BWW Review: WE WILL ROCK YOU at AFAS Live Amsterdam - Killing it as Killer Queen is queen Anastacia - Casting Is All
We Will Rock You. A worldwide phenomenon, where millions of theatregoers enjoy the rock brilliance by the immortal music of Queen. PeepArrow Entertainment is one if the most important live entertainment companies of Italy and for this production joined forces with TEC Entertainment.
We Will Rock You tells the story of two young bohemians, in a totally digital world, where free thinking and especially making music is forbidden. Will they break free?
Giorgio Adamo as Galileo and Arianne Galetti as Scaramouche sing beautifully - a little bit too clean maybe, not really rock 'n roll- but their acting skills are below par. Not only is their very very thick Italian accent in English disruptive to say the least, it also seems like they really don't comprehend the English language. Jokes fall flat due to poor timing and since they're portraying the rebels of the show, it just really doesn't work when their acting is so safe, sometimes borderline boring. Having seen the original Dutch WWRY and the one on the West End, disappointment is the last emotion yours truly expected to feel when experiencing this one.
The show looks amazing, grand yet a little bit over the top decor (do we really need two arrivals of the Killer Queen in a rocket?) and with an amazing band.
Anastacia as Killer Queen is surprising. Her vocals are a perfect match with the Queen repertoire and her rendition of Fat Bottomed Girls is one of the highlights of the show. She is also not an actress, but she charms her way through the story and gives the show a little bit of an 'umph'. Her duet with Stanley Burleson as Khashoggi 'A kind of Magic' was great, a beautiful blend of Stanley's more soulful sound vs the powerhouse of belt which is Anastacia.
Lily Jane Young (Oz) and Ian Carlyle (Brit) were perfect for their roles. They embodied the spirit of bohemien rebels amazingly and with strong, rocky vocals. 'Only the good die young' by Lily Jane was a breath of perfectly dosed fresh air. Same goes for Jeroen Robben as old rocker Buddy, he guides the leading characters with an effortless rocky charm through their search for freedom.
Director Massimo Romeo Piparo made some choices, which may not be in the best interest of the show.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a full ensemble song in the first act may as well be performed by the cast of Glee. All sugarcoated, having nothing to do with their claim to freedom and rock 'n roll. If you have seen Rock of Ages, an hommage to classic rock music from the 80's, which might go too much overboard to the other side of the spectrum, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, I'd prefer Rock of Ages. This version of WWRY was just vanilla and safe.
Ending on a (slightly more) positive note, the immortal genius of Queen withstands it all, and if WWRY was just a concert of Queen songs, it's a A+ from me. But it's a musical, where all three disciplines should be equally important, and unfortunately, this production has it flaws. But the grandeur of the show, lightning and sound design are spectacular and the premiere event was one of the best ever, I would have hoped for a smash hit of a show. All the hard work around this show deserved that.
For more info and tickets: www.tec-entertainment.nl
Photo credit by Margot de Heide