A child’s Christmas

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda -
To a child, Christmas is associated with joy, merriment and celebration. In his innocence, he equates these sentiments with such time-honored traditions as family get-togethers, parties, sumptuous foods, gift-giving and great entertainment during the holidays.

As far as I can remember, my Christmas entertainment fare during those days of my youth in Borongan, Eastern Samar consisted of nightly caroling sessions, carnival rides at the town plaza and watching traveling magical shows and fantasy acts.

When I grew up and moved to the big city, I discovered a whole new world of live Christmas entertainment that took new and exciting forms, foremost of which was the musical ice extravaganza that never failed to impress me with its bevy of gorgeous dancers, lavish costumes, awesome ice-skating exhibitions, superb choreography and spectacular sets. There were also those foreign magical shows and fantasy acts that always held the crowd spellbound as magicians and acrobats performed amazing sleight-of-hand tricks, incredible acrobatic acts and death-defying stunts enough to take one’s breath away.

A major Christmas entertainment event that combines the authentic appeal of a traveling carnival and the sophistication of a stage musical, and which the whole family should not miss during the holidays is the forthcoming performance of the merriest, funniest, wackiest carnival to hit the country. Billed as Cartoonival! Cartoon Network Live!, the world-class theatrical production to be presented by Solar Entertainment Corp. is set to invade the entertainment scene with a seven-day performance to be staged from Dec. 28 to Jan. 3 at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

The musical-action extravaganza is the latest leg in the multi-city Asian tour of the first-ever live action, fully-scripted, full-scale theatrical show produced by Cartoon Network.

Considered as "the biggest interactive live show ever" from Cartoon Network, the program showcases 90 entertaining minutes of a visually exciting, fast-paced, participatory and hilarious performance that features lots of action, dance, dazzling lights and groovy pop music. It has an all-star cast of popular animation characters from four of Cartoon Network’s original cartoons, led by The Powerpuff Girls – Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup – all of whom will perform as costume characters.

Other best-loved toon icons in the show include Mojo Jojo of The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter and Dee Dee of Dexter’s Laboratory, Mac, Bloo, Eduardo, Coco and Wilt of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Ami and Yumi (Hi Hi Puffy AmiYummy). The live actors are Barnaby Brightly and various carnival helpers.

The Powerpuff Girls
series is about three tough yet cute and smart sisters who celebrate the spirit, attitude and style of today’s modern girls. With their superpowers, Bubble, Blossoms and Buttercup are all set to fight crime and evil forces. Dexter’s Laboratory, on the other hand, extols the power of the brains and intellect through the exploits of an eight-year-old boy genius, Dexter, who uses his extraordinary gift in his science laboratory in living the fantasy of world domination. Hi Hi Puffy AmyYumi revolves around the story of a fantasy rock band that embraces the world of pop rock stardom and whose members work together to maintain their relationships as best friends in a high adventure, fast-paced hyper-kinetic world of rock ‘n roll. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is about a haven for children and centers on the life of a resident named Bloo, who ends up at Madame Foster’s house after finding himself without a friend when his creator, a boy called Mac, was compelled by his mother to give him up.

These characters come together for the first time in Cartoonival, where they run a crazy, wild carnival, with the audience performing as "guests" who are taken on a tour of the different rides and attractions by Barnaby Brightly, keeper of the key to the carnival.

There will be singing and dancing galore set to great, catchy music, plus terrific opportunities for fans to get involved through the program’s interactive feature that allows them to have fun with The Powerpuff Girls in playing the classic Knock ‘Em Down sideshow game. There are moments of high drama, too, as Cartoon Network’s resident monkey, Mojo Jojo, cooks an evil scheme to get the key and take over the carnival, but will be thwarted by the toon stars who will work as a team to save Cartoonival. The grand finale brings all the characters together on stage to lead a big party, where they will perform some synchronized dancing and celebrate with the audience in an exciting and riotous bash that will drive the kids into a frenzy.

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