Web series 'Prison Dancer' goes off-Broadway

Posted at 06/19/2012 3:31 PM | Updated as of 06/19/2012 3:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The interactive web musical "Prison Dancer" is hitting the New York stage next month.

On Monday, the New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF) announced that the musical inspired by the viral Youtube phenomenon, the “Dancing Inmates of Cebu," will have a limited run at Off-Broadway’s Theatre at St. Clement’s.

The NYMF is considered a launching pad for new musicals, providing an affordable way for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders and musical theater audiences.

Created by Filipinos Romeo Candido and Carmen de Jesus, "Prison Dancer" tells of eight Filipino maximum-security prisoners whose lives are changed forever when a video of their dance-based rehabilitation program becomes a viral Internet sensation on YouTube.

As the dark prison suddenly finds itself in the worldwide spotlight, these hardcore criminals are given a second chance to find love and happiness in the most challenging circumstances.

The web musical caught the attention of Filipinos after Filipino-Canadian YouTube sensation Mikey Bustos visited Manila to promote the project.

Bustos took on the lead role of Christian in the web series, which will be played by Broadway actor Jose Llana ("Flower Drum Song") in the stage version.

Also in the cast are several Filipinos, including Catherine Ricafort, who appeared in the Broadway production of "Mamma Mia."

Directed by Jenn Rapp, the production features scenic design by Josh Zangen, costume design by Sky Switser, and lighting design by Betsy Adams.

Performances will begin on July 20 and continue through July 28.

Tickets are $20 and are now available online at http://nymf.org/prisondancer.