The hills are alive, again

  • 2005-11-02
  • By TBT staff
RIGA - In what are a rather barren couple of weeks for worthwhile entertainment in Riga, TBT can only recommend our readers to see a performance of "The Sound of Music" at Kipsala Hall from Nov 17 's Nov 20.

The musical first appeared in Riga in the spring of 2004, but it bombed and quickly disappeared. This time, however, the show's organizers insist that it will be a spectacular success, and they have heaped all the blame for the failure of last year's show on the Estonian organizers.

In the usual gobbledygook of Latvian PR, they claim: "The brilliant idea and zest of it did not fully work. Estonian producers failed with the musical's administration in Latvia, which resulted in a limited public circle." Roughly translated, that means no one came to see the show because the Estonian producers messed everything up.

It remains to be seen whether the newly revamped show, which will be performed in Latvian, will "bring joy to every soul," as the PR release goes on to boldly claim. But if you have nothing better to do, you might as well go and see it. Your soul might even thank you afterward.

The new and improved "The Sound of Music" stars Marija Naumova as her namesake Maria, Juris Zagars as Captain George von Trapp, Dace Volfarte as Mother Abbess, Lauris Reiniks as Rolf Gruber, and several other well-known names also feature in support roles.

Marija Naumova, or Marie N, as she is sometimes known, will doubtless relish polishing her scales in the lead role, for her pop career has all but gone to the hills following her brief moment of Eurovision glory. Indeed, she was arguably behind the song with the worst lyrics in Latvian pop music history, with her hit "I Feel Good," which is really saying something, as Bananarama once put it.

The director is Ivo Eensalu (Estonia), who is a major figure behind the current craze in Estonia for musicals, and who has directed such timeless wonders as "Mary Poppins," "The King And I," "No, no, Nanette," "La Cage aux Folles," "Zorba" and many more.

The music is being provided courtesy of the Latvian national Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Normunds Vaicis) and Dzintars women's choir (conducted by Aira Berzina).

As for the musical, not much needs to be said. You either know it or you don't, and you'll either like it or you won't. Personally, we would prefer to see some slightly more original and progressive material being performed on stage rather than yet another old favorite rehashed for a quick buck. But then, that's show business for you.

Nov 17 's Nov 20

Tickets: 2 lats (3 euros)

's 15 lats