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Colma: The Musical (2006)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Musical  -  21 March 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 407 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 17 critic

In the town of Colma, just south of San Francisco, the dead outnumber the living one thousand to one. Here, one wouldn't expect teenagers to burst out in song, or dance around cemeteries ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Moreno ...
Sigrid Sutter ...
Brian Raffi ...
Larry Soriano ...
Rodel's Father
Paul Kolsanoff ...
Allison Torneros ...
Jim Wierzba ...
Kat Kneisel ...
Dustin North ...
Colma Player / John / Bar Patron
Jeremiah Cothren ...
Colma Player / Bar Patron
Micah Enloe ...
Colma Player


In the town of Colma, just south of San Francisco, the dead outnumber the living one thousand to one. Here, one wouldn't expect teenagers to burst out in song, or dance around cemeteries and streets. But, that's exactly what happens. Best pals Rodel, Billy, and Maribel find themselves in a state of limbo; fresh out of high school, they are just beginning to explore a new world of part-time mall jobs and crashing college parties. As newfound revelations and romances challenge their relationships with one another and their parents, the trio must assess what to hold onto, and how to best follow their dreams. It's a love song to the city, and to the residents who dream of a better (and more musical) life. Written by Christopher Au

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Musical



Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 March 2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,403 (USA) (22 June 2007)


$129,974 (USA) (26 October 2007)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During "Can We Get Any Older" in the party scene, Rodel walks past a man and immediately walks past him again. See more »


Rodel: How do you know if your boyfriend is gay?
Billy: How?
Rodel: His dick tastes like shit.
See more »


References Oliver! (1968) See more »


Crazy Like Me
Written by H.P. Mendoza
Performed by H.P. Mendoza
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

charming coming-of-age musical
20 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What would it be like to grow up in a town where the dead outnumber the living by a ratio of more than a-thousand-to-one? That's the case with Colma, a working-class community located just south of San Francisco that is more notable for its vast cemeteries than for anything related to the folk who actually live there. Dubbed The City of the Dead, Colma has a population of around 1500 above ground but over a million-and-a-half below, with roughly 75% of the town's land given over to tombstones and gravesites. That hardly seems the ideal setting for a movie musical, but then "Colma: The Musical" is not your average, run-of-the-mill, afraid-to-take-a-risk movie. Thankfully.

Three of the live people who call Colma home are Billy (Jake Moreno), an aspiring actor who's so straight-arrow he's never even had a drink; Rodel (H.P. Mendoza, who also co-wrote the screenplay), a gay prankster who fears coming out to his traditionalist dad; and Maribel (L.A. Renigen), a fun-loving free spirit, who often has to serve as mediator between the two guys. Recently graduated from high school, these three best buddies suddenly discover themselves on the brink of adulthood, trying to find their way in the world and wondering what the future holds for them.

Like a modern-day "Umbrellas of Cherbourg," "Colma: The Musical" is a cinematic operetta in which the characters define their relationships and express their feelings almost entirely through song. The score by Mendoza is lively and bouncy - if a trifle redundant at times - with lyrics that capture the fears and yearnings of the teenage heart with uncanny accuracy. In addition, this stylish and stylized movie features appealing performances, an endearing sense-of-humor, a hint of surrealism, and an artful use of that rarely employed, but often highly effective, tool of cinematic grammar, the split-screen.

With its youthful exuberance and anything-goes audaciousness, this quirky, independent feature has much of the feel of experimental regional theater about it. And the fact that it's still a trifle rough around the edges only adds to its authenticity and charm.

Filled with amusing and touching insights into this wonderfully complex and exciting thing we call "growing up," the movie understands the paradox that Colma, like all hometowns, serves both as the soil to plant one's roots in and as the place to break away from when the time is right. That's the lesson that these three likable young people learn in the end - just as the countless others, now residing in those graveyards, learned before them.

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