A Christmas to remember with Saro2; The Musical…

Director: Kenneth Uphopho,
Yusuf Gbenga, Ayo Ajayi and Ibukun Fasunhan

Writer: Seun Kentebe, Thomas
Odia

Cast:   Gideon Okeke, Paolo Sisiano, Paul Alumona, Patrick
Diabuah, Arese Emokpae and Bimbo Manuel

 
I had thought of seeing Saro
the Musical for a while; most especially after my buddy Duvy had done her piece
about it (missed it, read it here). The  need to see it was probably heighten some more
in November when I saw the banner at Terra Kulture “coming soon in
December”,  so I had it marked on my
calendar and eagerly waited for the day it was going to show.
 
December is a month of
musicals, the Americans make it a point of duty to have a singing movie every
year, this year that was fulfilled in ‘Annie’ and I believe for us Nigerians it’s
the Christmas carols and various musical stage plays like KAKADU, A Christmas
Story, Mad King of Ijudiya and a host of others that make our musicals.
 
Anyway, getting to Muson on
the 27th of December 2014 wasn’t the problem; parking was especially
since Muson was the venue of two prominent stage plays. The play was supposed to
kick off at 6pm, and getting into the hall, the place was full already. I took
my seat behind and after some time, we were advised to take over some VIP
seats, great! (Those guys don’t come early anyway).
We waited for another 30-45minutes for the play to kick off and I believe it
did at 6:45pm.
 
Saro the musical 2 is the
story of 4 young men, upcoming musicians in an age-old search for greener
pastures, I believe the term they used was “BLOW” and what other city
to do so than in the city of Lagos. Weaving together the trials, misfortunes,
love and destinies of the foursome into a musical journey that was a musical
masterpiece was a true site to behold.
 
Kicking off with a melodious number,
the 4 acts made up of Gideon Okeke, Paolo Sisiano, Paul Alumona and Patrick
Diabuah, asides being good looking hunks they delivered to their various roles.
Not sure what I was expecting, especially from Tinsel star Gideon, but that
dude can sing to save his life. He did not only sing, he danced, same goes for Paolo
who played Efe who had the jovial look of the lot, but when it came to the
battle screen, oh my he put on a show that is worthy of this review. He was
good, singing, dancing and smiling perfect combo and all this was well
executed. Another character that was pleasing to watch was Rume, played by Arese
Emokpae such a tiny body, yet she belted out tunes that made me feel she could
give Waje and Omawunmi a run for their money, she was also a good character and
I was totally impressed with the lineup and kudos goes to the casting director
for his choices.
 
Costumes, hmmmm… costumes are
such a big deal and I marveled at the level of work that went into this
production. For a 100 men cast, wow, another applause goes to the costume
designer in the person of Juliana Dede, no scenes’ costume felt out of place. I
imagined the work that went into getting everyone dressed especially the cast
members who danced and I was wowed. The Fanti carnival, the Eyo festival, the
club and mall scene just to mention a few scenes were  costumes I felt were apt and fitted nicely
into the said scene. Directing for this play must have been a herculean task;
did I mention there were 100 people? 100 people on the stage, not at one given
time though but for 14-15 different scenes, to dance, to sing, to act, hian! To
Kenneth Uphopho, Yusuf Gbenga, Ayo Ajayi and Ibukun Fasunhan, I can’t imagine
what a rehearsal for this production looked like, it must have taken months to
get it right but it truly paid off as this was a total musical package. I also believe
our ovation at the end of the play said it all, it was well deserved. I give
tuale to the rest of the cast members who sang, danced and had to change the
set, I have one question, how can I sign up? ‘Cos I won’t mind being a backup dancer
for a production such as this.
 
Well done to Bolanle
Austen-Peters, the various companies and media organizations that supported
this stage play, one thing that went on in my mind during the play, why don’t
we have our own Broadway styled productions that we export? Saro and KAKADU are
two Broadway styled productions that definitely showcase our culture, Nigerian heritage
and acting prowess.
 
Saro2; The Musical was
beautiful, amazing and my musical for the season. For me, it was truly a magical
experience that brought the joy of Christmas and theatre to a heightened
crescendo and earns a 10/10 from Xplore!
 

 

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