PEP REVIEW: NOAH the musical makes a big splash!

The main cast members of N.O.A.H. (No Ordinary Aquatic Habitat) are composed of (from left, top frame) Sheila Francisco, Carlo Orosa, Enzo Sison, Ruiz Sison, Marek Sison, and Sam Concepcion (wearing white). One of the highlights of this musical is the appearance of the giant ark onstage (lower right frame).

At the start of N.O.A.H. (No Ordinary Aquatic Habitat), the set design isn't very promising since there are piles of garbageeverwhere. But you gotta have faith that things will get better. You gotta have faith until you see the "big picture."

Have faith just like Mr. Noah. If you turn to Genesis 6: 9-14, we read about a man who was commanded by God to build a giant ark that would house animals as rains flooded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.

Who would have known that these simple verses from the Bible would give rise to a very colorful and highly creative musical play?

The first part of the play involves a lot of dialogue from the cast members, led by Mr. Noah himself (Carlo Orosa). The talent manager of Christian Bautista and Karylle finds himself in the spotlight as he portrays a character who is often taunted for his crazy ideas. As Mr. Noah, Carlo brims with energy as he runs around the stage, is lifted up by supporting cast members and occassionally faints at the prospect of doing impossible things being asked by God.

Speaking of God, Sam Concepcion is cast a sthe narrator and whenever he is holding the megaphone labeled God, he assumes the role of the Big Guy himself. It just seems weird to have Sam represent God since his young teenage voice doesn't carry that much authority especially when he is issuing orders to a man who is old enough to be his father.

It gets even more inappropriate when God (Sam) tells Noah to address him as Father. A voice over would probably be a more fitting choice for this setting.

Other than that, I have no other complaints for N.O.A.H. (No Ordinary Aquatic Habitat). The production values of this play are excellent--from the lights to the props to the costumes and most especially, the set design.

The appearance of the huge wooden ark onstage promises to be one of the most memorable moments in Philippine theater history. The imposing 12-foot-high ark even has an upper deck and a moving platform that can carry people and "animals" alike to the top.

Scenographer Mio Infante and light designer John Batalla both deserve a standing ovation for weaving magic onstage through the elements of stage design and lighting. Not to be missed are the colorful animal costumes used in the play. Kids will be delighted to see lifesize "animals" parade around the stage and perform production numbers during the "Animal's Got Talent" portion of the play.

Another visual treat is the shadow play that depicts the animals boarding the ark. it's highly imaginative and could be a good way to introduce kids to this ancient art form.

With its themes of faith and concern for the environment, this play produced by Trumpets is an excellent play that comse highly recommended. Completing the cast of N.O.A.H. are Sheila Francisco (Mrs. Noah) and siblings Marek, Enzo and Ruiz who play the children of Noah called Japheth, Shem and Ham.

N.O.A.H. (No Ordinary Aquatic Habitat) will be staged at the Meralco Theater every Friday, Saturday, andSundays of September. For tickets and/or more information, callTrumpets at 635-4478, 0917-8842105, 0932-2705639 or

Tickets are also available at Ticketworld (Tel. No. 891-9999).

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