BOY ABUNDA: SWEET VINDICATION
Manila, November 4, 2002 (STAR) by Boy Abunda - Sassy and saucy stand-up comic John Lapus invades the live concert scene with a one-of-a-kind "event" that promises to be just as vibrant as his ever-changing hairdo and as flamboyant as his outrageous costumes.
Indeed, John is hitting the big time with his maiden show, Dis Is It! Dí Universal Sweet Event, set at Folk Arts Theater, on Nov. 16, 8 p.m.
John, in fact, is now a household name. When he goes malling, he is often called Sweet by fans who regularly catch his appearances on The Buzz and Arriba! Arriba! (as well as his numerous movies and live stand-up routines all over the country).
How Sweet it is.
You could say his current success is a well-earned product of hard work and perseverance for the past 10 years.
And to celebrate his dazzling decade in showtown, John and JLF Organization Inc. saw it fit to stage a splashy, star-studded spectacle.
As a matter of fact, John has gathered the most in-demand (and most popular) stars in the showbiz firmament to guest in his grand debut at the FAT. To name a few of the stars in Johnís guest list: Judy Ann Santos, Rufa Mae Quinto, The CompanY, Dessa, Bing Loyzaga, Jess Zaragoza, Christian Vasquez, and the one and only Comedy Concert Queen herself Ai-Ai de las Alas.
"If you are not interested in watching me," John jests, "at least youíll get to see all these big stars onstage, live and in person!"
John is being too modest. Quite frankly, he is very much prepared (and deserving) to headline a show of this magnitude.
He, in fact, is being groomed to challenge Ai-Ai for the title of Gay Icon.
Not really, John corrects the misimpression.
John asserts that he will not play Dorina to Ai-Aiís Lavinia. That he is not the Maui Taylor to Ai-Aiís Rica Peralejo.
Still, showbiz pundits are gearing up for a showdown between the two Comedy Divas on Nov. 16.
"Iím not really here to challenge Ai-Ai," John demurs. "I really admire and respect her. She inspires me. She paved the way for all of us. And to be honest, Iím more than happy with my own title, Universal Sweet."
John, in fact, has prepared special numbers with Ai-Ai and all his guests. "As a special tribute and thank you to all of them," John quips. "Usually guests are included in a concert just to allow the main star to change costumes. But in my show, all the guests will have special numbers with me. Weíve prepared exciting concepts for all the guests."
Indeed, just to witness Johnís raucous repartee with Ai-Ai and the other guests makes DíSweet Event this seasonís must-see concert event.
A lot is at stake in Johnís FAT outing.
John is not only invading the concert scene, he is also on a quest to prove to others (himself included) that he can do it, that he can fill up a major concert venue like Folk Arts Ė just like Ai-Ai before him.
"If a babaeng bakla can do it, try naman ng baklang bakla!" John says without batting an eyelash.
That is precisely Johnís goal in mounting this Sweet Event.
"I want to be the first truly gay Filipino celebrity," John gushes. "As in baklang bakla, nagwi-wig at nagmu-mujer!"
Itís a personal crusade for dear John.
"With popularity comes respect," John surmises. "If I become a celebrity, people will start respecting me. Hopefully this will encourage other gays to be proud of their sexuality."
John wants respect not just for himself, but for other gays out there.
"I want other gays to realize that it is possible to be gay and strong. Gay and successful. Gay and happy. Gay and free!"
And that is the John Lapus concertgoers will definitely see on Dí Universal Sweet Event.
"I will entertain them the best way I know," John promises. "The usual John. Hyper. Brutaly frank."
Another hallmark of a John Lapus performance is that itís frilly and fabulous, in more ways than one.
"All my shows, even those in small venues, have always been very visual," John declares. "Always wearing colorful wigs and costumes. Ma-gimik. Very theatrical."
After all, Johnís edge among his contemporaries is that he is a certified stage director, having masterminded the award-winning Gen X play Sabado sa Samís for his alma mater USTís Teatro Tomasino.
John now applies the same dedication to the craft he acquired in the theater world to his stand-up act. He has really gone a long way, baby.
Thatís why John can only raise a well-plucked brow to those who ignored his talent when he was still starting out as a researcher on Showbiz Lingo.
Now, thatís Sweet vindication.
Produced by JLF Organization, Inc., Dis Is It! Dí Universal Sweet Event is scheduled on Nov. 16, 8 p.m., at the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas (formerly the Folk Arts Theater). The show is directed by Floy Quintos and written by Ricky Lopez.
For inquiries, call Ticketworld at 891-5618 or JLF Organization at 638-4243, 638-4244, 687-2081.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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