Review: ‘Nine’ comes to life on stage

Photo: Nicole Modeen

Photo: Nicole Modeen

After seeing Nine, the musical that opened August 4, 2016 at the Underground, I am thoroughly convinced every woman on the planet should have a tambourine.

Director/actor Adam Sippola plays director/actor Guido Contini, whose creative well has run dry and whose love life is quite complicated. When Guido cannibalizes his life to imitate it in his art, his desperate creative machinations end up breaking bad and his life becomes the ruined landscape of the land of Ozymandias.

The film version of this musical based on Federico Fellini’s had a couple of dazzling product numbers but offered stars instead of characters. This stage version of “Nine” corrects that deficiency.

The cast consists of Guido, young Guido (Sam Buytaert) and fifteen women who serve as a combination Greek chorus and stage crew. Scenic designer Jeff Brown fliped the Underground seating and stage areas from their standard configuration. A series of white curtains were creatively rearranged to set the stage for each scene.

After his voice, Sippola has always relied primarily on his hands to create characters and lend visual emphasis to his singing, which puts the exuberant and effusive Guido right in his wheelhouse. But Sippola invests more in his eyes than he ever has before and allows us to understand Gudio on his own terms.

Before the myriad conflicts come to a head, each of the women in Guido’s life get a song reflecting their respective roles: wife, mother, producer, critic, mistress, muse or memory.

To read the full review online, click here.

GET TICKETS

WHAT: NINE: The Musical
WHEN: August 11-13 and August 18-20
SHOWTIMES: Thursday – Saturday @ 7:30pm
WHERE: The Underground Theatre
TICKETS: Online by clicking here or call 218.733.7555
TICKET PRICES: Adults – $20, Students – $18

Photo: Nicole Modeen

Photo: Nicole Modeen

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