By Margot Thomas
Panama’s welcome to 2018, continues well into the year with a potpourri of theatrical and musical events with some anticipated traditional favorites being joined by a new kid on the block - Panama The Musical.
Set in Panama during the closing years of the Roaring Twenties, when dances like the Charleston and the Black Bottom were the rage, it is the story of a struggling love affair between a Zonian American songwriter who dreams of hearing her songs on the new invention called "radio" and a young Panamanian boyfriend who win a contest to record their songs in New York with interventions by a casino owner forcing her young sister to pay off a family debt by working in a local casino, setting the scene is for lively song and dance routines with tunes that have already won critical acclaim in London’s West End.
The musical written by Canadian ex-pats Rob Brown and Yolanda Van Der Kolk promises to literally put Panama in front of the spotlights with performances scheduled for Canada and beyond.
The cast and production lineup features many local celebrities and some newly discovered starlets.
Opening night is Feb 1, 2018, at the Ateneo Theater, City of Knowledge. Tickets at. www.panatickets.com.
Below are some of the Entertainment highlights of the first half of the year
PANAMA JAZZ FESTIVAL
At the Ciudad Del Saber (City of Knowledge), with happenings in and around Panama City. The Festival in its 15th year has gained world stature and attracts jazz fans and party lovers
Jan 18 -20, 25-27
OTHER DESERT CITIES
The Anc0n Theatre Guild's (TGA) first presentation of the year. directed by former professional actress Ramona Rhoades, Brooke Wyeth (Linda Johnson) returns home to Palm Springs to visit her parents after a six-year absence. A once-promising novelist, she announces to her family the imminent publication of a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family's history - a wound that her parents don't want reopened. Performances start at 8 pm at the TGA theatre in Ancon. Tickets $15, Arrive early and catch up on the latest gossip at the patio bar
THEATRE GUILD OF ANCON annual meeting, to elect the enthusiasts who will run the country's longest-running show during the upcoming year. They won't let you starve while you are there. More details to follow.
OTHER DESERT CITIES
Performances start at 8 pm at the TGA theatre in Ancon. Tickets $15, Arrive early and catch up on the latest gossip at the patio bar
Feb 1-8 – PANAMA THE MUSICAL – at the Athenium Theatre in Ciudad Del Saber (City of Knowledge). Evening performances 8 pm Saturday and Sunday matinees 3 pm. With pre- world-premiere seat pricing, Your curtain raiser for an upcoming entertainment feast over the next three months. Tickets at. www.panatickets.com.
Feb 10-13 PANAMA CARNAVAL
Four days of partying and celebrations across the country. In Panama City, the daily stage performances and fun center is on the Cinta Costera, but scores of thousands head to festivals in the interior leaving Panama streets gloriously free of traffic jams.
Feb 17 -Mar 4 - PANAMA THE MUSICAL at the Athenium Theatre in Ciudad Del Saber (City of Knowledge)Evening performances 8 pm. Saturday and Sunday matinees 3 pm. Closed Monday, Feb. 19 and Monday, Feb. 26. Tickets at www.panatickets.com.
Thu, Feb 22
PANAMA THE MUSICAL – WORLD PREMIERE. at the Athenium Theatre in Ciudad Del Saber (City of Knowledge) Red Carpet event 6 pm.Your chance to meet the cast, directors and producers while you enjoy a pre-show libation and delectable snacks. Show starts at 8.30 p.m.
BOQUETE JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL - World-Class Jazz & Blues on the slopes of Volcan Baru in a cool location, with lots of places to explore and a treasure trove of restaurants for wining and dining, in between exploring local boutiques and souvenir stores.
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (IFF) The 7th festival bringing award-winning films to venues across the city and introducing movie lovers to new genres and talents. There are even some free performances, It promises to add another star to Panama's creative galaxy. Trailers, news and commentary will be published regularly in the New Year, with links here,
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE - At the Golden Tower Hotel, presented by the CanadaPLUS Foundation. This will be the seventh presentation with the audience given the chance to show their sleuthing skills. To reserve call 6619-6890