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Monday, January 18, 2010

Three Reviews

Caught three shows over the weekend and they were all entertaining in their own sweet ways. But let's start off with Romeo and Juliet by a local amateur theatre group. It's not your traditional Shakespeare play as the director decided to give it a contemporary spin, with a rock n roll soundtrack/costumes/set to match. Unfortunately I didn't make it past intermission. It was not so much the style - I enjoyed the movie version of R&J, which this production is kind of similar to - but  the two leads I had problems with. Sure, they are kinda cute in the posters but Romeo swung between being stiff to over dramatic (like, throwing himself onto the floor in  despair). While Juliet ... well, in the scene that followed the murder of Tybalt, she came on stage and ... spotted something (the dagger that killed Tybalt?) on the floor and, instead of ignoring it, she gave it a good wack with her foot, sending it flying back backstage. I was a little surprised by that, since the (emotional) scene had already started. But what was really funny was that the bloke sitting in front began to bop up and down on his seat, trying not to laugh out loud. In fact, he tried so hard he was wiping his eyes. Then I started to laugh ... it was kind of hysterical - and the scene in complete ruins.

Courtesy of Orpheus Theatre

The night before I was at a classical music concert with a Disney theme. It was enjoyable as the tunes  (inlcuding Chim Chim Cher-ee in Mary Poppins) brought back some fond childhood memories. The only drawback of the evening was the conductor who, was whatever reason, was a tad nervous. He actually read out of his "cat paper"! Which was kind of surprising given he had performed in public zillions of times and had appeared on British telly.

Courtesy of the HK Sinfonietta

Piano Battle 2, the last show I saw over the weekend, was by far the most entertaining. The idea behind this concert is that two pianists are to battle it out at their keyboard. I saw the two (German) pianists Paul (below right) and Andreas (below left) performed last year and they were great. What impressed me most was Paul's playing (esp. Chopin), which is as light as feathers and very, very lyrical. Andreas, on the other hand, is not as sensitive a player but full of fun and character ... your typical Big Kid Next Door. Anyway, the local audience obviously voted more on personality than the performance/music itself. So, yes, Andreas, last year's winner, won again. They are set to conquer South Korea with this idea so good luck, boys!

Courtesy of artists

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