The Quest for the Adarna, an original musical for the young audiences

January has been a hectic month for us with the preschool hunt, working on my financial goals and setting the wheels in motion in my freelance side of life.

It’s crazy! Most of the time, it feels like I don’t have time for anything. With time management and a planner sitting on my desk, I was able to accomplish so many things this month.

I have decided that I’ll have so much fun while working hard. So, carving out the time to do the fun side while being productive with work is an achievement on its own.

I vlogged about it. There’s a link below or watch it here!

To stay true to my 2020 goals, my daughter and I watched our first musical this year – The Quest for the Adarna, with a twist. Not her first theatre show though, because we’ve seen Enchanted Kingdom’s incredible musical last year. 

But it had the same mesmerizing effect on my daughter whenever she watches a musical. She hardly blinked during the show.

The story

Most of us Filipinos knew about the story of the mythical bird from our old storybooks. Who would forget the bright yellow book cover of a large feathery slick bird? It’s one of those books that the kids of the 90s! Back then, it was about the troubled Kingdom of Berbania because the King got sick. He needed the Adarna to sing for him so he could be better. Having three heirs to the crown, it was apparent that three princes were up for the task of catching the Adarna. Unfortunately, the first two sons didn’t succeed because they weren’t helpful to the ermitaño who was in disguise.

He was practically awaiting the unsuspecting princes to test their character. At last, the youngest Prince Juan cared enough and passed the test. His reward was the secrets to catching the Adarna while the audience giggles at the witty lyrics of the ermitaño’s legit rap skills. But things aren’t as colourful as the musical’s stage design. Eventually, the dark part of the story revealed itself through the conniving elder brothers, which we call the modern twist.

I was a bit concerned about how they’re going to handle the action scenes when there are toddlers in the audience. So, yeah I was that mom who was narrating the events in the hopes of keeping things light for her four-year-old.

Kerrigan with the lead characters in the musical.

The modern twist

The twist gave the popular children’s story a boost with the introduction of a heroine, Maria Blanca. The strong female character was a silver lining to the dark themes of part one. But at the same time, it made the whole musical an exciting watch for the grownups. It felt like there should be a sequel to this Philippine folklore.

The stage and artistic design

I was looking forward to getting charmed with magical stage design. I couldn’t wait to reveal what was behind the red curtain. I thought the forest scenes would finally reveal an enchanting stage and prop design, but creative directors had a different approach in mind. Instead of larger than life props and set design, they went for a minimalistic approach with striking stage lights and elaborate costumes. The extended scenes were broken into visually pleasing parts with puppetry, shadow play and Kuroko. It contributed to making sure the kids hooked to the story until ending.

Kuroko (Japanese: 黒子, lit. “black child”) are stagehands in traditional Japanese theatre, who dress all in black.


The ticket price

Initially, I planned on getting the middle seats near the stage because I wanted to make sure my kid would be fully engaged to the story. But we ran out VIP tickets, so I took the free-seating option and hoped to get a good spot in spite of the enormous crowd. We ended up taking the left aisle seats and sat near the official videographer of the show.

For P600 per ticket, our spot was perfect!

Watch: How I manage to bring my kid to meetings and enjoy a musical show too

The next attraction

The Quest for the Adarna was a great show that I’m already looking forward to the next Repertory production. By September, there will be Snow White and the Prince, and there’s also a children’s acting workshop waiting to be scheduled this Summer. If things go well in terms of our schedule, you might be seeing Kerrigan launching her theatre career this year! I’m so excited! 🤩

If things go well in terms of our schedule, you might be seeing Kerrigan launching her theatre career this year! I’m so excited! 🤩

Published by Elle Anorma

Elle Anorma dreams of having a PR and Digital Marketing Agency. After several years working in various Media and Communications companies in the Philippines, she took the steps to pursue her agency dream. With no capital to set up the business, she began the journey as a freelancer hoping to save enough to build her own team. She has worked with global clients for digital marketing projects in the Construction, Food Delivery, Real Estate, and Virtual Assistance to name a few while enjoying occasional trips with her daughter. Today, she aims to inspire parents and other Mompreneurs to continue pursuing their life goals.

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