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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Philippine Inquirer's Mr. Nestor U. Torre: Sarah Geronimo-- not funny enough!

photo credit
SARAH Geronimo’s performance on her weekly musical variety show on TV has generally been improving and gaining in self-assurance. It’s also good to see that she no longer relies excessively on her signature birit style of high-decibel “power” singing, and has learned the virtues of musical versatility and contrast.
However, when Sarah attempts to be funny, it’s another story altogether—she just doesn’t have the knack, wit and timing for it. In this regard, we advise her to stop trying to do everything and just focus on what she does best (singing and dancing).
Two Sundays ago, for instance, she launched into a long, ostensibly satirical scene with some top comedians—and ended up with egg, or at least custard, on her pretty face.
The extended spoof was a takeoff on the current “monster” film hit, “The Mistress,” and Sarah was cast as the wife, Mitch Valdes as the mistress, Nanette Inventor as the wife’s intrigera friend, Tessie Tomas as a Miriam-type lawyer-judge, Gab Valenciano as the husband, and Luis Manzano as the lover.
In the first place, Sarah was thoroughly miscast as the wife, since she was the youngest player in the scene, so the spoof simply didn’t wash.
It also looked and felt terribly under-rehearsed, with some players flubbing their lines, falling out of character, giggling inanely etc.
In addition, the young Valenciano was also miscast as the husband. Aside from that, he was an inexperienced comedic performer, so his portrayal fell flat. Luis was similarly phlegmatic.
Mitch and the skit’s other cast members were far more experienced and did better, but the dialogue they were made to deliver was generally lacking in wit, so they had their work cut out to imbue them with comic zing and sting.
To make things worse, Nanette mugged too much in a forcing-through effort to punch up the scene’s level of hilarity.
Well, the veteran comics will survive to tickle viewers’ collective funny bone another day—but, Sarah was so awkward and ineffectual as a comedian that she should really give that challenging performance mode a wide berth—until she really learns how to do it well.
The “don’t mind me, I’m just fooling around” alibi simply won’t cut it, especially when you’re performing with experienced comedians whose more with-it work can leave your relatively gauche attempts far, far behind.
It’s fine to aspire to become a total performer, but “total” means good at a wide range of performing modes—and, when you clearly aren’t, the attempt can be counterproductive, to say the least.
Now that Sarah is a young-adult performer, it behooves her to set higher standards for herself, because her “learning” days and years are over, and she’s now expected to do well in everything she does. If, as in the case of comedy, she falls short of the mark, she should leave well enough alone and focus instead on her best performing suits, for which she’s more deservedly acclaimed.