Fringe review: Tita Jokes

Tita Collective gives the Spice Girls a Filipinx spin in this hilarious musical sketch comedy


TITA JOKES by Tita Collective. At Tarragon Theatre Mainspace (30 Bridgman). July 6 at 4:45 pm, July 7 at 1:15 pm, July 9 at 9:45 pm, July 10 at 8 pm, July 12 at 4 pm, July 14 at 6 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN


You don’t need to be Filipinx to get all the jokes in this hilarious musical sketch comedy, but the way members of Tita Collective embody their titas – an endearment for “aunt” in Tagalog – through song, dance, humor and storytelling, you might wish you were.

To differentiate the various tita personalities, Tita Jokes likens them to the Spice Girls (Ginger Tita is one who feeds you, while Posh Tita is concerned with making money), but their sketches delve deeper into their individual narratives.

Belinda Corpuz as Scary Tita stands out vocally in a number that has her belting into a broom handle, while Isabel Kanaan as Sporty Tita, holds the show’s emotional core as a lesbian preaching, “Be proud of who you are.”

A particularly fun sketch about gossiping at church benefits from director Tricia Hagoriles’s efficient staging, and all the musical choices by Ayaka Kinugawa are cleverly timed. Unfortunately, on opening night, delayed lighting cues and some sound issues distracted from an otherwise smooth show. But that never seemed to bother the audience – many of whom were Filipinx – who gave Tita Collective an enthusiastic standing ovation.

@michdas

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