Comedy Riot L.A. Second Offering -- Twice as Best!
It was a sold-out crowd on a Saturday night at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A. for “Comedy Riot 2: The Return of the Comeback” -- the second installment of what is looming as a comedy concert franchise. And never mind that Broadway between Eight and Ninth Streets had to be blocked off because the big-budgeted film “Transformers,” was currently filming at that time. Ticketholders of “Comedy” had to use the backdoor entrance in order to get into the theatre!).

The original cast of the “Comedy Riot” did not waste time in delivering the goods. The show started on time. VTRs from last year’s first “Comedy” flashed through the giant screen. Immediately, the comedians walked onstage. But as prep as they are, minor problems arose. The minute the show started, the wireless headsets failed to cooperate. But being pros as they are, Candy Pangilinan and John Lapuz handled the situation very well. The hungry crowd bursts into laughter, relieved of panic. In recognition of the ovation, the group nonchalantly broke into their opener “Pinoy Ako,” (I guess we would be hearing the Pinoy Big Brother theme song every time they sent performers from “Kapamilya” station here in L.A.,huh?).

And for the next two hours and a half, the Orpheum Theatre was filled with roaring laughters from the audience who embraced and marveled at their acts. Very hilarious was the Fil-American Idol skit, with its three contestants: Napilitan Corrales (Malou de Guzman), Super Feather Duster Boxing Champ – Manny Pakyut (Chokoleit), President Gloria Arroyo (impersonated by Candy Pangilinan, complete with two bodyguard props who danced to the tune of “I Will Survive”), and Kris Aquino (mimicked by John Lapuz – talk about good timing and delivering punch-lines – he does so well!), which is also seen in his impersonation of “Lavinia” in a spoof from ABS-CBN’s highly-rated soap “Bituing Walang Ningning.”

John changed his character as “Dorina” and found his match when the last contestant “really” splashed wine on his face when she uttered that famous line -- “You’re nothing but a second-rate trying-hard copycat”!

Anton Diva (who also played as “Dorina”) showed-off her sexy svelte figure. But what’s hot and amazing in “him” (I hate referring as “such” because in the real transgender world-- it’s an insult) is her aura of “class” and sharp stage presence which makes her performance more magnetic - thus a talent to reckon with! Anton should not be one to compare in the shadow of Regine Velasquez (not to discredit Regine’s belting prowess), but Anton’s undertone version of Regine brings a well perfect-pitched and soothing voice all her own.

Another comedian who, without even trying, tops my list as a performer– is Chokoleit. His prototypical monologues and impromptu gestures are always hilarious. Without inhibition he stripped off his clothes in front of the crowd and dish out a “sleazy” silhouetted love scene with hunk Carlos Agassi (who took-off his shirt to screaming fans for his solo act, singing “It’s Getting Hot In Here”), which boasted a commotion. Chokoleit’s uncommon provocative ways pushed the envelop as seen when he tries to definefemale anatomy with a play-off women's names (“suso’ng hanggang tiyan”), Jo-bel (“jojo’ng hanggang bilbil”), Su-set (“suso’ng maliit”), and others.

Deejay Durano, in his second “Comedy Riot” L.A. appearance played his solo spot with two songs, then segued to plug two upcoming soaps where he is also included: a Claudine Barretto-Piolo Pascual soap “Walang Kapalit” and another soap “Pedro Penduko” (starring former PBB teen-housemate Matt Evans). His singing career also gears up with a new album to come out.

Although Malou de Guzman and Eugene Domingo did not have such long stand-up acts such as Candy Pangilinan’s long monologue (which lasted for about 30 minutes), they provided much support for most of the acts. And the true magic was the ensemble cast, powered by each individual’s performances but working as a team, which the crowd marveled at -- a celebration of Filipino talents.

Summing it all up, Candy’s concepts (she was the the concert's head-writer) turned out to be very well-done, very original, and very entertaining, and benefited the director of the concert, one of Manila’s best, Wenn Deramas (who helmed such tv soaps “Marina,” “Kampanerang Kuba,” “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” “Bituin,” and movie hits “Ang Tanging Ina” and the recent “The Lucky Ones”).

For those who have seen the first and second presentation of “Comedy Riot” I’m sure they would surely look forward to its third, and fourth, and so on. ARVI Productions should not worry about the box-office proceeds in their attempt to bring another tour. For as long as they are good as this last one – I’m sure the L.A. crowd would always keep on coming back to watch. Browse more pics from the show at the Photo Gallery.

Photo below: Candy Pangilinan played out as Pres. Gloria Arroyo

Photo below: The hilarious "Fil-American Idol" skit, with John Lapuz as Kris Aquino, Chokoleit as Manny Pakyut, Malou de Guzman as Napilitan Corrales, with Ryan Seacrest (Deejay Durano) and Paula Abdul (Eugene Domingo).

Photo below: Are those Carlos Agassi and Chokoleit -- in a romping scene?

Photo below: Dorina (Anton Diva) and Lavinia (John Lapuz) in a spoof from "Bituing Walang Ningning"