Wednesday, July 20, 2011

'Seussical' marks Repertory's 19th year


MANILA, Philippines — In celebration of its 19th year of producing well-loved musicals for children of all ages, the Repertory Philippines Children’s Theater is presenting a children's musical that will surely delight not only the young but will bring out the children in adults as well.

A fantastic, magical, musical extravaganza for the whole family, the “Seussical - Theatre for Young Audiences” will take its audience to the invisible world of Whoville, the Jungle of Nool and to the Circus McGurkus with a colorful cast of characters.

“It is full of heart and imagination, based on the works of celebrated author Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as ‘Dr. Seuss,’” said director Joy Virata.

The musical play has been brought to life by “animals” not costumed as animals because the authors wanted them to appear as “real people at heart, just like us,” said Virata. “Each of them has a human persona although their movements suggest the animal they portray. Costume designer Oliver Roxas has put them in imaginative costumes of a nineteenth century circus,” Virata added.

But more than a musical play, with colorful presentation, sets and costumes, the “Seussical - Theatre for Young Audiences” offers moral lessons about love, loyalty, friendship, kindness, among others.

“Anything is possible… all the thinks you can think, a person is a person no matter how small he or she is,” said Noah Ramos, who will play the role of Jojo, when asked about the moral lessons the play hopes to impart to children.

Liesl Batucan, one of the characters, said the musical play is a “refreshing experience” for her, considering that majority of her audience will be children.” “Children are so receptive. You have to keep our energy level up to keep them wandering and imagining,” said Batucan.

The story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge—not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird.

Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid bird Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes “his kind and his powerful heart.”

In the end, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerged triumphant, in a story that will make the audience laugh and cry.

Co-presented by National Bookstore and the City of Makati, the “Seussical– Theatre for Young Audiences” is at Onstage, 2/F, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legazpi St., Makati City starting on August 13, 2011. To run until December 18, 2011, the show will have three sets of cast, composed of 30 persons.

With the presence of computers and internet, it’s never too late to expose children to the arts. If children are exposed to theater, they will likely to keep on going, develop imaginative minds and appreciating the art,” said Virata.


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