BWW Review: (WO)MAN UP 4 at Det Norske Teatret - Hilarious and Moving!
Members of the male ensemble of the Norwegian production of THE BOOK OF MORMON has entertained the audiences at Bikuben on three ocations previously, taking inspiration from the Broadway tradition of performing show tunes meant for the opposite sex. While their final round of gender swapping ballistics was not as 'tight' as their last show in November, they yet again demonstrated that a great act does not need to be on the main stage to be captivating.
The cast consisted of Hans Magnus Hildershavn Rye, Mikkel Gythfeldt, Carl Martin Prebensen, Sindre Bjørke Høyang, Sigurd Vespestad Marthinussen and Richard Lessy. They opened with a "bang" with the classic "Sisters are doing it for themselves" which is an appropriate song for the cast, as they have indeed crafted these four shows be themselvs, and songs to the forefront that are seldom performed in to Norwegian audiences. They have also demonstrated dexterity to do ventures that are "outside of the box". This is sorely needed in this business, as the likelihood of jobs in big productions are few and far between. The opening video was worth the price of admission alone (See the video below). I truly hope Bikuben will continue promoting new musical theatre in future seasons as well.
There were many highlights during the evening. Such as Sigurd Vespestad Marthinussen and Carl Martin Prebensen singing the Joey Contreras penned duet "Break from the Line", but the biggest showstopper was the stunning rendition of "They Just Keep Moving the Line" (from the TV-series SMASH!) performed by Hans Magnus Rye.
Other numbers worth mentioning was Richard Lessy going full Mama Morton in a freshly orchestrated version of "When You're Good to Mama" as well as a moving interpretation of Edith Piaf's "Hymn to Love" (again performed by Carl Martin Prebensen). One of funniest bits was actually Mikkel Gythfeldt's hilarious recollection of how they tried and failed in taking photos for the poster art (showing all the failed attempts along the way. The biggest pleasant surprisea occurred when they did a "full out" version of "Six-Ex-Wives" from the new musical SIX.
As this was their final round of this concept the (understandably long) farewell-medley showcased each performer satisfactorily, and it was evident that the group has bonded during their two years together in the show. This felt like a great concluding chapter!