The way to Heaven is through Hell.
This is my personal perception of the three shows – open rehearsals – I saw. My written confession does not intend to offend neither to please anyone by any mean. These are just raw thoughts the new theatrical production directed by Andrei Șerban has brought into my childish mind.With this play, I actually discovered the child within me, a phase which I have no recollection of… Unlike many humans, theater, this invisible force, actually has the ability to torment me and take over my mind and heart. To surrend yourself to invisible forces may sound relieving, but it is also can be tricky, if you lose yourself completely.
“As long as someone remembers your name on Earth you have a lot of things to work out.”
The first night of the open rehearsals of the Carousel really swept me off my feet as I saw the entire cast performing. they really made my heart and mind float with everything they did on that carousel like stage. It seemed as if I was part of the character’s bittersweet fantasy and that felt really uplifting. The curtains down. A round of applause. Next show!
The second night was trully heart-breaking and I could not stop crying until I got home. On my way I saw a father with his two little kids walking. Their and the lovely voices of the children stopped my tears for a while. Then coming back to the show, the open rehearsals…Alexandra Fasola who plays the feminine lead role has this power of stirring up emotions inside of you with her voice, the voice of a silently suffering woman, who has endured all sorts of pain from her man…Horrifying! The lack of justice towards Julie’s unexplainable love for Liliom, the carousel entertainer, who does nothing with his life, but to hurt everyone around him…Ahh! What a despicable character Vlad Ivanov plays! One small reason I could find for his defence is that Liliom has this inner struggle that he cannot fight against and therefore he continuously fights the ones around him. Is inner pain a reason for hurting the others with every occasion? Just to make this short note, I actually had the lovely chance to talk to Vlad Ivanov at an autograph signing, and I found him really nice and easy-going. I have no idea why his roles do not emphasize these positive features of his…But hey who am I to judge. Maybe he has this one time chance to be mean on stage and to let just the audience see that dark evil side of him…Well, not him, the character… How can a spectator distinguish the character from the actor? The actor is a creator as it makes the text to come alive with supernatural forces. And then what? Where is the man in all this creation? Most of us cheer the character, not the actor, I sadly noticed…I want to cheer the people doing this acting job taking over all of them for us the audice. That giving it all in 2 hours is not a lie. If you as a spectator do not pay attention to what is happeing on stage, then you chose to live a lie, as you do no embrace the energy offered to you for free. Theater is magic and what happens in the theater, well, can actually do you some good in your daily life.
Julie teaches us that there is no cure for pain and that you just have to live with it. Julie’s character is also played by Ana Ularu and I thought she enhanced the dignified part of lorn Julie. I like both the interpretations of Julie as both actresses have outlined distinct features of her personality, so you never get bored to watch them. Ana and Alexandra also play in turns in The good person from Schezwan (Omul cel bun din Seciuan, the Romanian title) also at Bulandra Theaterm but at the other hall.
At the third night…well I really enjoyed watching the character portrayed by Maria Obretin, Mrs. Mullin (Madame Muscat Romanian name), the carousel owner and boss of entertainer woman beater Liliom. Madame Muscat (the name of the character in the movie as well) seems to be the kind of patronizing woman who thinks she can buy everyone with her money. She suffers as well because of Liliom, but her suffering is so vain and wrapped up in hidden desires, which is really cool, because she keeps the audience guessing. The character is also made by Rodica Lazar in another key, which I will describe my perception of after I had watched her second perfomance this upcoming night.
If I enjoyed watching Mrs. Mullin, I totally adored the characted played by Catalin Babliuc called Albert. I resemble Albert a bit, because I also do everything while singing and get into trouble at the same time. He is hilarious and his energy really spices up the mawkish situations created by awful Liliom and beared by poor Julie. The show seems like a thriller during some scenes and the light design along with the music highly contribute to maintain this suspense atmosphere even after the actors have moved to the next stage. There are many emotions you gather while in your priviledged spectator seat. Some you want to get rid of as they are very unpleasant and some you want to keep with you forever. As far as I have seen the open rehearsals, I would like to take home with me the French and Italian songs sang by the cast, the actor’s power to shape the characters and their ability to go on with that they do, no matter what. If it wasn’t for the actors the characters would have remained just words on a sheet of paper. I congratulate the director for choosing this wonderful cast for his new show, which I keep returning to see.
Let yourself tormented and purifyed by theater, this ephemeral art, occuring just for you to see and feel !
You can book tickets for the open rehearsals here.