(*) Ewa Procter
The theme of this musical brings us the relationship of three lady singers, all with different profiles during the presentation of a show in homage to Angela Maria. There are scenes both on stage and backstage, where all the songs are performed.
To give you a bird’s eye view on Angela Maria: she is now celebrating seventy years of her singing career; and was also one of the most important personalities in the golden era of Rádio Nacional. So much so, that in 1954, with a total of 1,464,996 votes she was acclaimed the “Rainha do Rádio” (Radio Queen).
Always present in the Brazilian imagination world due to the exacerbated feeling of her songs, and by her privileged vocal extension, Angela Maria was and is reverenced by singers such as Elis Regina, Gal Costa and Ney Matogrosso.
Francis Mayer wrote the text, chose the songs and directed “Angela Maria – Lady Crooner”. This is the first part of his “Divas de Ouro” Project; so now he is now celebrating the seventy years of the career of the eternal “Rainha do Rádio”.
The three singers in this musical (Lilian Valeska, Kakau Gomes and Janaína Azevedo) bring us a variety of songs (in the total of twenty-eight), all of them part of the musical repertory of Angela Maria. These songs are by famous Brazilian composers, such as Ary Barroso, Tom Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes, Ataulfo Alves, Herivelto Martins and Gonzaguinha, just to mention a few. One must remember at this time that Angela Maria’s repertory goes back seventy years! When I watched this musical on its opening night, there was a large number of people in the audience who were singing along these old songs together with the stage performers. By the way, I recently saw an anniversary show – 100 years of Dalva de Oliveira -, a one-day only presentation at the Teatro Riachuelo, in Rio de Janeiro. And among other singers there was Angela Maria in person delighting the audience with her performance!
Besides Lilian Valeska, Cacau Gomes and Janaína Azevedo (who also perform the text that links the songs of the show), one should pay special attention to the musical direction by Leandro Braga where, together with two other musicians playing live, he takes excellent care of the music. Besides this outstanding contribution, there are also the beautiful costumes by talented Marcelo Marques, and the set by Rosa Magalhães, famous for her Carnaval work.
Unfortunately, this musical is going to have a very short run – which is certainly a pity! It opened on the 8th of June, and will run only until the 1st of July! It plays at the Teatro Carlos Gomes, Praça Tiradentes, Downtown Rio de Janeiro. Telephone number: 21-2215-0556. Performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 07:00 P.M., and on Sundays at 06:00 P.M. It is not recommended for young people under the age of ten. Price of tickets is R$ 60,00 (sixty Reais), and there is a 50% (fifty percent) discount for students and senior citizens. The show lasts for one hour and forty minutes. There is no formal parking at the theatre. However, there is paid parking a couple of blocks away. The Metro (Carioca Station) is at walking distance from the theatre. There are also plenty of taxis waiting at the theatre door, once the performance is over.
So, in these days when the World Cup is something a lot of people enjoy, but then you may not be too keen on this sport… Well, “Angela Maria
– Lady Crooner” would be an excellent option for those who prefer good music instead of watching what is happening on the Russian fields! However, it would be wise to check beforehand through the telephone, if there is going to be a performance at a given day. I had information that when Brazil is playing, some theatres will be canceling their presentations on that day! I am not sure whether the Teatro Carlos Gomes will be doing the same, so it would be wise to make sure, in order to avoid any disappointments!
(*) Ewa Procter is a writer and a theatre translator, and Chair of the Instituto Cultural Chiquinha Gonzaga.
Photograph by Marcos Vianna