Photo: Filip Fojtik
In just three days, on Thursday, September 8, the Actors’ Association will announce at a press conference the names of the artists who will have a chance to win the Thalia Award for 2022. This is the most prestigious acting award in the Czech Republic, and the decision of the expert jury and theatergoers in Uherský Hradiště.
The hot iron in the fire is Jesus Christ Superstar
And why do the Slovak Theater believe that they could wait for a nomination for Thálie? “It indicates the huge interest in our rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. Not only do viewers stand in queues for it, but it has also been visited by many renowned reviewers and critics. And even their reactions confirm us that our Jesus is absolutely exceptional,” says actor and spokesman for the Slovak Theater Josef Kubáník.
“I saw Jesus for the first time in a non-musical theater performance. And the ensemble of the Slovak Theater performed something perfect. All the critics present literally fell on their backs, there’s no other way to say it,” the renowned theater reviewer JP Kříž confirms his words.
Admirable performances in the cult rock opera are mainly given by actors and singers in the main roles: Tomáš David as Jesus, Tomáš Šulaj as Judas and Kristýna Daňhelová in the role of Mary Magdalene. “We let ourselves be surprised, but we feel in our bones that it could work again this time. Just being nominated is a huge prestige and success,” emphasizes the spokesperson.
Jesus lwe have records
The rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Dodo Gombár at the Slovak Theatre, is a cult work by authors Tim Rice and Andrew Llodyd Webber. They wrote it as young men in their early twenties in 1969, and it is still performed all over the world with great success. In the Czech Republic, fans saw it for the first time in 1994 in Prague’s Spirála theater and it received an incredible 1,288 reruns. Kamil Střihavka, Dan Bárta, Bára Basiková and other stars of the first category appeared in the main roles. The musical was later staged by the Karlín Music Theatre, the Brno Municipal Theater and the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre. The Slovak Theater is the first non-musical ensemble in the Czech Republic that has dared to undertake this extremely demanding work.
The premiere took place at the Slovak Theater on October 9, 2021. Josef Fojta took care of the musical staging, Petr Svozílek took care of the singing, Eva Jiříkovská set and Linda Fernadez Saez choreographed. On stage there is a live band led by Josef Fojta.
Who already has Thalia? Countess and naked danbreech
The Slovak Theater has so far won two Thalia Awards. The legendary actress Květa Fialová won it in 2011 in the drama category for her portrayal of the eccentric Countess Maude in the production of Harold and Maude. “The Slovak Theater is my National Theatre. I love him. And I love Harold. I’m going to paradise there. Thank you,” she said in her acceptance speech on the boards of the Golden Chapel for her role in the production, which saw almost a hundred hopelessly sold-out reruns.
“Ms. Květa wanted to play Maude for her 80th birthday, so that she would be exactly as old as the character of Maude, as written by the author. I think that Mr. Stránský, the director, who eventually took over the direction, did not regret that he complied with her,” smiles Josef Kubáník, who played Harold and had a long-term friendship with Květa Fialová.
In 2005, Tomáš Šulaj won the Thália Award in the operetta and musical category for his performance as Jerry in the musical Donaha!. But he already has an incredible nine nominations.
“Othello was the first wider nomination, then came Donaha!, Buča in Gypsy go to heaven, Carter in Adéla hasn’t dined yet, Lopachin in Višňovém sadu, Helmer in Nora. Then Jura Baran in Sekala must be killed, when I was a guest at the National Theater Brno, it was the second closest. In 2019, he was third for Kříž u potok, and this year he was narrowly fourth and overall ninth for Billy in the Musical Chicago,” he calculated in 2020, when he received his last nomination for the time being.
Many Slovakian actors received nominations
The names of actors from the Slovak Theater regularly appear in nominations for the Thalia Awards.
In 2020, for example, Pavlína Hejcmanová earned a broader nomination among the ten best musical actresses for her role as Velma in the musical Chicago directed by Linda Keprtová.
In the same year, Jitka Hlaváčová made her way into the narrowest nomination among the best three drama actresses for her captivating performance in the role of Kostelnička in the drama Její pastorkyňa directed by Michal Zetel. She also has a wider nomination to her credit for the role of Liška Bystrouška in the production of the same name by director JA Pitínský from 2008.
Together with Tomáš Šulaj, Klára Vojtková in the role of Eva was nominated among the three best theater artists for the production Kříž u potoka.
In 2014, Tereza Novotná received the closest nomination for her performance in Henrik Ibsen’s Noro.
Interesting facts about the Thalia Awards
It was established in 2003 and was first awarded on March 26, 1994 on the occasion of World Theater Day.
It was created by Václav Postránecký, Ivan Vyskočil and Tomáš Töpfer.
It was named after the Greek muse Thalia, the patroness of theater.
In the first years, the symbol of the Thalia Awards was a glass vase, produced by glassworks in Nové Bor according to the design of Josef Sekyra.
Posters were regularly designed by Adolf Born from the 1st year until his death in 2016.
Not just about Thaliach v television and radio
Lukáš Kopecký will talk not only about the nominations for the Thalia Awards, but also about what awaits the Hungarian scene in the coming months on television and radio. He will be a guest of the discussion program Silence in the TVS television studio from 5:30 p.m. today.
On Thursday, September 8, in the afternoon, the artistic director of the group will probably find out how the nominations went in a live broadcast on Czech Radio Zlín. It should appear on the air at approximately 3:15 p.m., and the nominations will be announced a quarter of an hour later.