Manila’s newest performing arts company called The Sandbox Collective, led by its managing artistic director, Toff de Venecia, makes its outstanding debut with the Off-Broadway musical Dani Girl.
Who would've thought that a "touchy subject" - a nine-year-old girl's battle with terminal cancer - can actually turn into an amusing theatrical play?
While it does sound a bit depressing, the show is actually touching and fun all together. But there was actually more laughter than tears, although the tears did flow.
“Dani Girl” tells the story of a precocious nine year old Dani (Rebecca Coates), who finds herself face to face with cancer for the second time in her short life. To deal with this situation, her mother (Shiela Valderrama-Martinez) turns to God with a hint of denial, while the little girl sets off to an imaginary adventure side by side with her guardian angel Raph (Reb Atadero).
Along the way, she meets a film-obsessed boy named Marty (Luigi Quesada) who becomes her roommate at the pediatric oncology ward, who's also struggling with the disease and the two become one another's life support and they embark on a magical journey to find the answer to the question “Why is cancer?”
Without any question, all the actors displayed masterful musicality. The set was simple but effective using hospital beds, make shift spaceships and creative costumes, this all together created a colorfully illuminated world of its own.
It provided a light but empathic take on the Dani's disease but of course this could not be escaped, the play personifies this as a black clad figure with a skull for a head. But more than anything else it was an honest take on the musical's delicate subject matter.
After the show’s press preview last Thursday, Rebecca Coates who plays Dani Lyons tells that it's a story about faith, realizing that there is someone bigger, greater, and better than anyone of us. The concept for this play is truly an interesting one, and it's open to everybody's interpretation, you can look at it in several different angles and it's certainly up to the viewer.
This exciting show, created by the award-winning team of Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond has charmed theatregoers from across the globe. And Pinoys are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to see this in Manila.
The show will run for 15 performances from July 11 to 27, 2014 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999! Make sure to follow The Sandbox Collective on social media for more updates on "Dani Girl" and more! Like The Sandbox Collective on Facebook
and Follow @TheSandboxCo
To see more photos from the screening, click HERE