A ski resort for the Antonio Banderas theater | Culture

A moment from the rehearsal of 'En la pista' at the Teatro del Soho in Malaga.
A moment from the rehearsal of ‘En la pista’ at the Teatro del Soho in Malaga.Garcia-Santos / El Pais

Nobody in Spain had dared, until now, to install a ski slope on a stage. Nor had three actresses and three actors been seen gliding on skis at a speed that appears to be thrown into the stalls. Nor that a loud blizzard arises from the speakers and, by magic, a feeling of cold spreads in the stalls. These are some of the fundamental arguments of On the track, the first theatrical production of the Teatro del Soho Caixabank, owned by Antonio Banderas, after its premiere in autumn 2019 with A Chorus Line. It is the first time that the original text of John Godberg will be able to be seen in Spanish territory and it is directed by Marc Montserrat-Drukker, who had been with the libretto in the drawer for 15 years. “It was not easy for someone to bet on a production of this magnitude. But Antonio Banderas and Aurora Rosales have done it, ”says the director of the play happily.

Originally released in 1992 as On the piste, the libretto has been translated and adapted from English by Ignacio García. On the track It will be performed from June 17 to July 18 from Tuesday to Sunday, although it is not ruled out that it will continue for a few more days. The subsequent objective is a national tour because Banderas wants his theater, beyond the exhibition, to position itself from the creation of “productions of the highest level, which are born in Malaga and from there move to national and international stages.” “We want people to associate us with a high level of quality,” insists Montserrat-Drukker, who also directs the theater’s production and was a casting director and one of the top managers of A chorus line. You will also participate in Company, which will take Antonio Banderas back to the stage to sing and dance next fall.

On the track is an acid comedy that takes place in the eighties, during what is foreseen as an idyllic vacation that ceases to be so when two couples and a married woman traveling alone meet their ski teacher, Gunter, tall, handsome, in love and a somewhat peculiar Castilian. On stage, the rhythm is frenetic from the start. A succession of tangles, gags and unexpected twists with which they hope to generate a lot of laughs. “And laughing always feels like”, highlights the Ronda Olalla Hernández. “Now more than ever,” stresses Bárbara Santa-Cruz. Both are part of a cast that is completed by Cecilia Solaguren, Bárbara Santa-Cruz, Pablo Vázquez, Ángel Velasco and David Amor.

From left to right: Ángel Velasco, Cecilia Solaguren, David Amor, Pablo Vázquez, Barbara Santa-Cruz and Olalla Hernández.
From left to right: Ángel Velasco, Cecilia Solaguren, David Amor, Pablo Vázquez, Barbara Santa-Cruz and Olalla Hernández. Garcia-Santos / El Pais

They all went through auditions that spanned two months earlier in the year. The first tests were done with a mask and they have also spent a few days in Madrid practicing on an artificial ski slope. The chosen ones already face the seventh week of work, seven hours a day each afternoon from Monday to Saturday, time to which they add the study of a long text in the morning. “It is being intense,” says Solaguren. Everyone undergoes three PCR weekly, which will be one daily starting next week. “We want to convey, once again, that culture is safe. And that people can come to the theater very calm, “says Santa-Cruz. For Banderas, in fact, that has been a maxim: “Our priority was to create a safe environment.”

His vision is that the Teatro del Soho Caixabank does notshe more than the flagship of a much larger project. It includes the creation of the audiovisual division with Teatro Soho Televisión with María Casado – it premiered Black & White Scene for Amazon and later with the Goya gala— and also the launch of the Soho Pop Symphony Orchestra, which recently performed to honor the elderly. “These are the first steps, which will be expanded with the branch of dance and of course with training, which is from the beginning in the DNA of the project,” explains the Malaga-born actor, who has recognized in his latest appearances the complications generated by the coronavirus. Forced to apply an ERTE —already passed— to the workforce during confinement, their effort to maintain the schedule has run into sanitary restrictions or unexpected positive ones that have forced the cancellation of part of the schedule. In spite of everything, “the stage has been active every day with or without an audience”, highlights Banderas.

Now, the entire 30-person team that works at On the track trusts that those who come to see the work will be surprised by the scenery and travel up to the Alps to laugh for two hours. “I think the work is not going to leave anyone indifferent,” says Bárbara Santa-Cruz. “They are going to freak out,” completes Pablo Vázquez. The nerves are already around the imminence of the premiere, for which there are only a handful of tickets left. Expectations are high for a bit of winter in Malaga’s summer.

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