BWW Review: ON THE TOWN at Kulturhuset Spira, Jönköping

BWW Review: ON THE TOWN at Kulturhuset Spira, Jönköping

Colorful and enchanting opening night of On the Town

When I was a little girl, the channels in Sweden (SVT) used to send movies on Sunday afternoon and in summertime they showed rain movies if it was raining. There were black and white Swedish or American films, but occasionally they showed some beautiful musical films in technicolor. Beautifully colorful films, with artists like Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. On the town was one of the old musical film which now has opening night at the Culture House in Spira. It is the first time it will be played in Skandinavia. Camilla Thulin has created beautiful, colorful dresses which takes you back to that time and gives you that technicolor feeling that spreads joy and a feeling that life is wonderful and everything will be alright. The clothes are really a delight to the eye. It is the women's dresses that represent the colorful element as the men, basically, only sailors in white sailor suits. However the white suits highlight all color.

The plot in On the Town is quite simple, Three Sailors, Gabey (Rennie Mirro), Chip (Denny Lekström) and Ozzie (Karl Dyall) are in New York on a 24hour break. Chip has made a detailed plan of what to see but Gabey and Ozzie would rather like to have fun and meet girls. In the subway, Gabey sees a poster on Miss Underground June, Ivy Smith (Hanna von Spreti), and falls in love with her image. They decide to look for her. In order for them to succeed, they split up. Chip meets the taxi driver, Hildy (Vera Veljovic) who decides Chip is the man she's supposed to have. Chip has nothing to say about it. Ozzie goes to the Natural History Museum where anthropologist Clarie de Loon (Linda Olsson) takes him for the perfect man. Neither of them succeeds in their mission as they gets occupied with the girls they meet. But Gabey goes to Carnegie Hall where he finds Ivy in a rehearsal room. Ivy agrees to have a date with him later in the evening. But her vocal teacher (Åsa Arhammar) does not think it's a good idea and succeed in stopping it at the very last minute. Will Gabey and Ivy meet again? Yes, it is an American story from the postwar period and then everything ended happily.

A simple story performed by some of Sweden's best musical artists in terms of singing and dancing. Rennie Mirro, Karl Dyall and Hanna von Spreti have worked together in several musicals and are absolutely outstanding on stage when they perform together. Denny Lekström, Linda Olsson and Vera Veljovic are also very good in their roles. Hanna, Linda and Vera play three totally different girls, all are strong girls who know what they want. Veras Hidly has the strongest will power, and there is no escape for Chip. Åsa Arhammar plays a number of different women in the play where the vocal coach Madame Maude P Dilly comes back every now and then. She embodies them in a comical and beautiful way. In addition to these, there are another 17 people included in the ensemble. Great musical artists and dancers. AS the plot is simple the dance is the strength of this musical. The dance songs are absolutely amazing and of world class. It the dance genius, Roine Söderlundh, who is the choreograph and director. Anna Ståhl is a deputy choreographer. Together with the dancers, they have created dance numbers which enchant and are very beautiful. In combination with Camilla Thulin's beautiful clothes, it's the perfect dance act. So beautiful.

Calle Norlén has done a modern and very good Swedish translation. The scenography is Frida Arvidsson, and combined with Johannes Ferm Winkler's videography, it will is very good.

It is Jönköping's Sinfonietta who performs the music of Leonard Bernstein and they are one of Spira's ace. How luxurious is it not to have a Sinfonietta that plays the music for a musical?

This is Spira's fourth musical and their first dance musical. Previously they have done Fiddler on the roof, Passion and Les Miserables. It's fun that they chose to play On the Town to celebrate Bernstein's 100th Anniversary and not West Side Story. It is brave to choose a musical that has not been played before in Scandinavia. But it's also exciting and fun and they have really managed to create a musical that is of highest quality. It is definitely worth going to Jönköping to their version of On the Town.

On the Town is played 22nd of September to 31st of December 2018. Ticket can be purchased at:

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From This Author Annette Stolt

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