They’re raring to go
DATIN Seri Tiara Jacquelina cries at rehearsals. Oh dear. But she assures me that it’s the “good” kind of crying.
“I’ve been watching the cast rehearse for six weeks now, and the ending still gets me each time. It’s just such a feel-good ending,” she says of Seussical Jr, Enfiniti Academy’s inaugural production.
When Tiara founded the Enfiniti Academy of Musical Theatre and Entertainment Arts in 2011, the goal was to “train and nurture a continuous stream of performers of the highest calibre.” Two-and-ahalf years down the road, these students are raring to go. And what better way to celebrate than with a show. In fact, if everything goes as planned, Enfiniti Academy, after kicking off with Seussical Jr, will have two shows each year.
The decision to stage the whimsical Seussical Jr, a musical based on the works of American writer Theodor Seuss Geisel (best known as Dr Seuss), was not a difficult one.
Enfiniti Academy’s course director Joanna Bessey suggested it, and Tiara welcomed the idea.
“I’ve not watched the musical before, but just the fact that it was Dr Seuss already had me sold,” says Tiara, who is a fan of his works.
“I grew up with the Dr Seuss books and I just love the way he writes, how clever the rhymes are, and how his books invite the reader to dream the impossible. If a word doesn’t exist, just use your imagination! So I kind of grew up to be such a person as well,” says the executive producer of Seussical Jr with a laugh, adding that her favourite Dr Seuss story is of Thidwick The Big-Hearted Moose.
“My kids used to make me read it to them over and over again because it is just so fun.”
While Seussical Jr – which is an amalgamation of several stories and characters – might be just as quirky and fun, Tiara is quick to stress that this is a production that does not take itself lightly behind the scenes.
Enfiniti Academy is wholly owned by Enfiniti Vision Media, the producer behind the awardwinning Puteri Gunung Ledang, P. Ramlee The Musical and The Secret Life Of Nora. Some of the same professionals who worked on these shows are supporting the young cast of Seussical Jr.
With Stephen Rahman-Hughes as director and choreographer, Vince Chong as performance mentor and Llewelyn Marsh as music director, this musical holds the promise of “being as professional as any of our big shows”, according to Tiara.
“The only difference is that it is acted by young people – and it is young people performing at such an impressive level that you forget their age,” she says.
“There’s something magical about being part of a musical. You know that you’re on the right track when some of the young ones moan about how it is not fair that they have to miss rehearsals just because they are sick! That’s so sweet,” relates Tiara.
Tickets for the opening night of Seussical Jr have all been snapped up, and Tiara shares that more than half the seats in total have been purchased for this “show for the whole family.”
“Anyone from two years old and above can come and immerse themselves in the colourful and whimsical world of Dr Seuss. I promise that you will be thoroughly entertained at Seussical Jr!” she says.
The whimsical SeussicalJr, a musical based on the works of american writer Theodor Seuss Geisel (best known as dr Seuss), is set to be family entertainment at its best.