Enter the enchanting world of Kaos

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo -

I first heard it from Danny Dolor before Christmas last year. He was gushing about Kaos. I had just watched the Chinese Acrobatic Circus at the Araneta Coliseum and I was telling him what a beautiful show it was, taking note of the performers’ grace under pressure and their very precise, should I say, poetry in motion?

“Kaos is even more exciting,” said Danny. “Watch it.”

Danny being, aside from STAR columnist (the widely-followed Sunday nostalgia corner Remember When?), a patron of the arts and insatiable lover of beauty, I kept his word and, although belatedly, finally made it Sunday last week to Newport Performing Arts Theater of the Resorts World Manila in Newport City, Pasay City, where Kaos continues to draw record crowds.

Danny was right.

For almost two hours, my companions (including a three-year who sat transfixed on his seat) and I held our breaths as scene after scene unfolded on the huge stage from the top of which hung the stone head of a white lion winking its welcome.

The storyline is as simple as any fairy tale: In a medieval kingdom, a lonely prince peers into a magical mirror and falls in love with a beautiful maiden from the future. As the past and the future converge, the two discover a love that transcends time, prevailing over a scheming advisor and numerous obstacles. (Joel Trinidad as the advisor was truly delightful.)

To tell this enchanting love story, executive producer Colin Kerr (of Resorts World Manila) and production manager Sviatlana Burkun enlisted talents from around the world to depict the “timeless tale of love” in a spectacular show that puts together acrobats (from China), magicians and touches of Broadway, plus a live white lion (trained by Spanish master illusionist Enrique Polo, so no worry that it would run wild) as the title character Kaos (who turns into a seductive lady in the “magic” portions).

Throw in the Manila Symphony Orchestra for the musical score and what more can you ask for?

You sit back and, that’s it, hold your breath for two hours.

Some of my favorite parts:

•   The lonely prince (not main actor Gian Magdangal but his understudy Jeremy Aguado) singing Where is Love? (from Oliver!) while a pair of Filipino ballet dancers perform mid-air while holding on to a piece of cloth that swings them around the stage, not missing a beat and making you gasp (oops! careful or you might fall!) as they change places and positions. They made it look so easy!

•   The vanishing lady who turns into a white lion that turns into the lady again in a series of magic/magical acts that I must have seen before and were now making me sit up and wonder because of its perfect execution. There were some tricks, I know, but just the same, it boggled the mind how the magician made the lady disappear from a metal tube and made her reappear inside a glass case a few feet away, and then turning her into a white lion inside it, and then again, into her old sexy self. It’s a puzzlement!

•   The two performers from South America in the Human Time Machine Act showcasing super balance and synchronization; and the five stunt motorcyclists from Spain defying gravity in the Cycle of Life Act inside a steel cage running at full speed without bumping into one another.

Maybe to prevent the breath-taking “distractions” from making you lose track of the plot, text captions were flashed on the monitors on both sides of the stage to guide you. As in all fairy tales, the lonely prince finds his loving princess (played by Fil-Canadian Martha Joy) and, of course, you expect them to live happily ever after in the magical world of Kaos.

…the white lion (as the title character Kaos) that turns into a lady in the ‘magic’ act, the amazing ballet dancers and acrobats.

Danny Dolor said that he has watched Kaos twice and planned to watch again before it closes sometime in May. I guess I will do the same.

(Note: Kaos is a once-in-a-lifetime theater experience that you shouldn’t miss. Ticket prices start at P988+. Call TicketWorld at 891-9999 or the tourist/visitor hotlines 836-6333 and 908-8833.)

(E-mail reactions at [email protected] or at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare.)

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