Saturday, January 1, 2011

Notes on Kaos

The Vegas-by-way-of-Broadway show Kaos at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila is an interesting production that is high on camp, able to out-Disney the shows at Disneyland. The story is simple enough for non-English speakers to follow: lonely prince follows the girl of his dreams to her kingdom as an evil advisor threatens to bring chaos into the equation. But the Kaos of the title is the white lion which is somehow woven into the story. (There are notes in English, Chinese and Korean in case you still get lost, but really, is there anything to explain?)

The singing is quite good. I found the selection of songs quite puzzling, but the pace is just right. My mom is not sold on the acting of Gian Magdangal as the prince. Lacking in passion, she said. The love interest is played by Martha Joy, who is a revelation (because I have never heard of her before). Joel Trinidad, the advisor, has mastered wicked laughter but comes off more as a narrator than a villain. That works just as well. I could barely make out the lines of Jemuel Victorino as the king. A costumed Manila Symphony Orchestra provides the musical accompaniment. The costumes are dazzling, though a little too sparkly and neon for my taste. The large LED screens work wonderfully with the sets.

The stunts, illusions and the rare animals alone are worth the price of admission, assuming you have not seen a traveling circus lately. The performers have very specialized skills and come from different parts of the world. I hope they all have insurance.

Verdict: if you want entertainment for an hour and a half, definitely go for it. The 1500-seater Newport Performing Arts Theater is not deep, so don't be afraid of the cheap seats. Then again, the ticket price isn't exactly inexpensive (starting at P988). I hope that in the future, the theater will host other kinds of productions, not just spectacles like Kaos.

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