MANILA, Philippines – Founded by 20-something theater director Toff de Venecia with the help of 9 Works Theatrical’s Anna Santamaria, The Sandbox Collective launches its first-ever show, an Off-Broadway musical ‘Dani Girl’ by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond, and will have 15 performances from July 11-27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati.
The musical revolves around a nine-year-old Dani Lyons whose cancer has returned after three years of remission and sets off on an imaginary journey with Ralph, her guardian angel along with Marty, her roommate who’s obsessed with superheroes and movies, and Mr. Fritz, her teddy bear.
Rebecca Coates, a fourth-year high school student will take on the challenging role of Dani. This isn’t her first stage assignment, but her third since she has appeared in Resorts World Manila’s ‘The Sound of Music’ and Repertory Philippines’ ‘Alice in Wonderland’. She’ll be sharing the stage with her real-life teddy bear of eight years—Chester as Mr. Fritz. Playing the role of Ralph is veteran theater actor, the youngest actor ever to perform as the Engineer’s character in ‘Miss Saigon’ Netherlands production—Lorenz Martinez. Marty on the other hand, is going to be essayed by the talented stage performer—Reb Atadero, who was last seen in 9 Works Theatrical’s ‘Grease’. Shiela Valderrama is playing Dani’s mother.
Alternating for Coates, Atadero, and Valderrama are Mitzie Lao, Luigi Quesada, and Pamela Imperial, respectively.
According to the Sandbox Collective managing artistic director—de Venecia, ‘Dani Girl’ was chosen as its launching production because he believes it is a show that forces its audience to think and not settle for the obvious. He also describes the songs have been beautifully crafted, though the story is a bit dark as it tackles issues of abandonment, suicide, the existence of God, cancer, death and the finiteness of life. It approaches it with innocence and childlike wonderment.
Delphine Buencamino is the one handling the movement and choreography. Ejay Yatco is the show’s musical director, fresh from his notable involvement with ‘Sa Wakas’, a BroadwayWorld.com-nominated rock musical featuring the OPM songs of Sugarfree band and Ateneo Blue Rep’s ‘Toilet the Musical’. For the set design, Faust Peneyra is commissioned to make wonders in Dani’s imaginary journey. Its costume design is by Maronne Cruz and lighting design by Meliton Roxas, Jr.
For more information about the show, visit thesandboxcollective.com or like its facebook page, follow both twitter and instagram accounts. For tickets, contact (632) 585-6909; +639178996680 or call Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999.