New theater group debuts with musical 'Dani Girl'

The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 09 2014 11:53 AM | Updated as of Jun 09 2014 07:53 PM

Dani Lyons and Marty, played by Rebecca Coates and Luigi Quesada, respectively, are roommates at pediatric oncology in The Sandbox Collective’s Dani Girl'

MANILA, Philippines -- For its launch, Manila’s newest performing arts company called The Sandbox Collective, mounts the groundbreaking Off-Broadway musical "Dani Girl," an uplifting tale about a young girl’s battle with leukemia.

Far from sitting back and letting her condition take over, nine-year-old Dani Lyons, whose cancer has returned after three years of being in remission, sets off on an imaginary quest with her guardian angel Raph, her film-obsessed roommate Marty, and her teddy bear Mr. Fritz, to get back her hair after losing it to chemo, and find the answer to the question, “Why is cancer?”

Told from a child’s perspective, this provocative, new musical by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond (winners of the 2010 Jonathan Larson award, established in the memory of the Pulitzer-prize winning composer of "Rent" to infuse the theater with new, contemporary, urban vitality), explores the universal themes of life in the face of death, hope amidst despair, and the peerless power of a child’s imagination.

The show has played at sold-out houses Off-Broadway, as well as in fringe theater festivals and regional theaters across Australia, Canada, and the United States. "Dani Girl" will be making its Asian theatrical premiere through The Sandbox Collective.

“We are very privileged to be re-imagining this bold, new musical for our local audiences,” shares Toff de Venecia, The Sandbox Collective managing artistic director and "Dani Girl" director (whose credits include Ateneo Blue Repertory’s "Little Shop of Horrors" for which he was nominated best director for Broadway World Philippines, "13 the Musical," "A New Brain" and 9 Works Theatrical’s "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and Repertory Philippines’ "Wait Until Dark" as assistant director).

“The songs are beautifully crafted; the story, a bit dark but positively uplifting; and the production, promising to stretch you to the limits of your imagination. This is theater for new audiences.”

The show will run for 15 performances from July 11 to 27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

For show-buying, block-buying, and ticket inquiries, call 585-6909 or 0917-8996680, or Ticketworld at 891-9999. Visit, or follow them on Facebook: /TheSandboxCollective, Twitter: @TheSandboxCo, and Instagram: @TheSandboxCo.

Dani Girl is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.