BWW Previews: NINE - THE MUSICAL Comes to Norway - 'In a Very Unusual Way'
Two new female creative producers / directors, with huge aspirations are about to present the Norwegian premiere production of NINE - THE MUSICAL on October 18.
Nine - The Musical, initially created and with a book by Arthur Kopit, music and lyrics by Maury Yeston. The story is based also on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical film 8½. It focuses on film director Guido Contini, who is dreading his imminent 40th birthday and facing a midlife crisis, which is blocking his creative impulses and entangling him in a web of romantic difficulties in early-1960s Venice.
The original Broadway production opened in 1982 and ran for 729 performances, starring Raul Julia. The musical won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In 2003, the Roundabout Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival with director Leveaux and choreographer Butterell. It opened on April 10, 2003 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for 283 performances and 23 previews and won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
Both post-graduates from the Paul McCartney School Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts (LIPA), Grethe Børsum and Heidi Trettøy Simonsen have been adamantly set on getting this musical to Norway. They are creative managers and directors for this production. Nine has never been staged in Norway before, and will open on Friday 18 October, at Sagene Festival House.
The producers are very enthusiastic in talking about the show: "This is truly a groundbreaking for the Norwegian musical theatre scene, and we are really forward to get to show what we have been working with", says Grethe Børsum, who believes that Nine with it's wonderful music and characters will be an eye opener for Norwegian audiences.
"We have, to our great pleasure, brought with us the experienced and talented musical theatre performer Trond Teigen in the leading role of Guido. In addition, there will be a good and diverse mix of professional artists and dedicated non-proffesionals, who will lift this Norwegian musical version to new heights. We have gathered a large ensemble and will have 90 people on stage, at the most", says Heidi Trettøy Simonsen.
When BroadwayWorld asked Trond Teigen about his preperation for the material he had this to say: "I have always loved the musical, and of course I have wanted to do it, but I never thought it would be produced here in Norway. When I was approached about this, I had just finished runs in Les Miz and Phantom back to back, so I was about to take a small break from the stage to focus on other projects for a while. But this is a role so wonderful with such richness. I couldn't pass on such an opportunity."With 30 years in the TV/movie industry under his belt, he should relate to the character of Guido, at least in some aspects. "I will definitely use some part of my experience from that when portraying the character." he says.
The cast also includes Madeleine F. Røseth, Malin Skjolde and Tone Østli. Conductor is Tom Skjellum, known from a long and content career as a performing musician and conductor. The orchestra will be made up of Sagene Janitiarkorps who took the challenge on the straight arm with its very capable 55 members. The choir Signatur also makes an important contribution under the direction of chord conductor André Storeng.
Nine - the Musical will play animated run of four performances. It will presented at Sagene Festival House this weekend October 18-20.
Guido Contini - Trond Teigen
Luisa Contini - Heidi Trettøy Simonsen
Carla Albanese - Malin Skjolde
Claudia Nardi - Madeleine F. Røseth
Guidos mor - Tone Østli
Liliane La Fleur - Grethe Børsum
Lina Darling - Marcus Rooth
Stephanie Necrophorus - Marte Kjær Galtung
Our Lady of the Spa - Hanne Mette Rendall
Saraghina - Hedda Aaserudseter Nystrøm
Reporter - Margit Jansdotter Garlid
Lille Guido - Isa Bellblom Theissen og Alva Uno Moe
Photos by: Mikkel Moe