"After many months, too many, we return to the theatre ritual". After interruptions in rehearsals "because of Indiana Jones" (Harrison Ford injured himself and they were forced to change the shooting dates for the fifth installment), and delays because of the microchip crisis, Antonio Banderas is now ready to meet the public again in his Teatro del Soho Caixa Bank.
He looks happy, "nervous" he confesses, playing the part of Bobby, the leading role in Company. The production is the second musical from his factory of which he offered a juicy preview. It opens on 17 November and will stay in Malaga for five months.
"I have made a great effort to relaunch the project," confirms the Malaga actor. Company is another step towards making his production factory Teatro de Soho Caixa Bank equal to those in Madrid and Barcelona. With the catchy theme song that opens the show and which gives the musical its name, Banderas showed the press in just a few minutes the technical and human potential of Company.
In contrast to the nudity in Chorus Line, the musical has spectacular 3D projections with the audiovisual technique called mapping, a rotating stage and evolving scenery that literally takes over the theatre with Manhattan skyscrapers appearing in the stalls.
"It's a different, sophisticated stage but we aren't totally abandoning the idea of making pure and simple theatre," says the actor and director.
The twenty-six musicians in the orchestra, conducted by Arturo Díez Boscovich, are distributed on either side of the stage at different heights, integrated into the towers of New York like inhabitants of the city that never sleeps.
"I wanted them to be part of the show. At some point the brass section come out and become part of the action," he says, sitting on the stage, surrounded by the typical Manhattan fire escapes that also play a role in the musical.
With Company, Banderas continues his project to rescue Broadway musicals for the Spanish public. Stephen Sondheim, "one of the great living legends," of the genre, has signed off the compositions for this production.
The show does not have the traditional narrative (although what there is will be in Spanish), it works with a series of sketches based around a central character. The sketches deal with commitment, friendship and life as a couple, all with the aesthetics and styles of the 70s. "The humour which had an immediate reaction in those days now is regarded in a completely different way," he explained.
All that is needed now is for the response of the public. Banderas is confident that the audience will be amazed like they were with Chorus Line, the box office success that exceeded all expectations. However, the Soho Caixa Bank productions are not designed as a project to "make money" but to give "quality" he explains.