Photos: MADAGASCAR: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE Knows Its Audience by Heart
Manila, Philippines--In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group, the esteemed theater company has also launched a new division: the Atlantis Imaginarium Young Theatre (AIYT), which aims to produce live entertainment primarily targeting families with young kids.
Spearheaded by its director Steven Conde, AIYT knows its audience by heart, based on the young audiences' uninterrupted engagement in its maiden offering: "Madagascar: A Musical Adventure," which we saw on opening night.
The show is a spin-off of the hit Dreamworks animated feature film. It melds catchy songs, written by George Noriega and Joel Someillan, animated dancing, choreographed by Cecile Martinez, and a true adventuresome story, written by Kevin Del Aguila. It also teaches about friendship, which is highly relatable among children at an early age.
As a special treat, Reel 2 Real's popular song "I Like to Move It," which has been featured in various "Madagascar" franchise films, is also performed not once but twice in this theatrical adaptation.
Similar to "I Like to Move It," Noriega and Someillan's lyrics and melodies are mainly amusing and easy to remember, especially for the kids.
The musical also has interactive parts where children participate in the storytelling, along with the actors portraying animals in frisky costumes, designed by Jay Lorenz Conanan, and/or actors manipulating some puppets, designed by Kayla Teodoro and Puppet Theater Manila.
The give and take between these young minds in the audience and the actors strongly grab the attention of the former, which made them more focused on what's happening on stage or in the "mosh pit"--a section just downstage.
This family-friendly show (for 3 and up), which is also touring the UK, runs over one hour and a half, without intermission, at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in BGC Arts Center until this weekend only.
Its cast includes Nelsito Gomez (Marty), Markus Mann (Alex), Sarah Facuri (Gloria), Altair Alonso (Melman), George Schulze (King Julien/Ensemble), and ensemble players Mica Fajardo, Jep Go, Barbara Jance, Franco Ramos, and Ber Reyes.
Farley Asuncion is music director; Lawyn Cruz, set designer; Pocholo Nario, lighting designer; Glenfford Malimban, sound designer; Jaydee Jasa, hair and makeup designer; Marvin Choa, puppet master, and GA Fallarme, projection designer.
Bring the kids! Get last weekend tickets (P1,500-P2,500) via TicketWorld.com.ph.
Photos: Atlantis Theatrical, Nestor Estoque, Etchos Mejares
The CompanyMarkus Mann
Nelsito Gomez, Sarah Facuri, Markus Mann, Altair Alonso
Sarah Facuri, Altair Alonso
Nelsito Gomez, Markus Mann