Dani Girl: A Musical for the Soul
When in Manila, musicals are staged from one theater to another. For some reason, the delight for the musical performance of any piece among Filipinos has increased. King and I, The Sound of Music, Wicked, Cats, and Phantom of the Opera are just some of the stories that were told in extravaganza. Some Filipino musical originals have also made their debut in the musical scene in the country: Maxie, the Musical and Rak of Aegis, just to name a couple. This just shows that Filipinos are lovers of musicals, probably because there is more than just entertainment in them once you get past the glitz and spectacle behind the red curtains. There is a story told.
Photo by The Sandbox Collective
Dani Girl, a musical by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond, is told from the perspective of a nine-year-old girl with leukaemia. Directed by Toff de Venecia and co-produced by Anna Santamaria under the theater company and the flagship of Sandbox Collective, Dani Girl will be staged from July 11 to 27, 2014 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
Two things are in mind behind the production of Dani Girl. First is that teenagers today have been engrossed in the offers of technology, from gadgets to gizmos, and the many interests from fashion to pop music, from upcoming concerts to travels with little attention to more meaning to what is going on in real life. Secondly, Dani Girl is a different take on musicals altogether, with a deeper, more philosophical and humanistic theme, and this is something that is worth streamlining into the theater and musical scene, when there is high appreciation in theatrical performances.
Dani Girl is more than just a musical and theatre performance. As the story of a nine-year-old girl battling with leukaemia unfolds, themes of death and hopelessness are intertwined with her soothing innocence and imagination. With such a profoundly fresh plot, and with a rather sensitive and serious matter, Dani Girl unravels the essence of musicals – to reveal life, its meaning, and significance to people.
Theater and musical lovers will be driven by questions about life and living. This is a good take on the musical arena as it surpassed the usual extravaganza of costumes, music, singing, and production design. It’s like the Chicken Soup for the Soul, only this time set on the musical stage. Though most musicals tell a good story, Dani Girl is heartfelt and warm, more of a nudge to reality because it brings the seriousness of the matter into a more blossoming presentation for the audience to see the clearer picture.
To the musical lover, any piece or plot can definitely pull it off. But Dani Girl has something more. It showcases the reality in the eyes of a child, with innocence long forgotten because everyone opted to do so. At times, there are themes in musicals quite abstract to grapple. But Dani Girl makes it possible to be seen, to be realized, and to be felt more than usual.
By The Sandbox Collective
July 11 to 27, 2014
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City