Monday, May 20, 2013

AT THE STALLS. ¡Ay, Carmela! el Musical... It is unparalleled.

EN EL PATIO DE BUTACAS. Ay, Carmela. el Musical...No puede compararse a nada 1

It is Sunday, that much-awaited Sunday is finally here, that Sunday when I am finally in Madrid. And it is time to go to the theater to see Ay Carmela! The fantastic musical.

It is five pm and I'm at the doorway of the Reina Victoria Theater. It is too early, I know, but I have an appointment with one of the actors of this brilliant cast before the show starts - an appointment with Álvaro Morte, who has accepted to be interviewed. The interview will soon be available on the web. After talking with him for half an hour (time has passed so fast) and satisfied at having learnt so much in such a short time, I say goodbye to Álvaro who goes into the theater. I wait a few minutes while hoards of people gather around the theater.

It is now seven pm. The stalls are absolutely crammed with people who are eagerly waiting for the show to start. The public is impatient…There are people who don't know how to wait and who, apparently, also don't know that this always happens with good things. So, it was clear to me that the show was going to be very, very good.

The lights fade and, little by little, a leg protrudes from behind the curtains, the music starts and Marta Ribera enters the stage. This seems promising; one can tell that Marta comes from the world of musicals - what a voice, what a physique! In my opinion, Marta has been the great discovery. She does everything well: sings, dances, performs and even dares the odd somersault. In her wonderful voice, she is going to narrate the story of Carmela and Paulino from the beginning to the end. Marta will guide us through this story with her mellifluous voice.

Javier Gutiérrez follows and proves why he continues to be one of the most beloved and demanded actors. This is the second time I am seeing him on stage so his performance no longer surprises me. I saw him perform in one of the plays of the Animalario theater group and had faith in his talent. But, I wanted for him not just to please me with his acting but to confirm that his performance that night wasn't something spontaneous.

EN EL PATIO DE BUTACAS. Ay, Carmela. el Musical...No puede compararse a nada 2

Suddenly a distant shadow is seen; it must be Inma Cuesta, an Inma Cuesta who enters the stage calmly and discreetly. We have already said that one must be prepared to be patient in order to see good things and with her, the same applies. As the show moves on, we are getting excited. Inma has already shown her musical talents at the beginning of the show. But after a few minutes, the big moment arrives when the main topic of the play is to be performed. It is then when Inma proves that, apart from being a great actress and singer, she is also a sorceress. Yes, I haven't gone crazy; Inma has managed to make everybody disappear and she alone is there. The magic she possesses is just incredible; she shines with a light of her own, it is something I had never seen nor experienced before. The song ends and, as I return to reality, I notice the stalls are still packed and that the musicians and actors are still in the theater. I think everyone is absolutely stunned by Inma's performance. A strange, yet amazing, feeling overwhelmed me then.

The play continues and the rest of the marvelous cast comes out on stage: Javier Navares, Javier Enguix, Álvaro Morte and Pablo Raya. They are all wonderful, with outstanding musical talent. We eventually come to intermission. I don't know if it is detrimental or not - that depends on people's tastes - but going back to the show I think that it is light and agile.

The use of new technologies makes us feel bombarded by the truth, frightened that one of the bombs that fall on the stage is real. I am glad that such new techniques are used in the theater. I think they contribute positively to making the audience feel better than ever about these types of performances.

Each musical piece is better than the previous one. Laughter, weeping…My heart shrinks with emotion and I have butterflies in my stomach, touched on more than one occasion. And of course, each time Inma sings, the world disappears.

Andrés Lima's seal is noticeable. His personal touch is reflected in each job he does. That is why he is one of my favorite theatrical directors, and on this particular occasion it couldn't be otherwise. "Ay Carmela" has its own brand and one is grateful for it.

EN EL PATIO DE BUTACAS. Ay, Carmela. el Musical...No puede compararse a nada 3

There isn't much more I can say, other than "Ay Carmela!" is one of those special shows that is produced once in a thousand years. It is wonderful for one's senses and I think that everyone should go through an experience like this sometime in their lives.

I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few plays in Madrid and I can assure you that I have never seen a Madrid audience give a standing ovation. And yet that is what happened last night. "Ay Carmela" had the entire audience in the packed theater on their feet applauding for three curtain calls.

Because of all this, because of the magic, the talent and the excellent performance, I'd like to congratulate both the artistic and technical teams. Congratulations to each of the members of this show and thanks for conveying such emotions to all of us.

My thanks to Álvaro for everything and to the team that made it possible for me to attend this SUPERB SHOW!