BWW Review: 'T SCHAEP MET DE 5 POOTEN at De La Mar Theater: nostalgia galore, the true heart of Amsterdam!
'T Schaep met de 5 Pooten is Dutch cultural heritage. Our grandparents and parents were first introduced the catchy and still current songs by Harry Bannink and Eli Asser (lyrics). This musical is directed by Gijs de Lange and Esther Habbema (co-director)
The characters are very relatable, endearing and multidimensional. The common theme and common meeting place is a Dutch brown bar in Amsterdam, called 'T Schaep met de 5 Pooten (Translation: the 5-legged sheep)
The bar is actually an additional character, like Manhattan was for Sex and the City. Kind of like the series Cheers; "where everybody knows your name". It oozes the spirit of Amsterdam.
This extra premiere of this show, was in honor of Remko Vrijdag (in the role of Kootje de Beer, the owner of the bar) and Wart Kamps (in the role of Lukas Blijdtschap, who actually shares this role with his brother Tim).
Starting with Remko, he shines bright as the shy and awkward bar-owner Kootje. His inability to express his feelings to Doortje (brilliantly played by Eva van der Gucht) is endearing. He gives his character such heart, feeling the need to help the poor soul.
Wart as Lukas is funny. He is the comic relief, the fool who seemingly gets only himself in trouble constantly. His physical comedy is on point, adding extra depth to his character.
The rest of the brilliant cast: Ellen Pieters (Riek), John Buijsman (Arie), Jeske van de Staak (Lena), Jetty Mathurin (Opoe), Ruth Sahertian (ensemble), Danny Nooy (ensemble), Paul Disbergen (Tinus) and Rogier Komproe (Barend). This company is well-cast, each bringing their A-game to the show. Ellen and John as the married couple are hilarious, Jeske is as the man-eating Lena a well-loved character, who is down-to-earth yet a dreamer. Her song, Lena is weer bezig, is a showcase of all her talents, both vocally as in dance.
Choreographer Daan Wijnands has made yet another beautifully choreographed show, highlight being the bicycle dance, on bar stools. Also the song "Hoe Maak Ik Mij Verstaanbaar In Spanje" is playfully staged.
Special mention to decor designer Marjolein Ettema, who has captured the essence of Amsterdam in a bar. Also costume design by Arno Bremers, the costumes are a feast for the eyes, and brings out some extra nostalgia.
To finish, the final scene between Kootje and Doortje is beyond touching.
For more info: www.moretheater.nl
Photo credit by Mark Engelen and Tom Sebus (scene photography)