TITA JOKES by the company (Tita Collective/Next Stage Festival). Factory Mainspace. Jan 10 at 5 pm, Jan 11 at 3:15 pm, Jan 12 at 6:15 pm, Jan 15 at 6:45 pm, Jan 17 at 7:15 pm, Jan 19 at 1:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Tita Jokes creates winning material by both breaking down and playing up cultural stereotypes about Filipinx women.
Ann Paula Bautista, Belinda Corpuz, Isabel Kanaan, Ellie Posadas, Alia Rasul and Maricris Rivera unite their comedic writing and performance talents to deliver this clever sketch comedy show.
Pop culture references and song parodies keep the material accessible to everyone, however they cheekily admit early on to including inside jokes. Although (at least on opening night) it was difficult to make out some dialogue on the cavernous Factory Mainstage, every sketch gets delivered with high energy and robust conviction.
They earn big laughs covering safe topics like food and family relationships, plus riskier material about going to church or sexual orientation. Director Tricia Hagoriles ensures the cast resolutely takes up space, both onstage and sometimes even heading into the audience.
Ayaka Kinugawa provides musical accompaniment and even earns an amusing starring role in one scene. The collective’s rapport is evident throughout the entire tightly written 75-minute set.