"The Little Prince" recast as play by expat theater in Vietnam city

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Expat thespians in Ho Chi Minh City have adapted the French children's classic "The Little Prince" for the stage and are performing the play in the city this month.

The stage version of "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was co-written by Jaime Zúñiga from Nicaragua. He says he wishes to entertain both the expat community as well as the English-speaking Vietnamese community with the play, which he also directs.

It stars Nguyen Lan Phuong as the Little Prince. Phuong has been more active on local stages since her role as the lead in "Co Gai Xau Xi", the Vietnamese remake of the American hit TV show "Ugly Betty."

The play's other co-writer is Aaron Toronto, an American who has been active in the Vietnamese film and television industry for eight years as an actor, director, assistant director and film editor. Toronto also plays a lead role in the stage version.

First published in 1943, "The Little Prince" has been translated into 210 languages and dialects, and has sold over 150 million copies around the world. It has inspired musicals, ballets, operas, graphic novels, museums, movies and TV series.

The production by Dragonfly Theater, co-founded by Toronto and Zúñiga, recreates the interplanetary journey of The Little Prince from asteroid B-612 to planet Earth, in a quest for love, friendship and happiness.

The play is said to stick to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's storyline but also contains a modern reinterpretation to surprise audiences.

"The Little Prince" is the follow-up to Dragonfly Theater's previous two productions, the acclaimed Broadway musical "The Last Five Years" which premiered in June, and Oscar Wilde's classic comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest," which opened in October of 2011.

It will be presented with the help of the Hong Van Theater. The collaboration is set to extend the bridge between the Vietnamese theater community and the expat community, the organizers said in a press release.

Showings are at 7:30 p.m. on November 15 and at 6:30 p.m. on November 20 at Phu Nhuan Cultural Center, 70-72 Nguyen Van Troi Street, Phu Nhuan District.

One show at 10 a.m. November 17 will be presented at Saigon Superbowl, A43 Truong Son Street, Tan Binh District.

Tickets cost VND250,000 apiece and can be booked at tickets@dragonflyvietnam.com.

All performances will be presented in English with Vietnamese supertitles.

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