Impeccable bill and vibrant dance. They are the two main qualities of the show that Antonio Banderas has set up to inaugurate the new Soho Caixabank Theater, the project that the actor has promoted in Malaga, his hometown. An exact replica of the original production of one of the milestones in the history of the Anglo-Saxon musical, To Chorus Line, which he has directed with the advice of Baayork Lee, a dancer who participated in its creation in 1975, as an assistant to Michael Bennett. Flags had promised a broadway Genuine and that is what it offers in essence: it shines in the ensemble dances although not so much in the spoken scenes, which are faltering in contrast to the verve that the musical numbers reach.
The official premiere is set for Friday, but since last week there have been previous warming functions. That contrast last night showed that contrast in the armchair patio. As soon as the first group number started, with 26 perfectly coordinated performers on stage, the audience burst into applause. And so throughout the function.
This can be attributed to the fact that the performers are better dancers and singers than actors. But it's not just that. It also has to do with the fact that the libretto has aged worse than the musical part and the choreographies. Recall the original argument: we attended the auditions for choristers of a supposed Broadway musical in the mid-seventies and the director asks the candidates to tell their lives to get to know them better. All are stories of self-improvement that in the current context are somewhat trite. The town girl who travels to New York to succeed in the entertainment world, the young woman self-conscious about her physique, the boy crossed out as a ladybug because she likes to dance …
Instead, the musical part continues to function as a perfect artifact. And the group choreographies, alternated with the individual ones, show a wonderful show of the main chorus conflict: how they should give up their individuality so that the ensemble functions as a single dance body. His apotheosis final number, metaphorically titled One (one, in English), With its sparkling gold sequin costumes, it is the paradigm that is expected of a Broadway show.
In this the Malaga show does not fail. The interpretation of the dancers is vigorous and synchronized. In the cast last night they highlighted the Mexican Estibalitz Ruiz (magnetic both in the spoken parts and in the dance), the German Sarah Schielke (exciting the part in which she must forget that she was once a star to not stand out in the choir) and the Spanish Kristina Alonso (by force her character is charismatic). Without forgetting Banderas himself, who embodies the choreographer who directs the auditions. Little comes on stage, but is always present and dialogues with the aspirants from the darkness of the stalls. His interpretation is generous, as requested by the work, giving prominence to the choristers.
The orchestra of 22 musicians who perform the original score of Marvin Hamlisch, directed by Arturo Díez-Moscovich, sounds clean from the back of the stage. Help the excellent acoustics of the new theater. The translation of the libretto and the lyrics of the original songs, signed by the playwright Ignacio García May and the actress and adapter Roser Batalla, is also elegant.
All the details, in short, are taken care of in this show. Banderas has not wanted to touch a comma nor has he spared anything to “move the spirit of Broadway to Malaga,” as he has stated several times. The theme of this work, which shows the underside of the musical mecca, has to do with that goal. The illusions and frustrations of its inhabitants, the fight for the minute of glory, the version for artists of the American dream, the direct antecedent of the phenomenon Fame, Alan Parker's film (1980) set in a dance school that later also triumphed as a series. It may seem distant and eighty, but it may not be accidental to be reborn from this musical in recent years around the world, especially since its revival on Broadway in 2006: on that same foundation the talent shows, that mix of talent show and reality TV that devastates today on televisions around the world.
. (tagsToTranslate) chorus line (t) broadway (t) genuine (t) malaga (t) antonio flags (t) inagura (t) musical theater (t) (t) invoice (t) impeccable