This vendor provides virtual services
Looking for a change of pace?
Expect unusual fun as Mlanjeni Magical Theater offers a form of east African theater which we call "Muungamano." It is one of Africa's interdisciplinary art-forms utilizing acting along with puppets, magical illusions, folk music and dance in traditional storytelling. The audiences are actively involved in the presentations through call-and-response singing, dancing and volunteer assistants. Presented by Africa's Ambassador of Fun, storyteller-magician Mlanjeni and son, the Amazing Mr. Q (together or as solo artists), the shows are a delight for pre-schools, elementary and middle schools, libraries, festivals and family-oriented events.
The children and staff of all ages really loved Mlanjeni!
I highly recommend Mlanjeni. He's very entertaining (and talented too)! There was a good story, puppets, comedy, magic, song, dance...loads of fun!! The kids (ages 1-8) loved him and the adults were entertained as well.
Kids thoroughly entertained
We found it clever and age approptiate. We were surprised the show was comedy/magician and not a storyteller.
The children at the party had an awesome time. The parents were all delighted with the entertainment. I will definitely recommend!
He kept the kids engaged and entertained. He was flexible as many guests arrived late to the event. I would definitely recommend!!!
Our kindergarten students laughed and enjoyed the show! It was entertaining and interactive. Thank you!
Mlanjeni is a very engaging storyteller. Our students were right there with him in the tale the whole time.
Always a great experience. He was on time, very engaging, and entertaining for the kids.
Mr. Q was the highlight of the party. The kids loved him. So much fun!
The children enjoyed the performance, however, I prefer Mlanjeni to perform because he provides more content and less silliness to carry the show.
From the moment he came he was full of energy. The children loved singing songs, dancing, watching his cool magic tricks and listening to the stories he told.
Our group had so much fun with this performance. (I personally loved the accordion.)
There was a slight problem with the microphone and sound was an issue at times, but overall this was great, age appropriate fun.
It is hard for me to write a fair review of the content of this performance, because the sound was so bad that we had a very hard time understanding what was being said a lot of the time. When there were instruments playing we could hear those loud and clear, but then any dialogue that came right afterwards would take a couple of seconds to come on, and depending where the performers were standing the sound would go off completely for up to 3 seconds. This was particularly frustrating because the students were really engaged at first and found the humor, magic and call and response parts of the performance really fun, but it was very hard for them to follow the story. From what I was able to understand about the stories told, they were interesting and taught appropriate lessons. I really liked the cultural aspect of it too, and it made the students want to learn more about Nigerian traditions. I wish we could have seen this performance in person!
Entertained the kids which was quite fun. Provided intricate balloon design for each child. Thank you so much!
Mlanjeni is a wonderful and engaging storyteller who kept our group laughing, dancing and clapping with joy! The stories were thoughtful, beautifully delivered, and exactly what we needed. Mlanjeni is also a gifted ventriloquist and the puppets were fun for all ages. We are looking forward having him join us again!
Super engaging and the kids loved it!
Very much happy with balloon twisting and puppet show event. Worth it
Mianjeni came to our family party with 14 kids aged 9 months to 10 years old (as well as more antiquated adults). We all loved them. We were all laughing and moving together. A great ice breaker for the first time some of the kids had met each other. Tjey added a biit of magic to our gathering!
Thanks for always doing a great job and engaging the children with fun activities such as the balloon twisting.
Our virtual afterschool program with Neurodiversity Learning experiences with disABILITY Inclusion of the Visually and Hearing Impaired was more enriched with the MMT performance.
Thanks to Mlanjeni Magical Theatre for a wonderful show and his 30 years of performances with multiple puppets and the magic drum. Your thoughtful repetition on "The Five Senses" made us look into our 7, 9 or even 100 senses. We learned that a 'sense of being' and a 'sense of space' is also important.
We look forward to booking you for more events and also recommending you to others.
Andrew Sharpe, Chairman, Authentic Caribbean Founder and Miranda Alexander, President, Caribbean Community in Philadelphia
Children were happy.
Great storytelling. The children were engaged and had a wonderful time. They loved the puppets, songs, and stories. I would love to have this opportunity again when we can all be together. This was a virtual event and at times the sound wasn't the best. If I could I would have rated the experience 4 1/2 stars.
We had Mlanjeni Magical Theater perform three different times for our nonprofit's virtual literacy week. He is a very gifted storyteller and performer. The performance had many different elements that kept all of the children engaged such as music, singing, magic, puppetry, an accordion, and fun costumes! After the performance the children at our center were still singing the songs. It was so nice seeing all of the kids singing, dancing, and laughing a long. I am so thankful to have found Mlanjeni Magical Theater so that we could do something fun and out of the box for our kids and families, especially during these times where smiling and having positive experiences together are of upmost importance! Thank you for your stories, we really enjoyed them!
The performer was on time and professional. He engaged the children and presented the Nigerian culture in a fun way:). I definitely recommend Mlanjeni Magical Theater without any reservations.
Amazing performance! Kids at the summer camp had a fantastic time! Will definitely book again!
Mr. Langeni was an amazing storyteller, puppeteer, and performer. He presented multiple puppets, delivered stories, call and response songs, and kept the audience laughing and cheering. mr Langeni engaged children from 2-5 via Zoom in a way that felt like we were watching an in person show! He gave us a full performance that was a incredible way to make a Zoom birthday party engaging and exciting. Would definitely hire him again for more parties.
The Amazing Mr Q is the best! The kids loved him and he is so patient and the price was the very best!!!i
Just wanted to say thanks.. I truly enjoyed your presentation last evening, timely, funny and fast paced.. I thought “Happy Swim Day” was very clever!.. The swimmers and families enjoyed our virtual event.. I am going to refer/recommend you!..
May GOD Continue to Bless and Keep you..
M. A. Thorpe, II
The 4M Swim Club
On Friday, July 31st the Amazing Mr. Q preformed a spectacular program at the David Cohen Ogontz Library. The event was recorded so hopefully more kids can enjoy his performance.
Thank you so much! Both of our summer camps loved your performance! We will definitely work again in the future!
Thank you very much for coming to our site. Our students were engaged and attentive the entire time. Laughter could be heard through out our entire building for each age group!! We would have loved to learn more about the Griots and what they are however, the students were so interested in that bag of fun and the smiles on their faces were so big, we were satisfied.
Mlanjeni magical theater was fantastic! I couldn’t believe that he was able to keep 3 year olds focused for longer then 10 minutes. They loved the puppets and even staff were amazed by his magic tricks. A nurse at our facility even recognized him from her childhood and shared how memorable he was to her! I would highly recommend him!
The activity was what I had hoped for and much more. We are looking forward to their coming to the school on a continual basis.
Thank you for coming out to Foundation Academy and bringing joy and laughter to our scholars and their families!!!
Mr. Q provided several hours of balloon twisting. He was great with the kids!
Mr. Q was punctual in arriving, allowing time for setting up. He was accommodating, courteous, engaging and more importantly very patient with the little ones.
Very funny and interactive with toddlers. He made awesome balloon animals and swords and things for them to wear on their heads.
Mr. Q was prompt, dressed for the occasion & super talented.! I think the adults may have had more fun than the kids. I loved that his performance was interactive for all. It really upped the ante of the overall experience. Thank you to Mr. Q & Mlanjeni Magical Theatre for making the day memorable. The best part was seeing my 1 year old engage I knew I made the right choice. I would definitely book again!
The children were engaged, laughing, and enjoyed the puppet show.
Professional, and children were completely mesmerized!
Amazing Mr Q was a great fun for kids, he knew just the right jokes to make to make the kids laugh non stop
Fun interactive Balloon twister/entertainer was at our corporate event in Toms River, NJ.
Will be using him again.
The kids had an amazing time with our storyteller and I would hire, and will, for every kid function going forward!!!
We had Mlanjeni Magical Theater at our Easter Egg Hunt and we received an excellent performance. They were prompt and engaging. There were over 70+ children at our venue, and each one had a smile on their face as a result of interactions with the presentation. The services rendered unto us was balloon twisting and a puppet show. We can't wait to rebook them!
This was an amazing show for our kids. We loved the songs, stories, puppets, and magic. He really was good with all the children and we will definitely invite him back!
We had booked for a school assembly for Read Across America. Our students absolutely loved it. Initially we were concerned if it would be age appropriate for our oldest students, but our worries were eased and rightfully so! There were many call and responses, and lots of opportunity for the students to get up and interact with the story. It was an experience that they raved about and will remember for many years to come!
The crowd went wild! We got rave reviews. Would reccomend to any one. Thank you!
He was just ok. Wanted something a little more uplifting.
Response from Mlanjeni Magical Theater:
Yes, I agree with this sponsor, the performance was "Just Okay"....however, the event was quite different from what was requested. I try to emphasize to clients that we are griots, and our performances are created to match the group and event. The initial request was for a storyteller for a senior center's "Worship Event" for 25 seniors. In speaking to the client, she explained that she actually wanted a program on "Health: Mind, Body and Soul." The seniors are "religious" but that was not the desired focus. ...okay, we've done senior centers and health fairs in the past, we know how to put it together plus January is Dr. King's month, so we'll have a story there as well. We asked about the senior's mobility as our performances are storytelling in Africa's theatrical tradition, our audiences have movement and dances to perform. We were told focus on movement as some seniors may be in wheelchairs. We prepared for the event.
What we encountered was quite different from what was requested. First the event was in fact a promotional event for the Health Center. It was also a public event. Prior to our performance was an "informercial" about the Health Center and then a presentation by a pharmacist. Lunch was served...and we were introduced...
Here's where the problems occurred. First a small room overflowing with 30 people sitting and eating at tables....where we asked for chairs only.....there was absolutely no room for movement, dance and performance. None.
Two, a public event for "uplifting, religious storytelling." No. No. No. " It became clear that the sponsor did not know the seniors in attendance. Dilemma #2 -our company has guidelines about religion. We will not impose specific religious stories on public audiences... what the sponsor actually needed was "survival stories," i.e. stories on surviving "cancer," or surviving other health problems common to seniors. We are not seniors, hence we don't have these stories.. so "just ok"
We had a great 7th birthday party because of Mr. Q’s magic, balloon animals, and entertainment. Thank you so much!
Mr. Key was awesome!
I hired Mr. Q to entertain the children at my son’s 1st birthday party. He was absolutely amazing and very funny. Even the adults enjoyed his show. I would highly recommend.
My Preschool/Kindergarten scholars and staff truly enjoyed the shows. It was very interactive and engaging and I loved that he WAS the stage, the curtain, the puppets, everything. Looking forward to booking again.
We hired them for 3 hours of balloon twisting. Kids absolutely loved it! Very prompt and professional. We will definitely use again! And next time maybe try some other fun activities they offer!!
What a wonderful show! Thank you.
The children really enjoyed the show. Mlanjeni had a fun way of keep the children engaged and the teachers laughing the whole time. I would definitely invite him back to our program.
We are so thankful for Mlanjeni magical for our twins first birthday party. He kept everyone entertained and love how he interacted with everyone! Everyone said how much fun they had. Will recommend
He was professional, prompt, and funny!
Kids really enjoyed!
Will use again!
All the children had a great time and were engaged the entire show. We even had parents join in on the fun! Thank you Mlanjeni Theater
the day was canceled because of the weather but a wonderful group of people with whom to deal
I have seen plenty of shows for children ages 1-6 at my kids friends’ houses in the last couple of years, but none of them was like Mlanjeni Magical Theater. A group of almost 50 children in my yard were entertained and stunned by the performance while sitting on the gras, giggling, singing along and laughing that their bellies hurt LOL
The most geniune and fun puppeteer I have ever seen, who didn’t need any wierd nor TV related character figures from today’s too fast pacing world to make my twins birthday party super special. Thank you and we will surely hire you again :-)
Mlanjeni Magical Theater provided a wonderful show to our PK-3rd graders at Enrico Fermi School in Yonkers, NY. The children had a great time. They especially enjoyed the way the actors had them move around and become engaged in the show. The show was both funny and entertaining.
Kids we aged 3-11 and all were laughing and had a great time.
Mr. Q is awesome! The children were laughing and engaged for the entire performance. Received many compliments from parents and adult attendees.
Mlanjeni Magical Theater came to do performances for our Literacy Night Event. They were very courteous and arrived right on time. Our students and their parents were raving about the show. Students were so engaged that they didn't even realize how much they were learning! I would highly recommend them for your event!
Mlanjeni did an amazing job at our event. We had a party with children raging from 2.5 to 7 Years old and all the children plus adults loved the show. The whole room full of children were engaged the whole time and the giggles in the room never stopped from all the enjoyment!
We loved every second!
It was great as usual for the members
What to Expect
Our performance is created to match the age and attention-span of the audience. As in traditional African theater, the staging can change as the performance develops.
THE FATHER/SON TEAM TOGETHER: MLANJENI & MR. Q
If performing at a school or family event:
We begin with a bag and a chair or two..... and space for activity.......the introduction begins...the audience smiles and someone points out that they don't speak the language used in the introduction. We begin again in English. We announce that we are actors and traditional storytellers visiting with a story to tell. We sit... and they laugh for nothing happens yet. We announce that we can't begin until we are greeted and welcomed into the space......with a dance from them!
For young audiences... expect that this space will shrink as the performance brings the group into the actions of dancing, singing, and fun performing as magical assistants and interacting with the puppets.
For older children and family audiences.... expect what we call "the murmur" followed by a collective "OOHH!" for as soon as we begin they realize that they are experiencing something different...Africa's theater!...and then the real fun begins as they begin with a traditional dance and then interact in the presentations with song, dance and activities.
When performing at a festival:
Talking is at a minimum with action being primary as Mlanjeni and son and/or grandson present a series of colorful magical illusions based in eastern traditions including folk music and puppets (hand masks).
MLANJENI OR THE AMAZING MR. Q AS A SOLO EVENT
When performing solo at a school or library:
The introduction will vary depending on the event....but the format is similar... a "call-and-response" song and dance begin the show. The theme of the show is introduced and the storytelling begins.
When performing at an early childhood center:
The introduction to storytelling is presented...only to be interrupted by the puppets with their event or problem of the day...the program continues in a way that's similar to a "live" television sit-com with the children drawn into the actions of the characters. Interaction is encouraged in this style of theater.
Mlanjeni Magical Theater is a theater company specializing in entertainment for youth audiences. The company began in Harrisburg PA in 1975 with the help of Philadelphia's Freedom Theater director, John Allen.
The style of the theater developed is called "Muungamano." Muungamano is an interdisciplinary style of east African performance art featuring storytelling, dance, music, masks and/or puppets and magical illusions. Moving to the Delaware Valley in 1986, Mlanjeni continued to build the theater into a small touring company.
Touring the "Muungamano-style" theater in schools, libraries, day care centers and museums. Joined by his son, Marquez in the 1990's, father and son perform together and as solo acts throughout the area.
MLANJENI - STORYTELLER. PUPPETEER. VENTRILOQUIST
He has been called "the cultural ambassador of fun!" A traditional storyteller (griot), Mlanjeni Nduma provides insights into Africa with his stories on it's ancient empires and chiefs, the colonial era, and hero struggles in modern times. His stories are presented in Africa's traditional manner which includes folk music, call and response song and dance by audience, puppets (masks), magic and interactive fun.
A puppeteer and ventriloquist, Mlanjeni is known for his hand puppetry and the novel staging of stories. His ventriloquist puppets are all animals and the interaction between them makes for a hilarious time for children and family audiences.
THE AMAZING MR. Q - SERIOUSLY FUNNY STORYTELLER. COMIC MAGICIAN. PARTY ENTERTAINER
Son Marquez, a/k/a the Amazing Mr. Q is recognized for his unique magic, his visual comedy in performance, and his comic storytelling of Africa's folktales. A master magician in action... his illusions vary from those normally seen in the acts of children's entertainers, and create squeals of delight and amazement from young audiences in schools, libraries and birthday parties. His programs are very interactive! Children delight in the antics of Bow-wow the dog, Zik the rabbit, and Lucky the Zebra, the Amazing Mr. Q's puppet assistants, as they bumble and stumble their way through the magic.
SOLO AND TEAM PERFORMANCES AVAILABLE
Performance credits include the Philadelphia School District, the Coatesville School District, the Philadelphia Free Library, the Montgomery County Library, the Please Touch Museum, the Atlantic County Library, the African-American Museum of Philadelphia, the Cape May County Library System, Children's Hospital Early Head Start, Riverfest, Reading Buddies, many of the Delaware Valley's private day care centers and private schools and various schools in Maryland.
Additional Booking Notes
We have performed in rooms as small as a hospital room with two patients (Children's Hospital of Phila.) going room to room with a mini-performance on up to a 400 seat school auditorium (a high school performance).
We have performed outside and "in-the-round."
For large groups of over one hundred, a sound system is required. We can provide our own, but we prefer a tested sound system that may already have the speakers mounted in place for best acoustics. We bring a keyboard or accordion if there is no piano.
The current set list is the MLANJENI MAGICAL THEATER's 2022 - 2023 SEASON
******FESTIVALS, FAMILY FUN DAYS AND PARTIES:
The themes vary with the requests of the sponsor
*******PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE "LIVE" OR "VIRTUALLY"
****EARLY CHILDHOOD - GRADE 3
****GRADES 4 -8: Year round fun
A GRIOT SPEAKS
" FINDING THE STORY WITHIN" - a workshop on storytelling
I REMEMBER DR. KING
THE JOURNEY: VOYAGES IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY
****GRADES 9 - 12 : year round fun
A GRIOT SPEAKS OF TIME
FINDING THE INNER VOICE
A 4 SESSION WRITERS WORKSHOP IS AVAILABLE YEAR ROUND FOR GRADES 4 -8.
Influences & Inspiration
The Disney Corporation and their philosophy of positive age-appropriate entertainment for young audiences.
For a small space: 2 chairs. For a large stage: 2 chairs and 3 microphones