Welcome to Georgia – The Musical: The Most Uplifting Show You’ll See This Year!


Imagine you’re on a visit to Georgia but you don’t have time to get out the city into the regions. Imagine you’re on a visit to Georgia and the latest concert of the great Georgian dancers or polyphonic singers has passed or is happening just after your flight home. Maybe you live here and have guests to impress and you’ve already eaten at the restaurants and wandered the Old Tbilisi streets.

Well, I made no exaggeration in the headline I chose. And for those of you not partial to musicals, don’t be deceived. While the creators were inspired by the West End and Broadway, this is something very different. While it’s as bold, heart-warming and energetic as any show you’ll see in London, the musical side comes through unique Georgian polyphony and folk songs interspersed with dialogue and a number of beautifully performed traditional dances.

‘Welcome to Georgia- The Musical’ is a theatrical show in English which weaves a tale about Georgia and its people through song, dance, and dialogue. By attending the show, newbies in the country will learn about Georgia’s age-old culture, history, national costumes, cuisine and more; while those who’ve been in Georgia a bit longer will recapture the magic of their first days here!

The show takes you on a journey from Maro’s Kakhetian wine cellar, to the feast table, where you’ll be welcomed with world-renowned Georgian hospitality (and world-renowned Georgian wine!) for an evening of humor, romance and a taste of true Georgia and all its traditions.

Welcomed with a choice of white or red wine and time to mingle, we then dove straight into a scene at Grandma Maro’s house in Kakheti, with the lady and her neighbors enjoying an evening of table games and singing. Then Maro’s grandson phones. They’re expecting him to visit on Saturday next, bringing with him his new French girlfriend whom he met while studying viniculture in Paris; the whole village is ready to lay on a grand feast for them… But the couple are not coming Saturday, they’re already on the way! Now, anyone who’s spent some time here will know how such surprising news can send Georgian ladies of the older generation into a tizzy of preparation and reorganization. Chacha, Churchkhela, dried fruits and then the “kids” arrive. And that’s where the magic truly began for me. As my colleague wrote in her recent blog, for those of us who have delved deeper into Georgian life than the average tourist, we have all been in that beautiful, magical (if not at times intimidating!) spotlight of attention at least once; the God-sent guest who can do no wrong and whose every word is a drop of strange and welcome gold.

Julie (played by Eka Demetradze) is an educated and enthusiastic guest; eager to learn, along with the audience, about the history of Georgian winemaking, toasting, song and dance. The polyphony left goosebumps on my arms; the dancing left my hands stinging from clapping along. Tying it all together was Dimitri the Toastmaster, played by singer and actor Lasha Ramishvili. With a strong voice and even stronger stage presence, he brought the audience into the story; imparting facts about Georgia and its traditions with such warmth that each member of the audience could easily have been sitting at the supra table beside the characters, with wine in hand and a spread of “food on food” before them.

The colors, the costumes, the cozy ‘village yard’ scenery; all made for a unique and glowing ambiance that reflects the brighter side of Georgia and its people. The lines, jokes and friendly banter were delivered well, and I feel qualified to say (being an English teacher who knows some of the actors are not used to working in English) that the cast met the challenge of entertaining a foreign audience in a manner that excelled expectations.

A well-deserved standing ovation was received, and I saw no-one without a grin on their face as we reluctantly left the theater hall- reluctant, because it almost felt like we were leaving behind new friends. It was a real, positive, incomparable Welcome to Georgia, and I highly recommend it as the new must-see for visitors and expats alike!

Check out their website and facebook pages for updated information and the trailer. The show officially kicks off for a weekly run from March 13th.

www.musical.ge, www.facebook.com/musical.ge

Katie Ruth Davies

15 February 2018 18:47