A new and entirely Penang-made musical comedy opens on Saturday May 5th with two shows at penangpac at Straits Quay, at 2pm and 8pm. The musical was written by local resident Nancy Jenster, and is performed by a cast of local Penang-based young actors and actresses. It tells the story of a family in crisis that is put back together again with the help of four young angels, and promises tears and laughter for the whole family.
Based on a musical she wrote while living in Copenhagen fourteen years ago, it is only since Nancy and her husband retired to Penang under the MM2H program that she has had the time to pull it together as a full-blown stage production. She worked virtually with Australia-based director Nicole Stinton, who has been active in the musical theatre industry for more than two decades, to finish the musical compositions and to strengthen the plot. Local musician Vince de Leon arranged and orchestrated the music, and doyenne of the Penang dance scene, Aida Redza, director of Penang Modern Dance Ensemble (Euphoria), is responsible for the high energy, youthful choreography.
The musical tells the story of Abbie, a cynical 13 year old whose life is turned upside-down when she meets the Angel Gabriel, who is disguised as a street musician living under a bridge. He tells her that her father, Franklin made a serious mistake ten years ago and disappeared from Abbie’s life. But there is a chance her family can be reunited now if four young angels, Lucy, Mattie, Jane and Marcia, can teach her some lessons about forgiveness and second chances. Nothing goes quite to plan though, and Abbie, her best friend Molly and even Jess, the school bully, must take control of things.
Nancy says “I believe that the message of forgiveness and compassion carried in this story is universal—bridging cultures and religions—thus, I hope that the world will welcome future productions of “Abbie & the A-Team”. This “premiere” production in Penang will serve as a springboard for further development (and undoubtedly, further revisions!) before presentation to potential producers in the UK, Australia and USA.”