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Theater

Dani Girl Remains a Bright Beacon of Hope in its 2019 Restaging

What better way to see and experience hope than through the eyes of children, as Marketing and PR Director Sab Jose mentioned before the show. Dani Girl is one such story, told through a little girl’s reimagining of her own struggles in reality into a whimsical fantasy. The Sandbox Collective staged it for the first time 5 years ago, and is now bringing it back, at a time where we need a little more hope in our world.

Dani is the titular girl, battling through The Big C (that’s cancer) by imagining a more fun, less bleak world. In her imaginary world, her parents are rulers of a fantasy kingdom, and her guardian angel, Raph, plays games and sings fun songs with her. Having been alone in the hospital for a long time, she meets new ward-neighbor Marty, who shares her depth of imagination. They embark on adventures to discover why they were befallen with the “curse,” and more profoundly why it even needed to exist in the first place. “Why is cancer?” is the question.

I watched the show on its first weekend, and as part of the production’s charity efforts, they matched every social media post with the hashtag #DaniGirlMNL with a financial donation to the show’s partners. That was a nice way to not only promote the show but also help save lives.

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Theater

Dani Girl Gives Us Hope Anew on Its Re-staging

I watched Dani Girl’s premiere in Manila back in 2014. I was still a newbie with musicals when I watched it with my theater workshop classmates. Without any expectations or whatever, the show left me in tears. The show struck many heartstrings not only because it tackled cancer but for how it was told through the eyes of little innocent children. As young adults among all our responsibilities and the issues the world face today, we often forget to be like how we used to be as children: brave and hopeful.


In celebration of its fifth year, The Sandbox Collective is re-staging their maiden production, Dani Girl: A Musical About Hope. Half a decade later, the show underlines, among other things, the importance of friendship, and the family that can blossom from it.

Dani Girl opens on August 10 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium RCBC Plaza Makati.

Dani is a precocious nine-year-old girl who has spent her childhood battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (A.L.L). Years of semi-isolated existence led her to develop quite the imagination, and she spends her days in the pediatric ward spinning fanciful tales that mostly feature her “guardian angel,” Raph. In her mind, her mother is a kind-hearted queen, and her absentee father, a king on a faraway quest. On most days, she has no one but her guardian angel, Raph, to turn to, until one day, a boy named Marty moves into the pediatric ward. Together, they decide to find the answer to the question, “Why is cancer?”

Rebecca Coates and Felicity Kyle Napuli as Dani

The two-hour musical rarely looks at the two children’s prognosis through a dreary lens, and instead takes you through a whimsical ride through Dani’s fantastical imagination, one full of spaceships and sword fights. But amidst the fanciful settings, is a grounded core. Beyond the characters’ bleak reality, is a tale of friendship, and finding family in those you least expect. As audience members join Dani on her journey of self-realization, they will walk away with questions of their own. Who is my Raph? My Marty in life? Who do we turn to in times of turmoil, and whose shoulders do we know will always be there when we need them the most?

Dani Girl 2019 Cast (L-R): Daniel Drilon and Luigi Quesada as Marty, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez and Pam Imperial as Katharine Lyons, Lorenz Martinez and Juliene Mendoza as Raph

Dani Girl: A Musical About Hope will star Philstage Gawad Buhay awardee, Rebecca Coates in the title role (Agnes of God, The Secret Garden). She is set to alternate with Felicity Kyle Napuli in the role of Dani Lyons (The Lion King, Matilda). Luigi Quesada will return as Dani’s best friend and fellow warrior, Marty (Hair, Waitress). He will be sharing the role with new cast member, Daniel Drilon (The Secret Garden, Fun Home). Returning cast members, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez (Binondo, Guadalupe, Shrek) and Pam Imperial (RENT, The Sound of Music) will be alternating as Katharine Lyons, Dani’s mother. Meanwhile, Lorenz Martinez (Miss Saigon, Binondo) returns and alternates with new cast member Juliene Mendoza in the role of Raph (Dekada ‘70, All Out of Love).

Toff de Venecia (No Filter, The Boy in the Bathroom) makes his much-awaited directorial comeback in this re-staging of Dani Girl. He is at the helm once more as director and executive producer. Joining him is Sab Jose as assistant director and marketing and public relations director. Completing the artistic team are Ejay Yatco as musical director, Stephen Viñas as choreographer, Faust Peneyra as scenographer and costume designer, Miggy Panganiban as lighting designer, Joee Mejias as projection & video designer and Myrene Santos as hair and makeup designer

Santi Santamaria leads the production team as co-executive producer (9 Works Theatrical). Rounding out the production team are Anna Santamaria as operations and finance director, Maine Manalansan as design director, Elliza Aurelio as associate producer, Pauline Gaerlan as production manager, Myka Cue as marketing and public relations associate, Jonjon Martin as public relations manager and Anissa Aguila as head stage manager.


Dani Girl: A Musical About Hope will open on August 10, 2019 and will have a limited engagement until September 1, 2019 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Makati City. Tickets are now available through Ticketworld online.


Dani Girl: A Musical About Hope is co-presented by The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, together with our gold ribbon sponsor, Make-A-Wish Philippines. Special thanks to our silver ribbon sponsors: Privato Hotel Group, Toy Kingdom and St. Luke’s Medical Center; our institutional partners, Carewell Community Foundation, Childhaus, Philippine Cancer Society, Inc., CanHOPE and Cancervants; our community partners, Pineapple Lab, Classic Chef, K Best, and DC Superheroes Cafe; and our official media partners: Crossover 105.1, Pitchworks, Broadwayworld.com, Theater Fans Manila, Young Star, Uniquely Pinoy, and Art+ Magazine.

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Theater

Nostalgia Never Ends in Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! 2019

Last year, 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live! produced their first original Filipino musical based on the music of APO Hiking Society, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!. The critically acclaimed feel-good musical made an audience of different generations laugh and cry while resisting the urge to sing along the greatest hits of APO. Answering everyone’s Panalangin (including mine), Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is back for a second run from February 2 to March 17.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is a heartwarming story of love and friendship. Set during the country’s turbulent 70’s, a college barkada decides to join a singing and songwriting contest. As talented as the young friends are, they find that like real life (especially during Martial Law), finding the right lyric to the perfect melody is not as easy as it seems.

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Theater

Eto na! Musikal nAPO! is a Hit!

A jukebox musical is always an exciting idea. To the regular theater-goer, it might seem like a simple formula: take a musician’s existing catalog and make a story out of it. But, in reality, it is very hard to execute. Jukebox musicals are either a hit or a miss. 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live’s first original Filipino musical takes on APO Hiking Society’s greatest hits. And like APO’s songs, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is definitely a big hit.

At the core of Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is a heartwarming story of love and friendship. Set during the country’s turbulent 70’s, a group of college friends decide to join a singing and songwriting contest. At a time when originality and creativity, especially in the music industry, was not particularly celebrated, they decide to submit an original composition.

Jon Abella (Donnie), Alfritz Blanche (Sonny), Jef Flores (Jaime), Jobim Javier (Butch), and Vyen Villanueva (Bobby) for 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live's Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! the APO Hiking Society Musical
The barkada preparing their song contest entry (Photo: Leo Castillo)
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Theater

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! – A Musical that Transcends Generations

Globe LIVE! and 9 Works Theatrical are back with Eto na! Musikal nAPO! an original Filipino musical based on the music of the APO Hiking Society, nonetheless. Globe and 9 Works’ first Pinoy musical centers on a barkada’s colorful college life in Manila 1975. It isn’t auto-biographical (let’s straighten that out) but it is inspired by the story of how APO started and came about.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! cast & crew with APO Hiking Society's Jim Paredes
The cast and creative team of Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! with 1/3 of APO, Jim Paredes

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Featured Theater

Himala: Isang Musikal Returns On February 10

The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical are re-staging Ricky Lee and Vincent DeJesus’ Himala: Isang Musikal based on the 1982 critically acclaimed classic by the late Ishmael Bernal. 

After the presscon, I’ve never been more excited to see a musical. Especially that the root material was a film I’ve been watching in Cinema One (formely Pinoy Blockbuster Channel) when I was a child every lazy afternoon. In case you hadn’t already known, Himala‘s story centers on Elsa who claims to have the power of healing after the Blessed Virgin Mary appears to her. News of her miracles spread within and beyond her hometown Cupang attracting thousands of sick and curious followers. This causes an irreversible disturbance to the once sleepy town.

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Reads

2017: A Year in Review

2017 has been a blessed year for Amiciness. Forgive me for using “blessed” (my vocabulary is very limited HAHA) but yeah, many good things happened  this year. Viewership is continually growing strong even in our Youtube account. Thanks to followers of our regular and new content. We are also proud to have won a number of contests that helped us make a small mark in the internet world.

Amiciness has been up for three years now and it’s what makes me sane amidst the ups and downs of my life. Ito na lang ang pinanghahawakan ko, guys! In this post, I’m recapping the highlights of our very colorful 2017. I thought I wouldn’t survive the year but I did. #grateful 🙌

Dear readers, this is Amiciness’ 2017 year in review…

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Theater

A Christmas Carol: A New Wonderful Holiday Tradition

Globe LIVE! and 9 Works Theatrical brings back Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol The Musical this December. This year’s re-staging features new stage, new cast and a new Tiny Tim among the many other surprises of this production. I’ve seen last year’s production and I must say, like the source material, it has become timeless. It never gets old and like a child who has longed for Christmas for 12 months, I don’t want it to end.

You know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Miguel Faustmann): an old, miserable and selfish man who hates Christmas. He rains on everyone’s parade when everyone else just wants to celebrate and have fun. Then one night, the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley (Noel Rayos) warns him to change his ways before it is too late. He tells Scrooge that three spirits would be visiting him to show how his life was, is and will be at Christmas time. Only then would Scrooge realize the true meaning of the holidays: love and family.

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Theater

Never Stop The Presses: Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s Disney’s Newsies

The world will feel the fire and finally know!” – Newsboys, from the musical Newsies

It might be the season for raincoats and umbrellas, but Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical‘s Philippine staging of Disney’s Newsies still set Philippine theatre ablaze. The Newsies boys were all fired up to let the world know that it’s possible to have all that talent on one stage. The cast spent six months training and rehearsing for a month long production, which was, after watching, definitely not enough.

Well-deserved standing ovation for the Newsies.

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Theater

9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE!’s “A Christmas Carol The Musical” Review

When I think of Christmas, I think of the cold night breeze on the dawn of simbang gabi, the smell of puto bumbong and bibingka wafting in the air, and the inevitable Christmas rush traffic. But, most of all, when I think of Christmas, I hear the songs of Jose Mari Chan and the Christmas carols we have listened to from when we were young. This year, 9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE! is bringing a different kind of Christmas carol: familiar but with a twist. It’s Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol The Musical presented in a way that’s never been done before.

The cast of Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens' "A Christmas Carol The Musical" from 9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE!
Budding young talent and seasoned thespians unite in Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ “A Christmas Carol The Musical” from 9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE!