By Japhet Alakam
After its successful showing last year at the grand ballroom of the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, that drew notable names in the Nigerian arts sector, the city of Lagos is in again for the biggest thrill of the 2014, as the critically acclaimed Saro: The Musical makes its return to the stage this December!
The musical which stunned the world in 2013 by presenting a grand and ambitious Broadway-style showpiece to a Nigerian audience, will be thrilling audiences once again in coming weeks, from December, 24th – 28th, 2014.
Briefing the press in preparatory to the show, which promises to take Lagos by storm, the producer/ ceo of Terra Kulture, Mrs Austen-Peters disclosed that with a 100-man cast, Saro – a Bolanle Austen-Peters, Mok Art & Media Production supported by Terra Kulture will deliver 10 outstanding performances in 5 days, all taking place at the prestigious Shell Hall, Muson Center, Lagos.
According to her, after what can be seen as an experimental piece last year, “this year’s show will be delivering an even bigger showcase of dazzling performances in lovely and colorful costumes, enigmatic and well-choreographed dance steps, and an exquisite fusion of jazz, afro-beat, hip-hop, highlife, juju, apala, and such other contemporary Nigerian music genres.”
“The story line has not changed but, the experience they garnered have changed, so we are infusing new young and experienced cast like Bimbo Emmanuel, Gideon Okeke etc, to boost the production in a better way.” And with the able support by Access Bank, African Magic, Etisalat, it is going to be a total drama and total theatre.
The story is that every one can identify with, it speaks to the youths of this country, in all it has been a success story. Austen -Peters who recalled the state of theatre in the past six years and how it is today stated that “we are trying to encourage theatre growing culture in Nigeria, to attract more movie stars, TV people, create that platform that will enable us discover talents.”
Saro is the story of four young people in an age-old search for greener pasture, who migrates to Lagos with little else but an abundance of hopes and dreams, where they are duly reoriented by the people and experiences they encounter on their journey of self-realization.
Weaving together the trials, misfortunes, love, and destinies of the foursome into a 14-act masterpiece, Saro tells the unforgettable and inspiring story of the journey to success in a city filled with broken dreams, as we see Lagos personified by its numerous colorful and unforgettable characters, frenetic pace of living, and endless drama.
Boasting a 100-man cast performing on a one-of-its-kind custom-built stage, Saro traces and pays homage to Nigeria’s rich musical history by beautifully rendering some of our greatest hits over the years, while also delivers its own ingeniously composed original music.
Masterfully combining this with the impeccably choreographed dance routines and unforgettably charged performances delivered by a talented and attractive cast, Saro is a theatrical joy that gallops swiftly through its fourteen acts to tell the story of Lagos settlers; immigrants who come from all over the country and indeed the world, to create a new and hopefully successful life in this bustling and exciting melting-pot.
With high praise showered on the play and its production team after its last outing, a number of impressed audience members expressed their hopes that the show would tour the country, and eventually be showcased to the world, its second coming is to fulfill the demands of Nigerians who have clamored for its return.
Some of the cast who spoke at the event expressed their joy in been part of the show. Veteran actor, Bimbo Emmanuel who is featuring in SARO for the first time said, “it promises to be an incredible spectacle, some of the aesthetics are amazing. In fact Saro 2 is going to begin to call questions about the type of things that come out of South Africa.”