The wait is finally over. The ambitious project to revamp the old Alameda theatre, led by Antonio Banderas, was finally be inaugurated on Friday tonight.
The Teatro del Soho Caixabank laid out the red carpet and on the official guest list for the opening night, one name came as no surprise: Pedro Almodóvar.
His brother and producer of El Deseo, Agustín, alsop came to support Antonio Banderas' latest project, as well as a long list of famous names, including Pablo Alborán, Rossy de Palma, Loles León and Julieta Serrano, Santiago Segura, Fernando Tejero, Bibiana Fernández, Fran Perea, Pepón Nieto and Jaime Ordoñez, Miguel Ríos, Pasión Vega and Nuria Fergo, Miguel Poveda, Manolo Sarria, together with entrepreneur Paloma Cuevas and Venezuelan model Rosana Zanetti, Paula Echevarría and footballer Miguel Torres, singer Estrella Morente and bullfighter Javier Conde, as well as his wife Nicole Kimpel, among others.
Broadway just around the corner
The theatre opened its doors to the press early last week with a vibrant pre-performance of A Chorus Line, a show which creates the sensation that Broadway is just around the corner of Calle Cordoba.
He plays the role of a serious and demanding chap, but by the time the final number, One, was performed, Antonio Banderas could no longer hide his smile. This was a happy face, one that showed relief. After goodness knows how many hours of hard rehearsals, he had passed the test - with full marks.
This was the first time anyone had seen the show, and 80 per cent of tickets have already been bought for the rest of the performances (from 16 November to 19 January). What we saw on stage certainly met our expectations. The beautifully restored Alameda building - which is still recognisable, although completely updated now - was a fitting setting for the powerful musical made in Malaga but with international fame. It easily competes with very expensive productions of the same type elsewhere in the world.
Practically devoid of scenery (just an interesting play with mirrors and intelligent use of lighting) and with simple costumes (contemporary with touches of the 1970s), the strength of A Chorus Line lies in the voice and movements of a cast capable of filling an empty stage with their presence. Facing them, the audience becomes mute witnesses of an audition to find the dancers for a Broadway show. Antonio Banderas plays Zach, the choreographer who will make the selection, who observes what happens from the back of the auditorium (he also co-directs and co-produces the show). On some occasions he goes up onto the stage, but when he does so he stays perfectly in character. Here the leading players are, for the first time, the dancers in the chorus line, who are always in the background of any show. We see their stories, their joys and their miseries. Profound social messages combine with frivolous comments which had the audience laughing.
This show is bound to delight all who see it. It is pure Broadway, a world which Antonio Banderas has brought to the Soho district of Malaga in his very own theatre. "The response from the people of Malaga has been fantastic," he says. "We won't let them down."