Friday, February 16, 2007

A Standing Ovation that did not Embarrass Me

I have sat through numerous standing ovations that shocked me, but the partial one I witnessed tonight was just fine, for the Toronto Operetta Theatre's production of Imre Kalman's 'Der Zigeunerprimas'. Was there a weak point in the whole show? - none that I could point to. Diction fanatic that I am, I was delighted to find James McLennan in the cast again, this time as the son. Beside him Elizabeth DeGrazia had wonderful hair (hairpiece?), great decolletage, and a lovely voice. Katerina Tchoubar was utterly wonderful in her role as well. Which should not be taken to slight anyone else, as the whole cast and orchestra seemed just great.
I had the privilege of sitting beside the parents of one of the child 'extras' in the cast, who performed wonderfully, and that certainly made the whole experience better. I would add that I was also seated between two women with wonderful choices of perfume so the whole sensual experience was superb.
The operetta itself is very enjoyable. The romantic notion of Gypsies is played to the hilt and we get some great violin work, as well as some cute play with notions of royalty and peasantry (I quite liked the 'Suzuki school' violin training going on early in the story.). Musically, we get the wonderful riff that later opens 'Just the way you look tonight', though Kalman takes it somewhere different from where Kern takes it (also enjoyable).
My review is basically, "Go see it", but I wager you might not be able to get a seat. Try anyway!


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