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An eager and exuberant boy discovers the magical world of Latin rhythms and their power to communicate across cultures.

A concert about the music of the Americas takes an unexpected turn when Max – an energetic but impulsive young boy – makes his way onto the stage to “help” the orchestra.  Soon Max is on a whirlwind adventure that takes him from the concert hall to the vibrant lands of Latin American culture where – with the help of his new friend, Mambo the dog, the orchestra and the audience – Max learns the magic of Latin rhythms and how to “dance” with the music.

Audiences rise to their feet, dancing to the rhythms of Latin America in Platypus Theatre’s most interactive show to date. Co-commissioned by the symphonies in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa, Presto, Mambo! gives young audiences the unique opportunity to experience a symphony orchestra thrumming to the irresistible beat of the Latino sound.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.png
Edmonton Symphony
National Arts Centre
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Story Themes

  • Embracing the unknown
  • The hero’s journey
  • Community collaboration

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Musical Themes

  • Rhythms of Latin-America
  • Music as universal language
  • Rhythmic layering

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Fun Facts

  • First Platypus program to be commissioned by several orchestras: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and the National Arts Centre
  • First Platypus show to be set in Latin-America
  • Creative team involves a dozen artists in five cities and two countries


*22*22 / 4331 / Timp + 3/ *orchestral strings 


Gutiérrez – Alma Llanera Pajarillo

de Abreu – Tico Tico no Fubá

Sousa – Liberty Bell March

Bélanger, Marc – Potpourri Lavalois

Piazzolla – Oblivion

Trudel, Alain – Drum Magic

Traditional (arr. Wagler) – La Mariposa

Revueltas – Duelo from “Hommaje a Federico Garcia Lorca”

Traditional (arr. Wagler) – La Bruja

Sheldon, Robert – Danzas Cubanas

Morricone – Gabriel's Oboe from “The Mission”

De Falla (arr. Chapelier) – Spanish Dance No.1 from “La Vida Breve”

Bernstein (arr. Peress) – "Mambo" from West Side Story

Tech specs

This performance requires the services of three artists from Platypus Theatre: two performers and a stage manager

Lighting can be varied to suit facility.

Presenter must supply two flesh-coloured, inconspicuous microphones (Sennheiser MKE 2 Gold or similar) that can be hooked over the ear or attached to the face.

For full technical requirements, click on downloads for the rider. 

Presto, Mambo! as a School Concert

Each Platypus Theatre program is tailored to suit both the primary (kindergarten to third grade) and junior divisions (fourth to seventh grade). Our in-depth and relevant study guides were developed by teachers, with separate activities by grade level and curriculum that meet or exceed most state and provincial standards for arts education. 

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Cross-Curricular Connections

  • Drama (masks, puppetry)
  • Social studies (cross-cultural understanding, individuality and community)
  • Geography (Latin-America)

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Character Education

  • Cooperation
  • Tolerance
  • Courage