). You may also call or text (0945 499 1008) or send a message to the PETA Theater Center Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PETATheaterCenter/) for inquiries and reservations.