Estonia's craze for musicals goes on

  • 2004-11-10
  • By TBT staff
TALLINN - Tallinn doesn't exactly have an equivalent of New York's Broadway or London's West End, but at the rate the city is consuming lavish Estonian-language versions of classic musicals, that may very well soon change.

Following the recent success of productions like "West Side Story," "The King and I," "Les Miserables," "Miss Saigon" and "Oliver," "Crazy for You" is next in line for an Estonian-language musical makeover. Based on George Gershwin's musical comedy "Girl Crazy," "Crazy for You" was first staged in New York in 1992.

The musical will surely be a huge hit, if only because it stars Anu Saagim, the darling of Estonian gossip magazines. The average tabloid reader in Estonia knows more about Saagim's sex life than about the country's foreign and domestic policies. Saagim is also well-known for her outrageous publicity stunts. She once splattered a cake over the head of a well-known Estonian businessman.

The beautiful Hanna-Liina Vosa, who recently toured the U.S.A. with the American production of "Grease," plays Polly Baker.

"Crazy for You" features the timeless melodies of George and Ira Gershwin, and is crammed with standards like "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "They Can't Take That Away from Me" and "Nice Work if You Can Get It."

Not that it much matters, but the original plot concerns Bobby Child, the son of a prominent East Coast banker. Though he'd rather be a song-and-dance man, Bobby is forced to enter the family business, and his first task is to foreclose on the Gaiety Theater in Deadrock, Arizona. But when he falls in love with Polly Baker, daughter of the theater's owner, Bobby dedicates himself to saving the theater. And how exactly does he go about it? By staging a fabulous show, naturally, with Bobby himself in the lead.

Musicals are starting to become a serious business in Tallinn. "Grease," which was produced by the Estonian Puppet Theater, was seen by some 95,000 people and netted an impressive profit of some 200,000 euros. Having said that, some musicals, such as "My Fair Lady" and "The Man From la Mancha," did so badly in sales that their run had to be cut short. But the same fate hardly seems like for "Crazy For You," as it would seem to have all the necessary ingredients for success. Well, it's nice work, if you can get it.

Crazy for You

("Hull sinu jarele")

Tallinna Linnahall concert hall

20 Mere blvd

Nov. 5-7, Nov. 12-14 and Nov.19-21

One performance a day at 7 p.m. (except Nov.20,

which has an additional 1 p.m. show)

Tickets 140 kroons

(9 euros) - 600 kroons.

Available at Piletilevi

and Piletipunkt,

Tallinna Linnahall, Statoil gas stations and

CD100 music stores.