A FLIGHT THROUGH THE EMPIRE OF ELVES WITH LILI
Iva Bryndová 29. October 2015 zdroj www.musical.cz
(…) The authors unveil to the audience a story full of magic and fantastic characters in a mysterious enchanted realm somewhere beyond the border of the human world. It is at the same time a story about human suffering, the search for one´s own path and beliefs that mainly occurs at the most sensitive age, at the boundary between childhood and adolescence. (...) Just as (for example) in the Neverending Story, the main motif in Flight Dreams is the journey to discover how important fantasy is for people, how important dreams are and how fantasy and dreaming mustn´t be forgotten. (...) Igor Ondříček and Alena Antalová alternate with Milan Němec and Jana Musilová in the roles of Oberon and Titania. Both of the ladies are excellent in the role of the Queen of the Elves, as well as that of Lili’s mother Tanja in the human world. It’s barely possible to find anything to criticize, even though each of them plays the role in a slightly different way. Alena Antalová is more quarrelsome and strict in her attitude to her husband in both worlds, while Jana Musilová makes a lot milder impression. Both of them act completely believably the whole time, and their singing is also absolutely problem-free. The difference between the Oberons in the world of fantasy and the Roberts in the human world is more obvious as far as acting is concerned. Igor Ondříček is rather a strict king and father, while Milan Němec is somewhat more forgiving and his version of the comic part when he remains on the stage alone with his wife Titania /Tanja is perhaps a little better, which is also the case with the singing parts. Aside from these considerations, both men act identically well and it depends on the individual taste of each spectator as to whose version will appeal to them more. Apart from the above-mentioned characters, Fůrius, the main bad guy, has a quite significant role in the musical, as do his spies Netopýrus and Nemotorus, the latter being a troll who is longing to become an elf and so acts as a guide to Lili and her Granny Amyra in the world of elves, trolls and magic. We had the opportunity to see both alternate actors in all of these roles: Jan Apolenář as well as Lukáš Vlček in the role of Fůrius, Jiří Mach and Karel Škarka as Netopýrus, and Lukáš Janota and Jakub Uličník in the role of Nemotorus. All of these gentlemen deserve only praise - they play their characters professionally and without hesitation. (...)
PAMPER YOUR DREAM
Tereza Zálešáková 23. March 2015 zdroj www.rozrazilonline.cz
The family fantasy musical Dream Flight was the second musical premiere of this season. The musical from 2011 was originally written as one of the attractions for a Dutch entertainment park, Efteling. It was adapted for the Czech environment by Petr Gazdík, together with Karel Škarka.
The libretto is based on the mutual intertwining and influencing that takes place between reality and an alternative world which lives in the imagination of children. This fantasy world actually exists here, whether it is accepted by children (and adults) or not. The unbelieving part of society plays into the hands of the trolls, while the elves can only rule under the condition that people believe in them. The musical focuses on children, their changing world as they grow up, and also on their relationship with their parents.
Director Petr Gazdík emphasizes the mirroring of the parallel world within our real one. While the trolls represent a children´s clique which excludes every diversion from “normality” from its circle, the elf community reflects the relationships and hierarchy in the family. Oberon (Igor Ondříček) isn´t a perfect elf of the type we know from Tolkien’s stories - in the alternative world, he accentuates the same conflict between fatherhood and his leading position within the elf society as the character of Robert (also Igor Ondříček) does. The double role of Tanja and Titania is played by Alena Antalová, whose touching motherly conception of Titania overshadows Oberon with his internal parental conflict. The largest expectations are focused on the actress playing Lili and her mastery of the acting and singing parts of the role. Pamela Soukupová did very well as the saviour of both worlds. However, the “secondary” character of Amyra also gets attention. The role of Granny suits Jana Gazdíková.
The music itself is very imaginative; it is based on the pleasantness of sound and the meaningful associations of the musical structures and instruments used. Particularly in the group parts, it goes beyond simply completing the atmosphere and creates both the difference between reality and the alternative world and between trolls and elves. The trolls’ music is deeper, more resolute and aggressive, while the elf empire is characterized by the soft “divine” vocal choirs of butterflies. Out of the many supernatural characters, two above-standard performances stand out – the ruler of the trolls, Fůrius (Jan Apolenář), and Nemotorus, Jakub Uličník’s troll scatterbrain who wishes to become an elf.
The visual side of the production is relatively good. There is always a fight to avoid ingratiating kitsch and excessive decoration when creating a fantasy fairy-tale stage arrangement. In the case of the costumes (Veronika Hindle) the battle was won. The horrible trolls from the swamps are more entertaining than frightening, but the elves will enchant young and old spectators with their beauty, butterfly wings and omnipresent glitter. Lili and her granny´s everyday clothes remind viewers that the story is anchored in reality. It is completely the opposite in the case of David Benson´s stage arrangement. The inhospitableness of the forest swamp is illustrated only by a few tree trunks and hanging lianas and the area is shaped by light. The world of the elves, which enchants with its music and costumes, suffers from the excessive multiplication of features in the spatial arrangement. Omnipresent colourful blossoms and goblets are supplemented by projections which bring rain to the stage, depict Oberon´s journey through the universe and also visually delimit space.
FLIGHT DREAMS. FANTASY AND DREAMS MUST CONQUER EVIL AS WELL AS REALITY
Luboš Mareček 5. February 2015 zdroj www.mestohudby.cz
(…) Flight Dreams also draws from the permanent popularity of fairy-tale fantasy. This time the fight between trolls and elves involves a magical couple, Titania and Oberon, who are a mother named Tanja and a father called Robert in the human real world. This quarrelling and ever-busy married couple has a thirteen-year-old girl, Lili, who already feels too old for the fairy-tales about elves she and her grandmother tell one another and which she draws in a book. (...) The director, Peter Gazdík, has mostly founded the play on traditional theatre magic. It is mainly based on visual opulence as far as the costumes are concerned, while the rich stage arrangement by English artist David Benson helps Brno City Theatre bring the surreality of events to life. Benson built two high shelves with painted books along the sides of the stage which form the central decoration in the earthly plot setting, i.e. Granny´s apartment. Books here are objects which not only reveal the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors but mainly act as the imaginary entrance to the world of elves, ents and trolls. The artist equipped the supernatural empire with mysterious tree trunks and hanging garlands of fantasy flowers. It makes a grand impression full of fairy-tale character, just like the elf costumes by Veronika Hindle, who dressed her winged creatures in pastel colours in harmony with the set design. (...) The director Petr Gazdík constructs grand fairy-tale scenes filled with supernatural creatures that contrast with the “real-life” situations at the beginning and end of the story which feature purely contemporary and topical phenomena such as the lack of family cohesion and normal togetherness which mortals can only envy in the communities of elves, trolls or ents. (...) The great surprise of the show is Natálie Grossová in the main role of Lili. The young girl will impress theatregoers with her confident acting and singing, as well as with the convincing finale in which she has to face the dilemma of whether to say yes to the cunning self-appointed King of the Trolls, Fůrius, or choose to be on the good side. Grossová manages to deal with every situation with ease, and she is one of the highlights of the production. (...)
Pavla Haluzová 29. January 2015 zdroj www.informuji.cz
(…) The most notable aspect of this work is the artistry displayed. The stage set and costumes are beautiful. For example, the scene where the elves with beautifully created wings swing on ropes accompanied by music will certainly remain in theatregoers´ memories for a long time. Each of the costumes also distinctively symbolizes its nation, thus making the plot easy to follow, especially for child spectators. The live trees were also interesting characters. Marek Capoušek´s masks also deserve the same praise, particularly the ears of the elves, and the mask worn by the troll Nemotorus. The jaunty choreography, e.g. the troll’s dance, also made a very interesting contribution to the show. (...)
Pavla Haluzová, www.informuji.cz, 29. 1. 2015
BRNO’S WORLD OF ELVES AND TROLLS GIVES US BACK THE DESIRE TO DAYDREAM
Vítězslav Sladký 28. January 2015 zdroj www.musical-opereta.cz
The foundation of the musical Dream Flight is the truly beautiful, uplifting, often almost opera-like music by Martin Lingnau, composer of theatre, film and popular music. Even the prelude is impressive, just like the refined musical characteristics of the individual characters (whose songs range from cabaret to rock pop opera) as well as the grand ensemble performances. The musical arrangement by Martin Viesner in combination with Brno City Theatre’s powerful “large symphony orchestra” under Dan Kalousek and František Štěrbák´s careful leadership brings the spectators an almost unexpected musical experience. If there were awards for the theatre musical discoveries of the year, Martin Lingnau would be one of the favourites, along with Dream Flight! The songs are pleasant to listen to even in Czech, thanks to Petr Gazdík´s translation, and it’s due to experienced dramaturge Klára Latzková’s efforts that even those who have practically no experience with the world of elves and trolls (i.e. like me) won´t get lost in the story.
Director Petr Gazdík has returned to what are known as family musicals after the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and highly successful Mary Poppins, i.e. to productions which are primarily aimed at children but aren´t just simple fairy tales which parents go to see just because they are accompanying their children. After all, Brno City Theatre has plenty of experience with such productions - let´s mention, for example, Joseph, Oliver!, Garden of Miracles and the original and again very popular Snow White. Director Gazdík utilizes similar principles with this piece as in the case of Mary Poppins, placing the emphasis not only on children´s imaginings and the occasional double-meaning thrown it for adult consumption, but also and mainly on the provision of an excellent theatre show. The story features impressive stage transformations and magic spells as well as light effects. Excellent stage designer David Benson helps out here, as does costume designer Veronika Hindle and the “light and projection magicians” David Kachlíř, Petr Hloušek and Dalibor Černák. The result is a breathtaking work of fairy-tale fantasy which takes audiences to a colourful world that is visually completely different from our one but is still human because it was created by humans. And the story? It is, in fact, quite simple, but brilliantly constructed. It will definitely entertain contemporary children and perhaps will make adults think a bit, too.
I saw thirteen-year-old Pamela Soukupová in the main role as Lili – she actually learned the role as an understudy. It was Natálie Grossová´s excellent performance that was mainly discussed after the premiere but even the “third” alternate actress wasn´t bad at all. It is interesting that all three of the actresses that play Lili (Grossová, Fialová and Soukupová) perform in slightly different ‘normal clothing’ so that they feel natural and relaxed. Jana Gazdíková transforms into their literally ideal magic granny; probably only the eccentric Květa Fialová might be better, at least as far as Czech actresses are concerned, though I have no idea how her singing is... Leading musical actors Igor Ondříček and Jana Musilová starred in the double role of her parents and later the rulers of the elves, Oberon and Titania. Both of them were convincing as the arguing parents as well as the royal couple, appearing confident in their acting as well as their singing. The star of the evening was Jan Apolenář as the revengeful and almost ridiculously racist Fůrius. I haven´t seen him for a while in a larger musical role and therefore I was pleased to see that he still acts with the same enthusiasm as back in the times of Midsummer Nights´ Dreams and Dracula. He is one of the few characters that can dominate the stage and enchant spectators right from the first act. It is a pleasure to watch such actors and singers! Jiří Mach sang excellently in the role of Fůrius´s capable helper and spy, Netopýrus, and the audience cheered the cutely clumsy Lukáš Janota in the crowd-pleasing role of the seemingly stupid troll Nemotorus. There are also many musical children involved in the show, from whom I would like to name at least Dominika M. Elischerová, Tomáš Gut and Kateřina Kolčavová.
Dream Flight ends in a similar way to the already mentioned Mary Poppins. If you still haven´t lost your imagination, and you haven’t yet become lost in today´s rush-filled and often falsely over-motivated world, find some time to dream for two and a half hours. This new Brno production, full of charming music and magical effects, is certainly worth it.
PAMPER YOUR DREAMS WITH LILI IN BRNO
Jiří P. Kříž 27. January 2015 zdroj Právo
(…) One can only praise Jakub Uličník for his performance as the silly troll Nemotorus. However, the star of the show was Natálie Grossová in the title role - she shows great singing and acting talent. (...) The best singing and acting performance of the evening was given by Lukáš Vlček in the role of Fůrius. Jana Musilová and Milan Němec in the roles of the mother and father, as well as Titania and Oberon, were but a tiny step behind him (...)
A TRIP AMONG ELVES AND TROLLS
Lukáš Dubský 25. January 2015 zdroj www.i-divadlo.cz
The genre of musicals for child spectators is a relatively specific one whose development is, however, being given special attention in the cradles of the musical world - on Broadway or at the West End. Shows for the whole family are successful, and on top of that, theatres can attract future spectators in this way. In the Czech Republic it is basically only at Brno City Theatre that we can find a continuous stream of children’s musical productions. At the Musical Theatre, world-famous hits appear regularly (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast), as well as new shows from their own workshop (Garden of Miracles, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs).
Dream Flight is one of those stories in which a child hero enters an imaginary world where he or she gets involved in problems and comes to know him or herself through solving them. Perhaps the best-known representative of this category is The Neverending Story, but there are a perhaps uncountable number of variations. Thirteen-year-old Lily has problems with her constantly arguing parents, while her schoolmates laugh at her for still being attracted to the magic world of elves which her Granny Amyra loves talking about so much. It is into this world that Lili gets one evening, naturally just at the moment when an argument about elves and trolls is about to start. The plot of the musical is uncomplicated and it doesn´t have any major diversions or side plots. The whole thing is about convincing Lily to believe in her own imagination, as only in this way can she ensure that the world of elves doesn´t disappear. The popular fairy-tale theme of conflict between good and evil is of much weaker significance than usual here. The “Evil” is represented by the leader of the trolls, Fůrius, who is actually more of a comic character. His hatred towards the elves is really just a complex he has about some wings he received through the magic of one of the daughters of the elven king, Oberon. The inner conflict which takes place inside the main heroine, who has to learn how to involve her own imagination in her life and pamper her dreams, is much more important here than the outer disputes of two nations.
The libretto contains very witty dialogues in places, with several references to contemporary life (Justin Bieber) as well as citations from Shakespeare (Hamlet and mainly A Midsummer Night´s Dream, according to whose characters the royal elfish couple were named.
As far as the musical aspect is concerned, Dream Flight is a good piece of work. Unlike e.g. Mary Poppins, the individual compositions aren´t individual hits, but as a whole the music has an epic feel. Mainly the overture but also several other compositions are reminiscent of Howard Shore’s monumental soundtrack for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
If there is one area where this musical production in Brno City Theatre clearly scores it is the stage arrangement, which is inventive and beautifully colourful, evoking the fantasy world very well. The creators have done great work with the lighting design and video projections. Veronika Hindle´s costumes borrow motifs from other fantasy works inventively – for example, Oberon´s appearance clearly suggests that of the elves in the Lord of the Rings; he reminds one of Legolas with his golden hair. Also, the ents look excellent in combination with the lighting.
The characters of Oberon and Titania, otherwise Robert and Tanja, are played by the same two actors (Igor Ondříček and Jana Musilová), and they show in the best way that our world is not so very far removed from the elfish one. For example, the husband and wife have the very same argument in both worlds.
The most entertaining characters in the story are the negative ones, Fůrius (Lukáš Vlček) and Netopýrus (Jiří Mach). In particular, Vlček has a whale of a time as the trolls´ leader and with his flawless singing provides the best performance of the evening.
Pamela Soukupová´s acting was very natural in the role of Lili (she is listed as an understudy in the programme); she performed the dialogues well and managed to emphasize the stubbornness of the character with her body language.
Dream Flight is a production which supplements the choice of musicals for children very well. However, this doesn´t mean that adults won´t enjoy it, too. With regards to the current popularity of the fantasy genre (for example, Peter Jackson´s Hobbit and the Game of Thrones series) the addition of this production to the repertoire was a clever move.
Vratislav Mlčoch 25. January 2015 zdroj www.babocka.vram.cz
(…) It is a truly spectacular performance of a beautiful fairy-tale for children and adults which will enchant you in such a way that, regardless of possible scepticism, you will forget about all that time which is forever lost, and the hard-won experience and wisdom you’ve gained over the long years, and let yourself be carried away by this fairy-tale about elves, trolls and other magical characters. Everything gets all tangled up at first, but then miraculously comes untangled again as the happy end approaches. It’s such a positive ending that the forces of evil don´t finish up subjugated or killed: they learn wisdom instead, and join the good side. Even the quarrelling parents make up and become wise all by themselves. Well, what do you expect - it’s a fairy-tale! (...)