Amadeus: Now at the Walnut

Over the weekend, I had the chance to catch Amadeus at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. The show presents a stage adaptation of the film which depicts the meteoric rise to fame of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his arch-rival Salieri.

If you don’t want to read any more just read this: GO SEE IT! It was a really awesome experience for both avid Mozart fans and the person who doesn’t know who he is. It is a classic revenge tail complete with royalty, adultery, and betrayal and very quickly you will find yourself eating it up.

As a musician I really appreciated the prevalence of musical terms and facts that were not spoon fed to the audience. In one scene, for example, Mozart (who was at a party drunk) was complaining about the state of music. He refers to tonic and dominant several times when talking about music. Perhaps its just me but in a typical play there would have to be a re-wording of the words tonic and dominant to appease the non musician, or you would have soliloquy explaining what those terms mean. It was refreshing to hear dialogue that actually requires a little thinking on your part.

I was also very, very impressed with the cast, particularly Dan Olmstead who plays Salieri. Throughout the performance he commanded the stage. It was incredible to watch him progress from soliloquy to scene and back all the while never having a break or leaving the stage. He literally is on the stage narrating or acting 90% of the time. It was a truly incredible performance to witness.

So in the words of Emperor Joseph III, “There it is”. Go see this show now. No time to grab your jacket just get to the Walnut NOW!!!!!!

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