Saturday, December 24, 2011

Revista 22 magazine loves "Medley of Sondheim"

BUCHAREST:  The reviews are out, and they're still giving us love.

In a critical report devoted to this year's edition of the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts "Life is Beautiful!", the critic Ioana Moldovan of the Romanian weekly magazine Revista 22, reserves praise for my production of A Medley of Sondheim which performed this past November at the Teatrul Metropolis.

Revista 22 critic Ioana Moldovan
Moldovan's performance review, entitled "Unsprezece zile frumoase în noiembrie (Eleven Beautiful Days in November," individually singles out the incredible Broadway artists who brought to life the music of Stephen Sondheim.

Moldovan praises these Broadway performers for their ability "to reconstruct, even for a moment, that special atmosphere and the entertaining world of [Sondheim's] shows."

She also notes the excitement of the Romanian audiences whom, she observed, "hardly wanted to accept the end of the show."

Moldovan's review echoes similar praise from top Romanian musical artists who saw the Sondheim show.

Alexandra Craescu, the leading star of Rebecca, a major production of the Teatrul National de Opereta "Ion Dacian," commented: "They were absolutely amazing. I love them all. Great voices, great acting, great technique—I love them. I want to hear them again here in Romania. They've changed my life!"

Cezar Ghioca, a U.S.–trained Romanian director who specializes in musicals, operettas and musical revues, stated: "Wonderful evening! I went home floating in a balloon of happiness—a wonderful treat to be able to take back home in Bucharest, straight from the theatre, that anti-gravitation state that only a Broadway show can create. Thank you."

Playbill, a Broadway publication, has published, "A Sondheim-inspired Romanian Adventure With Ali Ewoldt and Friends," a news story by Matt Blank and a photo diary documenting A Medley of  Sondheim, the first USA production to ever debut at the International Festival of Musical Performing Arts in Bucharest.  The photo diary was created by Ali Ewoldt, the leading actor who played Maria in of the 50th anniversary revival of West Side Story.  Here is the link:

This is Moldovan's review in the original Romanian language:
Şase artişti americani de origine filipineză au adus la Bucureşti o oră din muzica lui Stephen Sondheim, cel mai mare compozitor american în viaţă. Arii din musicaluri celebre precum: West Side Story, Sweene Todd sau Anyone Can Whistle au entuziasmat publicul, care cu greu a vrut să accepte încheierea spectacolului. Reacţia este oarecum firească, fiecare dintre cei şase artişti: Albin Knopka, Jose Llana, Joan Almedilla, Ali Ewoldt, Angel Desai şi Orville Mendoza fiind nume consacrate pe Broadway, care au reuşit să reconstituie, chiar şi pentru o clipă, atmosfera specială a acelei lumi de spectacol.
A Medley of Sondheim at Teatrul Metropolis in Bucharest

A magazine devoted to politics and culture, Revista 22 is published weekly (since 1990) by the Group for Social Dialogue in Bucharest.  In English, the name of the magazine translates as 22 Magazine.  It was named in memory of December 22, 1989, the day the communist regime in Romania was overthrown.

Moldovan's article, which was published on December 20, 2011, states that a total number of 450 artists were invited to this year's edition of the festival, of which 310 artists came from abroad. Twelve countries were represented in "Life is Beautiful" — Italy, U.K., Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria, France, USA, Georgia and Romania — and the total number of audiences reached 4,000 spectators.

"There is every chance that the festival will continue to grow and become a landmark in the performing arts music scene in Romania and elsewhere," said Alina Moldovan, deputy general director of the National Operetta Theatre" Ion Dacian," which annually organizes this one-of-a-kind international festival. —RG

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