Colma: The Musical

May 1, 2008

Directed by Richard Wong

The quirky musical focuses on three friends who recently graduated from high school in Colma, a suburb just south of San Francisco. It makes quite a few jabs at the fact that the city, known for its human and pet cemeteries, has a larger population of dead than living. But you don't have to know Colma to appreciate its reference-it's really about our own inferiority complexes. H.R Mendoza, who plays Rodel, wrote the original score. The two other leads are L.A. Renigen, who plays Maribel, and Jake Moreno, who plays Billy. Though funny on the surface, there are serious undertones about love and loss, and depression and acceptance. The scene where Rodel is "outed" by his ex-lover-and subsequently beaten up by his father-is particularly powerful. The DVD includes commentary by the director and writer, and deleted scenes. Though an indie film that drew praise on the festival circuit, it has larger mainstream appeal. It is also one of very few Asian American musicals, and the first to be produced, directed and written by Asian Americans. 

Magazine Section: 

Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.