Actress Karel Marquez returns to the stage for 50 Shades! The Musical presented by Vivre Fort Entertainment and 9 Works Theatrical.
Many theatergoers have already enjoyed the raunchiness and sexiness of this musical parody based on the book Fifty Shades of Grey written by E. L. James.
In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), theater and TV actress Karel Marquez promised that viewers will laugh out loud and enjoy the whole show even if they’re not a fan of the book.
She said, “Whether you read the book or not, watched the movie or not, or hate the whole 50 Shades story or love it, if you’re a fan, you’ll still end up laughing and having a good time if you watch the musical.”
Karel also revealed she hasn’t finished reading the book series that depicts the love story of a young girl who becomes involved with a multibillionaire who is into the BDSM (Bondage-Domination-SadoMachosism) lifestyle.
After Fifty Shades of Grey, E. L. James wrote two sequels titled Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
She admitted, “I’ve read the book but I didn’t finish it, honestly. I don’t know, probably because I found some parts boring.”
Karel is among the roster of Filipino theater talents included in the Manila run of the hit comedy musical parody. The other Pinoy thespians are Bituin Escalante, Lorenz Martinez, George Schulze, and Julz Savard.
Karel, a theater and TV actress, alternates with Brenna Wahl in bringing life to the innocent Anastacia Steele, the lead character in E.L. James's best-selling novel, 50 Shades of Grey.
This project marks Karel’s return to theater after 11 years of hiatus because of her TV projects. Her last musical project was the local production of Beauty and the Beast in 2005 where she alternated with KC Concepcion as Belle.
She explained, “I’ve been busy with a lot of things. I can’t juggle rehearsals, and if you have taping.
“And the times I was offered, maybe years ago for other plays, I had tapings as well.
“So right now, I guess it’s just the perfect timing. It just so happened na matagal before… I guess, it’s 11 years since my last play.”
The 29-year-old actress noted that she was hesitant at first to audition for the role, especially knowing the BDSM-theme of the novel. After reading the script, Karel changed her mind and decided to push through with auditions. She eventually bagged the lead role.
Karel recalled, “Actually, when they told me if I could audition, I was like, ‘Wait lang, 50 Shades? Hindi ko kaya yun!’
“Then they told me, ‘Comedy yun, parody and it’s different! Why don’t you check it out, read the script or we’ll send you the songs, why don’t you give it a listen and if you’re game then you can audition…’
“So I was scared like, ‘Ano ba ‘yan? May nudity ba ‘yan or whatever?’
“I was just scared, I thought it was something serious and then they explained and I read the script, sobrang I was just laughing.
“The songs were like so hilarious. I mean, the music is so nice and you know how it’s sung…
“Parang Disney-feel, e, parang Broadway-feel but at the same time the lyrics are so bastos which makes it so funny and entertaining so I auditioned for it.”
Karel is already familiar with theater production so she didn’t have any problems making adjustments to her return onstage. Still, the actress learned new things while working on the project, especially since she worked with foreign cast members.
She pointed out, “Actually nasanay naman talaga ako with theater so, no problem. But it’s the first time I’ve worked with an international cast.
“I’ve learned a lot of things. Of course, going back to theater, discipline is really different. There are no cuts, there’s no room for error and if you do, you just have to go on.
“So, that’s the difference and I’ve learned a lot of things and I’m really glad to be back and working here, a different set up for a change, again.”
What is her favorite part in the musical?
Karel answered, “I guess, my solo ‘A Hole Inside Of Me’ because you know, it’s the first thing that the crowd will see na, ‘Oh my gosh, ano ‘to?’ So I guess, my solo.”
One of the most anticipated scenes of the musical is Anastacia’s raunchy and racy bed scene with Christian Grey, the male lead character. Karel said she’s already used to doing the bed scenes wherein she puts her legs up in the air while her partner is positioned over her private parts.
She explained, “It’s not real anyway and maybe when you’re watching, it looks, ‘Oh my gosh!’ Like everyone’s in shock like, ‘What’s happening?’
“I opened my leg, it was here in my tummy so… At first I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, can I do this? What if my mom sees this?’
“But it’s comedy, it’s like Saturday Night Live, you know, when you have spoofs.”
Her mom, Pinky Marquez, has seen her perform for the show at least three times already but Karel said she didn’t mind watching the bed scene.
“Wala, I mean parang ano dinedma lang niya yung scene na yun. Basically she just told me that ang galing, the whole thing is just funny."
Still, Karel says she won’t be doing serious sexy roles for film and TV. She said, “I don’t know if it’s gonna be bagay for TV, for me. I don’t know but it depends.
“Maybe not, I mean, I’m good with plays, comedy but nothing serious probably. The most I can do for sexy is like comedy-sexy but not like the serious sexy."
What are her plans after the musical?
“I would love to audition for American Idiot but it depends ‘cause I think I might have a soap.
“So, it’s really like balancing na lang which I do first.”