“Children’s Letters to God”, the musicale-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Saturday, September 29, 2012
RECEIVER and sender. These are two of the main elements of a letter. But what if the receiver of the letter is God and the writer is a kid? God? Did you write it well, Mimi? Can God receive a letter? And how should the letter be postmarked? Address-Heaven? From Earth? Well, in the case of Stuart Hample, of “Children’s Letters to God”, those aforementioned questions are not difficult and different at all.
Why? Because kids are always full of questions about life. (And even adults do too. Many even, I suppose) So, questions, questions, questions and many more like, “Dear God, Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?”, or “Dear God, How did you know you were God?” or “Dear God, How come you did all the miracles in the old days and you don’t do any now?” are just but some of the many queries posed by Joanna, Brett, Kicker, Theo and Iris, the five children who make up the cast of characters of the musical adaptation of the book “Children’s Letters to God” which was staged in the Grand Ballroom of L Fisher Hotel Bacolod last September 21, 2012.
With original music by David Evans and lyrics by Douglas J. Cohen, “Children’s letters to God,” a new musical, was brought to Bacolod for the benefit of Museo Sang Bata sa Negros Foundation, Inc. Directed by Bart Guingona, “Children’s Letters to God,” or CL2G, is a sweet and funny musical on the issues of growing up.
Does having and losing Arnold matter? Well, for the lovable Iris, it does because Arnold, her turtle, means a lot to her. Or would being the only child bring one happiness? Not necessarily, as the love- and- hate sibling relationship of Joanna and Kicker is typical of growing up brother and sister. Can Theo be athletic just like everybody else? Of course, he can, as practice really makes one perfect. And if Brett goes to Wyoming, would he think of his childhood friends? Sure, he would just look at the stars at night and remember Joanna, Kicker, Theo and Iris. These plus thoughts about ants, the rain, the holidays, becoming a princess, the silly old hat, having a birthday and getting old, first love and who’s in charge of one’s life are some tales characteristics of these five kids’ life.
The musicale, which ran for almost an hour, was watched by both school children and adults in different showtime slots which started at 2 in the afternoon up to 7 in the evening. I watched it on the first schedule so I really had a grand time savoring the acting and the music, despite the irrepressible movements of the kids around me. Noteworthy is the presence of students from different points of the province who came just to watch the show. My high school seatmates told me they were from Sagay.
Questions, questions, questions—some funny, some serious, some surprising— all addressed to the big “G” have found their answers in the cast’s song finale “I know.” Yes, Joanna, Brett, Kicker, Theo, and Iris know that coming with their innocence, joys, and sorrows is growing up, and the realization that there the Big God up there has the answers to their questions about life.
As the cast made their final bow, and with the curtains down, “CL2G” got impressive applause. It is indeed a charming and family-oriented musical which we are grateful to be have been brought to Bacolod. For those who have the book, you may try re-reading it. For those who have watched the musicale, “Children’s Letters to God” is indeed an appealing, funny, hip and heart-warming musicale not only for kids, but for adults, too.
Happy weekend, dear readers.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 30, 2012.