Performance Preview: The musical that gave children a voice

Pauline Kael was the most famous film critic of the 20th century. But even she made a few mistakes

Unlike most post-war musicals, ‘’ came to our screens in 1976 untested by Broadway or West End audiences.

Its novel approach to a Prohibition-era hoodlum story of featuring only child actors and replacing Tommi guns with custard was completely lost on Kael, who laughed it off as “nothing but its terrible idea”.

George, Floyd, Richie
“We don’t see actors in a story, we see kids doing a stunt and then we’re ready to ooh and aah like the audience does for a on the Carson show,” she further noted.

But the world has moved on since Kael’s era, when children were seen but not heard.

They became consumers (thanks George Lucas), got rights in the classroom (same as ) and were thoroughly mollycoddled in the process (combination of threats from paedos, social media and the movie ‘Richie Rich’).

No language barrier
Today, parents twiddle their thumbs and film their loved ones and make us go ooooh so we can go ooooh to our heart’s content. And ‘Bugsy Malone’, unabashed now, Pauline is long dead, the ultimate ooh, ah musical.

There is no language barrier to such a feeling, which is why an upcoming Rearview Theater production of ‘Bugsy Malone’ this fall holiday with an excellent songbook by Paul Williams has more than penetrated our lives since its debut nearly 50 years ago, can be enjoyed regardless of the language.

At Musikteatret , a professional nine-piece live band will also help in that department – ​​a huge priority for British co-director Russell Anthony-Collins and his partner-in- Christina Anthony, who together own the theater school SceneKunst.

Has a live band
The band consists of some of the best musicians in . Together they share a wide range of experience in musical theater as well as jazz, pop, rock and classical music.

Many of them have played in major theater performances at Folketeatret, Det Ny Teater, Det Kongelige Teater and Østre Gasværk. Others have toured with Langkjær Entertainment and Heltemus Productions.

The band is led by drummer and percussionist Mikkel Schnettler, who has worked closely with Rearview for many years.

Brings back good memories
For Anthony-Collins, a Londoner born in the early 1970s, ‘Bugsy Malone’ is a musical that made a big impression on his early life.

“If you’re around my age and grew up in Britain, ‘Bugsy Malone’ would have permeated your childhood in the same way that Sunday roast dinners or ‘knock down ginger’ might have. We all grew up knowing the film and all the characters inside out,” he recalls.

“It gives me great pleasure to direct this great musical here in . We have assembled a fantastic cast of talented young people, many of whom already have extensive professional experience. We believe that young actors, given the opportunity, can create works as good as anything else you see in the theatre. We hope we have achieved this together, and invite you to join us to see our production this autumn holiday. And that you love ‘Bugsy Malone’ as much as we do.”

And remember: we ooh and aah in all languages.

Source: The Nordic Page


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