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Subject: First SWISS opera... since `Tell'?
From: Janos_Gereben <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Janos_Gereben <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 4 Mar 1997 15:23:34 -0800

text/plain (60 lines)

By Paul Moor
> BERLIN. - Frank Lloyd Wright called U.S. television "chewing gum
> for the eyes".  In like manner, the Swiss rock musical "Space
> Dream" takes on as many senses as it feasibly can.
>    "Space Dream" has a Horatio Alger background.  Born 1994 in
> the provincial town of Aargau, three scheduled performances
> burgeoned into nine sellouts.  In 1995 it moved to the larger town
> of Baden, where 200,000 spectators, despite hefty ticket prices,
> turned "Space Dream" into a Swiss smasheroo.
>    There Brigitte Eichenberger caught what she calls the "Space
> Dream" virus ("Don't dream your life, live your dream!"), and has
> moved what has become her super-spectacular production into the
> elaborately renovated Hangar II of historic Tempelhof Airport at a
> cost near $10,000,000.
>    A female Earthling named Reachel (dig?) dreams about the
> planet Hexxor, populated by two peoples who detest each other.  As
> a substitute for war, they launch a space-travel competition.  An
> emergency landing on Earth brings love at first sight to Reachel
> and the Hexxorian pilot, etc., etc.  The cast speaks German but
> sings basic English.  Go figure.
>    If you like Las Vegas, you'll absolutely positively love
> "Space Dream".  It employs no sets worth mentioning, but it does
> feature dazzling lighting effects (Antonio dell'Era), including a
> riveting laser-show interlude of awesome dimensions and impact.
> Ursula Braendli's and Vittoria Michel's costumes range from
> Erector Set for the space-ship crews (one, roller blades
> apparently grafted onto ankles, boasts: "My mother was a Harley")
> to chieftains' robes reminiscent of the Masonic passages in "The
> Magic Flute".  Generally speaking, there is considerably less to
> "Space Dream" than meets the eye.
>    One could scarcely imagine more amateurish music than Harry
> Schaerer has cranked out.  In spite of pitiless trip-hammer
> repetition of certain passages, amplified only sporadically close
> to the threshold of pain, by the end everything bored into one ear
> has long since shot right out the other, with not even one tune
> approaching hit potential.
>    Most of the cast measures up to the quality of the material.
> Some of Mark Wuest's choreography rises above the prevailing
> level, and the dancers perform with sometimes almost unnerving
> energy.
>    Viewers with alarm can make a convincing case for "Space
> Dream" as a characteristic component in the apparently
> irresistible U.S.-led cultural McDonaldization of the entire
> planet.  Gum-chewers may well find it absolutely positively
> definitely the coolest most colossal art-work to come along since
> the latest rock multimillionaire's elevation into the House of
> Lords.
>    For eroticism, the negligible love interest never goes beyond
> the early Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand".  Shockingly, this
> elaborate 1997 rock musical contains not one dirty word - not even
> an off-color allusion.  Such touching innocence makes the show
> true family fare for all the rube visitors from the German
> provinces the show's beady-eyed sponsors count on.  Eichenberger
> reckons that if "Space Dream" can play to half-capacity for two
> years, it will break even, with everything beyond that pure gravy.
> Who can say but that it will run forever?

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