Colma: The Musical


Rodel, Billy, and Maribel have just graduated from high school, and, like many kids, they’re overwhelmed by ennui at the prospect of spending another boring summer in their small town. The twist is that they live in Colma, a San Francisco suburb where cemeteries fill 73 percent of the land and the dead outnumber the living. This is a potentially brilliant scenario, so it’s unfortunate that Colma pays so little attention to Colma; it may as well be set anywhere. Aside from a few throwaway references and a scene in a graveyard, the main focus here is on the emotional lives of our three main characters, which are. . . dull, to say the least, partly because whenever anything happens (a kiss, a slap, a fight), everyone breaks into a cheesy pop-rock song, and the moment dissolves into a belted series of platitudes. We’re given so little background on the trio—almost nothing about their families or their aspirations—that they are ghosts themselves, unable to muster up the energy to do anything except sing about how much Colma sucks.

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