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Little Dorothyis back to Craiova
The Craiova Lyric Theatre has in its repertoire not only operas, operettas or musicals, but also musical compositions for children, a very important segment growing every year and visible in the theatre bills announcing new productions, highly acclaimed by children, parents and grandparents, due to the parts chosen and the exquisite performance that exceed the expectations of such a demanding and difficult to hold audience.
At the beginning of October 2011, a packed hall, with bated breath, watched the adventures of Little Dorothy, musical composed years ago by Marius Țeicu on a libretto by Silvia Kerim, brought back on stage by the director Carmen Roibu. The scenography was preserved from the previous mise en scène (once produced by Sorin Novac and refreshed by Razvan Draganescu) and the choreography by Francis Valkay.
A real team - a balanced artistic approach
The experience accumulated in the few previously staged compositions, had their say in the latest achievement of the stage director, also a performer, thus knowing what needs to be done so that characters seem veridical and the action runs smoothly and have an immediate impact on the audience.
That is why, when making up the cast, she chose artists with an aptitude for acting, gifted and enthusiastic, engaging with real pleasure and joy in this demanding and very serious "play", getting inside their part so naturally natural and displaying such a charming verve.
Therefore, all parts are equally important and strongly shaped; they have life and rhythm, poetry and prominence, often reaching performance. Eva Stefanescu, the cute and tituppy Dorothy (also assistant choreographer), Anca Tecu turns into alively and joyfully exuberant Tick-Tock Dog, Lawrence Nicu, the Tin Man, reinstates the gracefulness and expressiveness we acclaimed in his previous plays.
Nicolae Popa, as The Straw Man, has the same virtues that help him accomplish a true performance, and this is also available for Edith Mag, a hot-tempered Witch with an irresistible humor, Andreea Gheorghe as the exuberant Winkie, Alexandru Petre who embodies a sensible and kind Lion, or Gabriel Marciu as the Chief of all Monkeys. Meanwhile, Carmen Roibu as the warm and shining Good Witch, and Daniel Cornescu, a talkative Presenter-Wizard of Oz and Dragos Teodorescu as the Guardian of the Gate and Uncle Henry. Composition and line parts complete one another, forming a homogenous dancing team, who recites prose with ease and spontaneity, plays back a record that blends in gracefully into a balanced artistic undertaking.
As with any story which... respects itself
The lively, logical movement, with no trace of thickening, runs in a setting marked out by a few elements which define the atmosphere in any painting - the little house, the field in bloom, the castle -, and the very suggestive costumes define the characters with their fairytalish appanage, somewhat playful, therefore pleasant and full of charm. Each element acquires a well-defined meaning, and the dance falls into place, the main characters playing amongst flowers, bees, good and bad beetles, and fierce monkeys, the same as any story that ... respects itself.
They sang nicely and played lovely
Even if music only brings a few songs played on repeat, and the dialogue is rich as the show lasts over two hours, the children - aged between 3 to 12 years - were held spellbound from the first moment (the total silence in the room was a proof) they applauded enthusiastically after the performance was finished. The fact that such impeccable performances achieve their purpose was also reflected in the kids` being tempted to go up on the stage during the interval, trying to imitate the actors` movements, a clear sign that they were impressed and that they would like to become real performers a real stage, or at least that they would like to watch the show again, while looking forward to other performances, equally inviting.
This is what any institution that aims at attracting audiences of all ages towards the lyrical genre should do, thus shaping tomorrow's audience by means of such productions, and leading children into believing that even operas and operettas will be just as attractive.
Parents and grandparents will abandon themselves to the story, willingly entering into a world they want to bring back to live even if only on such occasions.
The performance which deserves all the praise is all the more worthy of admiration, as rehearsals and preparations for the premiere were made in parallel with those for another production - Puccini`s La bohème - first performance on October 20th, the effort is enhanced but rewarded by the success it had, by the flowers and the well-deserved applauses.
Translated by Gianina-Aniela Casleanu
MTTLC graduate, Bucharest University