We had the chance to do a mini interview with Director Tim Dang before the opening night performance and he described this very unique production as a “stew” and it happens to be the perfect word for Krunk Fu Battle Battle.
Ultimately this is about hip-hop and the dancing is certainly the star of the show, however, this “stew” incorporates a pinch of West Side Story, a dash of Grease, a heaping of Breakdance and mixed in a whole lotta Step It Up. If that were not enough, the story incorporated great comedy not just in dialogue, but even more so via body movement and dance (who knew dance could be funny!). This production could have so easily gotten bogged down into being “gangsta,” but instead pumped in enough comedy to keep it totally entertaining while keeping it “real.” Troy Terashita’s comedic fancy footwork is amazingly funny and watching Lawrence Kao, Evan Moua and Matt Tayao b-boy to Madonna’s “Vogue” is a gut buster!
The whole concept of this production was destined to be a complete mess or a delicious stew. Thankfully the chefs got it right and the cast received applause, audience screams of excitement and participation, and a much deserved standing ovation at the end. Knowing many of the cast members are dancers and were green when it came to acting meant Krunk Fu Battle Battle had the potential to fall flat when the dancing stopped and the acting began, but this was a solid cast performance. Blas Lorenzo was the perfect master of ceremonies of this production and watching Liza Domingo and Lawrence Kao move effortlessly between acting, dancing and singing was, for the reviewer, truly great. Leng Phe played the perfect bad boy, and more than once Matt Tayao stole the show both with his dancing and comedic timing. And if that were not enough to make someone run to see the show, then how about coming to listen to Joan Almedilla sing…damn! They probably could have ended the show before the final group number and not wrapped it up so neatly, but by then you have had so much fun you don’t mind that the cast seems to be celebrating a bit because they know they gave the audience an amazing performance.