November 16, 2014
Admittedly I was not really too excited to see this show at first. The strange image of Wally Watthead in the poster is not really too enticing on initial glance. I was also not sure how a comedy act from Finland would be able to make us laugh. However, when opportunity came up that allowed me to bring my whole family along to watch, I grabbed it wholeheartedly.
Wally Watthead (Janne Raudaskoski) is the lightbulb of a lamp. One day, his light starts to sputter then died out. Wally desperately asks his friend Simon the Sim Card (voiced by Jonathan Hutchins) for help to regain his light. While he was doing everything Simon says to get his light back, Wally was also trying to win the attention of the object of his affections, the pretty Polly the Picture (Tuija Nuojua), who mysteriously came to life!
In the beginning, the show started slow, and yes, rather corny. I can understand the giant lightbulb head piece Wally had to wear. However, I could not fathom why he needed to have those ugly huge hairy ears! I would call his act a "semi-mime" because while Wally was miming most of the time, he would also utter some stray word or make some strange sounds while he was fooling around on stage. This style needed some time to get used to.
However, as the performance went on and the acts of magic began though, we were all charmed and drawn in, with a constant smile on our faces. Interacting with the cellphone mascot Simon (reminiscent of a Nokia 3210, so loyally Finnish!) on his right and video picture Polly on his left, Wally would perform amazing feats of sleight of hand with cards, flowers, confetti, and bubbles, among other common magic props.
While there were times when it felt like an expanded magic act for a birthday party, there were those tricks which were truly mystifying. He had a part where it seemed he was levitating. I personally found that segment where he was trying to attach his "battery" most baffling. Those romantic interludes of Wally and Polly to the tune of "Love Story" were cute as they were fascinating to watch.
The best part of the show is actually observing how the kids all around us were absolutely enjoying themselves. When we watched, the PETA Theater was full of kids of all ages. Many of them were elementary students from public schools sponsored by a generous grant. Hearing all these kids gasping in amazement and laughing with glee is so heartwarming. My own kids are past 10 years old already and can easily be bored by regular plays, but here, they were in rapt attention. Wally's unique combination of magic and comedy worked on target audience!
This was indeed an unexpected treat for the kids and the whole family. Don't let that odd-looking ape-like creature with the bulbous cranium you see on the posters put you off. This is such a fun show for kids and kids at heart -- short (only 45-minute long) but sweet, engaging, spellbinding and happy.
"Wally Watthead and his Lost Glow" will run for one more weekend from November 21-23, with shows at 10 am and 3 pm at the PETA Theater in Quezon City. Tickets are Php 800 for VIP and Php 600 for regular seats. For tickets, contact Ticketworld at 891-9999 or ticketworld.com. For more details, call PETA Theater Center at 725-6244, local 21-23 or 0915-4933728.