Look at the fairy tale with new eyes Angel of the Lord its author Lucie Konášová lookedwho wrote it twenty-five years ago based on the stories of Božena Němcová, and later directed by Jiří Strach in his feature debut, he created a Christmas phenomenon with Ivan Trojan and Jiří Dvořák starring.
The popularity and unmistakability of the popular fairy tale raised concerns about whether the upcoming musical version would end up as a boiled-down bag of songs that would only commercially rub off on the iconic title. After all, the former Karlin premiere of Ondřej G. Brzobohatý A legend named Holmes five years ago, it benefited mainly from the catchy title – and it was Brzobohatý who, with Lucía Konášová, had set to music Angel of the Lord he contributed the most when he wrote the music and lyrics to her libretto.
But this time a long round of applause is in order, Brzobohatý has done an extraordinary job. His lyrics tell the story of the angel Petronel sent to earth to improve, accompanied by the nudging devil Uriáš with ease, without ballast or cheap rhymes, understandable for children and with a dose of humor for their parents. And the music turns the individual numbers, whether it’s a wild card swarm of the infernals, angelic footsteps or a touching confession of the master’s servant Dorotka, into experiences in some scenes more impressive than the film version offered.
He plays and sings the best
Brzobohatý has cut catchy ballads and impressive čardáš, he doesn’t skimp on imagination, he knows how to bewitch and move through his music and lyrics, he alternates pace and rhythms like a professor, and he entertains the audience almost continuously. Perhaps even a remake of a notorious hit Whiskey, that’s my taste from Lemonade Joe, which sounds here with lyrics Advent according to my taste. Not only does it fit perfectly into the ensemble, but it also serves as a funny allusion to the fact that the granddaughter of the Lemonade Man actor Karel Fiala is playing in the show.
And it is Anna Fialová, who stands above the others in this show, is its biggest star. The key chain that goes hand in hand with the Administrator (Petr Vaněk) intrigues on the estate of Count Maxmilian (Roman Tomeš), she imprinted a distinctive comic-ironic character, which she develops not through creation, but through a perfect acting concept. A single movement or facial expression can make the theater laugh. Moreover, there is no one on the stage who could surpass Fialová in her singing performance, she is unique in every number.
At the same time, with singing, it is in Angel of the Lord similar to practically everything else – there is no weak point. And this despite the fact that both the main representatives of Petronel and Uriáš – Ondřej Rychlý and Marek Lamborabut perhaps also Veronika Khek Kubařová as the Virgin Mary, they had to rely on their “drama” singing. Although they remain in his control, they coped with the roles remarkably, and Rychlý in particular pleasantly surprises in some moments.
But the success of Petronel mainly stems from his quick acting and his comedic talent. And even though the confused angel has a number of funny scenes, his representative never slips into awkwardness or cheapness, which might work for children, but would make adults cringe in shame. Rychlý, in cooperation with director Martin Čičvák, straddled this thin and especially tricky border with Petronel and proved that even simple humor can be served smartly and with grace.
A useless role for Korn
His high musical standard even in Angel of the Lord does not leave Roman Tomeš as the count, Kristýna Daňhelová shines in Dorotka’s songs, another extraordinary voice on the stage, and the cherry on top is Jiří Korn in the dual role of God and the Magistrate.
The bet on the domestic pop icon, especially in the first character, worked out perfectly, and maybe it should have stayed with her, the second, bland character of Rychtář is unnecessary for Korn. With his career behind him, he has a natural authority and esprit like God on stage – when he speaks, sings, or just casually taps with the Virgin Mary.
At Christmas and in June
In short, a joy to look at. Not only the skilled actors, the well-constructed story, music and lyrics that can be compared to world musicals, or the Christmas fairy-tale atmosphere, which Linda Boráros’ costumes and Petr Hloušek’s set take care of to a great extent.
For three hours (that’s how long the show is, including the intermission), the pulsating joy of the experience spreads through the theater, which comes every time it so-called clicks. When one successful part of the puzzle complements another, when the director puts together the performance in such a way that it absorbs the audience. And even if Anděl Páně slows down the tempo in the second moments after the cannonade of the first half, this is precisely what the experienced theater director Martin Čičvák succeeds in doing. He could also rely on Ivana Hannichová’s impressive choreography, but the production ideas and humor are not immediately visible.
Angel of the Lord is thus a new jewel not only of the Karlín Musical Theatre, but of the domestic musical scene in general. He does not steal the movie fairy tale, he steers it towards a different, sometimes even greater experience. And its magic will work both now before Christmas and in February, June… Similar to when you play at home, for example Heavenly love (when we’re talking about heaven and Christmas) to get a positive holiday charge in spite of the mundane days.
Hana Gregorová at the premiere of her son Ondřej: What did she reveal about his third wedding? Markéta Reinischová
Musical Angel of the Lord
Author: Blesk:CNC / Pavel Machan, Martin Hykl