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Home Culture ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Book of Mormon’ triumph in Musical Theater Awards marked by labor demands | Culture

‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Book of Mormon’ triumph in Musical Theater Awards marked by labor demands | Culture

by News Room
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There is a phrase that keeps repeating itself in any conversation about musical theater in Spain: “We are the third power in the world and the first in Spanish.” And it’s true. Every year, a robust billboard proudly displays six or seven blockbusters, mainly in Madrid and Barcelona. However, for some time now, a “but” has been added to the expression within the profession: “We are the great power, but our conditions do not reflect it.” And this was stated yesterday during the gala of the 16th edition of the Musical Theater Awards held at the Coliseum theater, which every year brings together the profession and which equally awarded the blockbusters of Aladdin y The Book of Mormonboth still on the bill.

The spokesperson for the demands was Roc Bernadí, winner of the award for outstanding performance for his leading role in the production in Aladdin, who, after celebrating the good moment of the industry, launched the complaint: “Many compare Madrid with the great meccas of musical theater, London and New York; “What they don’t usually compare are the conditions of the workers,” the interpreter protested. To the applause of the room, Bernadí stressed that fear should not prevent us from talking about the injustices that surround them and went on to list a few: “I believe that no member of the cast of large productions should receive the minimum wage established by agreement, which does not “They should cancel us every time we ‘go’ on vacation,” he reviewed. To which he added: “We are fortunate to be able to work from our passion, but it is still work and the work has to be dignified,” to end by asking “artistic responsibility from the production companies.”

Bernadí’s requests, which took place at the beginning of the gala, were not the only ones. Nil Carbonell, winner of the award for best supporting actor in The Book of Mormon, He also dedicated a few words to the situation that artists are experiencing: “We usually normalize conditions that are extraordinary, like living with an injury. We are warriors,” he highlighted. The requests of musical theater actors, singers, dancers and musicians for better conditions are not new. In fact, in April the Coordinator of Musical Theater Musicians (CMTM) was created, bringing together 250 professionals to protest against the stagnation of salaries and the lack of an agreement. But never have labor rights taken such a prominent role in this awards ceremony in such an explicit way.

Bernadí’s speech took center stage on a night in which the production in which he participated, Aladdiny The Book of Mormon They triumphed with four awards each. The first, which already triumphed on Broadway and London’s West End and based on the Disney film, triumphed in categories where it was ahead of the others due to the opulence of its clothing and makeup, such as characterization and costumes. Also musical direction, led by the veteran Xavier Torras, who joined the demands of the musicians and appealed to the producers not to forget the instrumentalists, increasingly replaced by pre-recorded sound.

Raphael receives the honorary award at the 16th edition of the Musical Theater Awards.Ruth Mesa Barroso

The Book of Mormonwhich parodies religion through its Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to preach, was recognized for its performances and the direction of David Serrano, a film scriptwriter and theater adapter who has also directed musicals such as Billy Elliot, Grease y Matilda. It also won the most precious award: best musical. And this work, conceived by the creators of the satirical South Park and with music by Robert Lopez, responsible for the songs of Frozen, has burst onto the large format like a breath of fresh air among so many familiar musicals.

Dagoll Dagom’s goodbye and the Valencian emergence

The award for best original musical went to the latest creation of the historic Catalan company Dagoll Dagom, The joy that happens, based on the 1898 symbolist work by Santiago Rusiñol. The group announced a few months ago that they would no longer continue after 50 years of existence and 34 shows, 23 of them musical. They will say goodbye in style with Mar i Cel, his most successful and beloved production. which can be seen at the Teatre Victoria in Barcelona from September 14 to December 20.

In the category Offwhere the most original and creative proposals move, triumphed Bruno, the musical that changed everything, uA show aimed at teenagers that talks about bullying and that is an example of the emergence of Valencian musical theater, which is timidly beginning to break the hegemony of the two largest cities. As Raúl Ibai, organizer of the gala and president of the Musical Theater Awards association, highlights, together with the choreographer Sonia Dorado, artistic director: “We must pay attention to what is done in Valencia, especially in small format and family musicals” . The Phantom of the Opera It was the third most awarded musical, with three statuettes. It stood out in two technical categories and in best scenography by the Italian Federico Bellone, who converted the Albéniz stage into the legendary Palais Garnier in Paris.

The second emotional moment of the night came with the tribute to Raphael. The 81-year-old actor and singer received the honorary award from a very emotional Marta Ribera, a co-star in the only musical he has done in her career, 24 years ago: Jekyll & Hyde. “They made me a very happy man because everything was about supporting me and teaching me how to do this job,” he acknowledged on stage. The recognition of the artist from Linares, explains Ibai, is due to his contribution to the dissemination of the musical genre with that staging of the American work with music by Frank Wildhorn and a libretto by Leslie Bricusse, which brought many people to the theater who perhaps would not have gone without the presence of the star, but also because of the musical films that Raphael starred in in the sixties and which whetted the appetite for the musical to several generations.

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