Review: HAZEL, AN EXTRAVAGANT, MUSICAL at Ö2 Scenkonst Södermalm

World premier 5th of April 2024

By: Apr. 07, 2024
Review: HAZEL, AN EXTRAVAGANT, MUSICAL at Ö2 Scenkonst Södermalm
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Review: HAZEL, AN EXTRAVAGANT, MUSICAL at Ö2 Scenkonst Södermalm

It is something special to be the first audience to see a completely newly written Swedish musical. Hazel is not based on any movie or book, but here it is completely new. Parts of the music are already available on Spotify and a filmed version on YouTube, but it has added dancers and additional songs since then and is now ready to meet an audience for the first time. I had the privilege of seeing a completely ordinary rep of Act 1 and even then I felt that there could be something here that could be good. It was really fun to see the set in its entirety and how it has evolved since then.

The musical Hazel gives that cozy feeling of high school found in American movies. Hazel (Frida Jokinen) is a neat, smart bookworm who studies psychology and she is together with Henry (Teodor Wennö), an extravagant, impulsive and egocentric songwriter. Two teenagers who are finding and realizing their dreams. Henry gets the opportunity to participate in a two-week songwriting campus at the luxurious The Rosewood in London. When you're that young, two weeks is a long time and Hazel definitely doesn't want her and Henry to be apart for that long, but he goes and says so on a note and leaves some ice cream in the freezer. Lack of communication and the inability to listen causes them to drift apart in pursuit of their dreams. A classic right person but at the wrong time.

This is a musical that oozes youth and energy and is performed by a young ensemble. It is so wonderful to see that there is growth both in terms of new musicals and musical artists. Frida Jokinen takes on the role with gusto and has a fantastic voice. Emma Pucek as The Narrator, guides us through the musical and does so with both elegance and cockiness. Mikaela Carlson is the songwriter Zoey whom Henry meets on the train to London and they hit it off. Mikaela has, in addition to a good singing voice, a comic timing that makes her stand out extra when she is on stage. Together with Teodor Wennö, the first act closes with the catchy Rockstar Fairytale, which immediately catches your attention when you hear it.

Overall, the music by Henrik Langemyr (also script and direction) is really good. Happy, catchy pop songs that are mixed up with some powerful slightly emotional ballads. However, I was missing a really good ending song, either it should be something really emotional or more along the lines of a happy show number, but unfortunately, the ending kind of ran away into thin air. It left a bit of a feeling of "didn't more happen?" But it is something that can be strengthened as the musical matures on stage.

Carin Juborg's choreography with the ensemble adds an extra dimension to the scenes and Rockstar Fantasy is the perfect ending to the first act with a nice number with the whole ensemble.

With small resources in the scenography, they succeed well in creating the feeling of a change of scenery. They use the stage hatch for entrances to create a little extra life and movement, as well as parts of the ensemble entering the stage via the audience.

Hazel is performed in English which adds to the aura of high school which I really like. How wonderful it is to get a little English musical here in Sweden and it is thanks to West End Stockholm who dared give this new musical a chance to be staged for the first time. 

Don't miss the chance to see this newly written musical with some of tomorrow's musical stars. It really brightens up the gray days outside.

Hazel will run till the 13th of April.


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