Zsazsa Zaturnnah the Musical Is Returning to the Stage in 2021

Tanghalang Pilipino just revealed their upcoming season lineup.

(SPOT.ph) We're only a few days in into the new decade, but a local theater company has already locked in their lineup of exciting plays and musicals until 2023. Nanding Josef, creative director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Tanghalang Pilipino, announced on January 6 their roster of shows from the 34th season (2020 to 2021) all the way to the 36th season (2022 to 2013)—and one of these is Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal, a stage adaptation of Carlo Vergara's famous graphic novel Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah.

A copy of the original graphic novel, together with many other issues and versions of Zaturnnah's world, part of Vergara's own collection.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson 
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Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal ran on and off from 2006 to 2011 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), becoming one of Tanghalang Pilipino's long-running shows. So it doesn't come as a surprise that it's one of the theater company's offerings for its 35th theater season—a milestone year—from 2021 to 2022. Not much has been revealed about the run, except that the Vergara masterpiece is listed third in Josef's lineup—right after National Artists Bien Lumbera and Ryan Cayabyab's adaptation of Noli Me Tangere and Herbie Go's R'meo and Dhewliet, and before Francisco Soc Rodrigo's Filipino translation of Cyrano De Bergerac. If the upcoming schedule is anything like the previous seasons, the third show almost always runs from November to December.

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Zsazsa Zaturnnah is a Filipino superheroine who stands out for her red hair and muscular physique. Her alter ego Ada is an effeminate homosexual male who didn't exactly have a great childhood, thanks to his late father who abused him for being gay. After moving into a new town to start a "normal" life, Ada finds a rock that lets him transform into a crime-fighting Zsazsa Zaturnnah. The stage musical is written by Chris Martinez in collaboration with Vergara.

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Aside from several stagings at the CCP, Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal was also shown at the Philippine Educational Theater Association in Quezon City in April 2006 and at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in Makati City in June 2007. It was included in our selection of "10 Local LGBTQ+ Plays We'd Love to See Again," and we'd like to think that the theater gods heard us.

For updates, follow Tanghalang Pilipino on Facebook.

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