Burlesque: The Musical
The musical is based on Steve Antin’s film of the same name. It tells the story of Ali, a small-town girl from Iowa, who ventures to Los Angeles to follow her Hollywood dream. The role of Ali was played by Angelina Markova, known for her strong voice. She managed to prove herself as a great actress and dancer as well.
In L.A., the country girl finds a job in a burlesque club, managed by Tess, a former dancer and singer, and her ex-husband Vins. Teodora Toneva, AUBG almna, played Tess. The black wig, strong make-up and provocative attire made her unrecognizable. Her voice, though, quickly gave her away.
Vince was played by Vlad Muntean, whose character – weak and easily manipulated – did not allow Vlad to show his strong temperament we have seen in several AUBG plays.
Vince does everything possible to convince Tess to sell the club to the ruthless real estate developer Marcus, whose plan is to level it down to the ground and build condos in its place. The role of Marcus was not a big challenge for Teodor Dimitrov, who in his real life has many things in common with his character. They are both highly-motivated entrepreneurs, whose profession is their priority.
Ali starts working as a waitress in the burlesque club, where she meets Jack, who, although wearing eyeliner, turns out to be straight. Jack was played by the non-AUBGer Atanas Filipov. His natural talent helped him reproduce the role with ease. His character is not of the typical macho that we are used to see in Broadway musicals. He is handsome, but sensitive and an extremely funny guy. Eventually, he wins Ali’s heart.
Soon after Ali starts working in the club, Tess discovers the girl’s big talent – her voice. This shakes the long-going hierarchy in the club. While the main star, Niki, becomes Ali’s biggest rival, the new girl wins a friend in the face of Georgia (Yuliya Shumkova), one of the performers there.
Violeta Petkova played the role of Niki, beautiful, but selfish, ready to smash everyone who dares to stand in her way. Petkova had to switch from the role of a lovely girl she played in the musical “Grease ” in 2012 to the one of cruel career-seeker.
For a moment, Marcus manages to impress Ali with his generosity and gentleman’s behavior, but soon enough she realizes what his vicious plan is. Staying true to her principles till the end, she is the one who helps Tess keep what she loves the most – her burlesque club.
In the end of the story, after many ups and downs, Ali and Jack manage to find the way to each other.
What distinguishes this musical form the previous ones was the modern style and music. The old-fashioned songs were adapted to modern versions. For example, the solo of the main character, which is actually the culmination of every musical, was a song by Christina Aguilera.
While in previous musicals most of the performers were singing, here the two female main characters, Ali, and Tess, are the only vocal performers. The dress code won the public’s attention: scanty clothes, long legs, and half-naked men’s bodies.
“This year the female dancers were more than the male, but I don’t complain about it,” Yordan Karayankov, a third-year student said.
Another distinctive characteristic of the musical this year was the uneven show-up of male and female dancers. In past years, the two groups were either performing together, separated in couples, or were competing. This year, the female dancers were more in the spotlight, which was normal concerning the nature of the movie Burlesque.
Although the musical lasted only four days, the Broadway Club managed to tell yet another different story through unseen dances and unheard singing performance.
“The most difficult part was to ballance between being a director and acting at the same time since the two roles offer two different points of view,” Angelina Markova, main actress and director, said.
Enjoy our gallery of the event bellow.
This article was the joint effort of AUBG Daily’s owls Sabina Peycheva and Tsvetelina Miteva.