Thank you, Cyrano’s, for bringing CARNIVAL to an Alaska stage. It brought back sweet memories for me, since, as a child, I spent 6 months with the original national touring company of the show.
Frankly, being so familiar with the show, I had been a little afraid to see it staged in such a small venue. It is, after all, difficult to compete with a cherished memory. Yet, while I admit to missing the glorious original dancing and Gower Champion's choreography--simply impossible to recreate in that setting--I was, indeed, charmed by your production. I am continually surprised by the depth of talent we have right here in Anchorage. Jane Park Drebert is the perfect Lili, with a voice that is not diminished by comparison to the originator of the role, Anna Maria Alberghetti. And that's really saying something! Anthony Lounsbury WAS Jacquot, who I have often thought provides the foundational heart for this piece, and his re-creation of the foxy puppet, Reynardo, was spot on. Massive kudos, also to your young Musical Director, Brendon Mezzetti, who not only made it possible for a handful of musicians to fill in for a full orchestra, but added his own magic moment with the violin solo at the beginning of the second act. John Fraser and Katie Strock were also perfectly cast as Schlegel and Rosalie, and overall, the entire cast did quite well with what is definitely a challenging roster of songs. To borrow a quote from Lili, "It's not a trick; it's magic" what Director Bill Fabris pulled off in staging this show at Cyrano's.
Thank you, again, for bringing this production to Anchorage. I'm hoping to get another chance to see it before it closes.