Laughter wins in ‘Extra Judicial Kidding’

Satire and humor may not necessarily change politics but Extra Judicial Kidding can definitely change the way you look at people who run this filthy world and bring those who wear different political colors together in one room even for just two hours.

That is what the show is all about according to Jon Santos, Rex Navarrete, and Kakai Bautista who are headlining the production written by Rody Vera and directed by Joaquin Pedro Valdes.

The three artists promise to poke fun at all of the issues that almost made us forget how much more fun it was in our beloved Philippines by turning political and popular personalities and the country’s pressing issues into punch lines.

“Because of the recent events in the country, a lot of relationships were severed. Also because of political alliances and differences in opinion, many of us were unfriended, unfollowed, and unliked. As artists, it’s going to be a big reward for us to see us all together and embrace each other’s differences and be united in the spirit of laughter,” Jon Santos told Manila Standard during the show’s media launch at Resorts World last week.

Santos, who arrived at the venue dressed as Miss France and reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere furthered that the show aims to find a common ground where the audience can just laugh and forget about the things that cause their stress.

Laughter is the best medicine. Standup comedian Rex Navarrete, actress Kakai Bautista, and impersonator Jon Santos headline “Extra Judicial Kidding,” a Valentine concert at the Resorts World Manila

Agreeing with what the seasoned actor and impersonator said, young director Joaquin Valdes turned to us and exclaimed, “People are asking are we going to talk about extrajudicial killing…are we going to take a political stand. There’s only one stand that this show is going to make — whatever side you’re on or whatever view you may have, we are coming all together in laughter and in love and in moving forward. That’s the main goal of the show.”

Valdes, who is going to direct a production of this scale for the first time, also told us what to expect from the two-hour spectacle happening on Feb. 15 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. He cited that there will be brand new material from the internationally acclaimed stand-up comic Navarrete, brand new characters and stories from Santos, and show-stopping musical numbers from Bautista.

“It’s harder to make people laugh than it is to make them cry. It takes a lot of intelligence and experience that individually, Rex, Jon and Kakai have cooked and marinated through time. Whatever joke or punchline you hear they deliver was because it has been cooking for over the years—of all of the characters Jon has developed, of all the experiences that Rex has noticed or of all the training that Kakai has gone through,” Valdes shared.

According to the theater actor and director, he felt extremely excited and challenged when the project was offered to him the first time. First, he had to conceptualize a cohesive idea that would kind of thread the different styles and artistic lenses that the three different artists have. He wanted to create a seamless concert. Then, there’s this challenge of doing a comic commentary on the latest issues and trending topics.

“I’m bringing all my experience as an artist into making it into a cohesive show. I am not working alone on this, I am working with three geniuses and an amazing writer. The biggest challenge is, are we ready to laugh about it? We are taking a risk. We will see if it’s going to fly. It’s a big risk but I think it’s a risk worth taking,” Valdes concluded.

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