Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kristina från Duvemåla

Yesterday I went to see musical called Kristina från Duvemåla (Kristina from Duvemåla) in the recently renovated Swedish Theater.

The story is based on Swedish epic about immigrants who moved from Sweden to America in the late 19th century. The musical is written by the ABBA guys Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus - but the music was not exactly Waterloo or Dancing Queen type of songs. But I liked the it. However, it wasn't the compositions or the story that made the musical good; the key was the leading actress Maria Ylipää and her beautiful, beautiful voice. She didn't sound like a traditional "singing actress", and she wasn't "acting singer" either (although her role was mostly to sing, not to act), but her voice was simply clear, flawless and beautiful.

Unfortunately you can't use words "flawless" or "beautiful" to describe her wig. It was a clear wig, a clumsy one. She had to be transformed into a blond, as Swedes do, but the wig was horrible. Another negative side of the musical was the duration: it lasted for 4 hours. I know it's difficult to be compact, and therefore I respect it so highly - but I'm sure they could have squeezed it into 3 hours.

All in all, great music, smart stage design and jolly good actors. If you want to go and see a musical in Finland, I recommend you to take the Swedish option. Last year I went to see Les Miserables in Turku Swedish Theater, and that was excellent too - better than the Finnish version in the Helsinki City Theater some years ago.

Some advice if you go and check Kristina:
  • The musical is sold out for many months on, but it's definitely worth asking for cancellation tickets if you're ready for short notice.
  • If you're booking tickets right now and considering the balcony seats, book your seats on the left balcony. The actors are spending quite a lot of time at the right side of the stage, so you'll have better view on the left.
  • Wear a light jacket. They have a weird, small, semi-unattended wardrobe, so you might want to take your jacket with you into hall.
  • The break is 30 minutes, in case you want to optimize the toilet business. After 20 minutes of the break the queue in the ladies room was gone.

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