PJAZZA TEATRU RJAL HOSTS BALZUNETTA TOWERS
Commissioned by the Valletta 2018 Foundation and making part of the Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF) 2017, Balzunetta Towers is a contemporary theatrical cabaret. The original show treats one of Malta’s most flagrant well-kept secrets – Balzunetta – known by many as Strait Street’s naughtier sister, albeit in Floriana. Ironically, Balzunetta was surrounded by the Maltese Curia, the Police Headquarters and the Army Barracks. Over the years, researchers have unearthed some spine-tingling memoirs and glamorous tales surrounding Balzunetta. Many would agree that these infamous stories deserve a proper artistic treatment.
“Based on the work of author Alfred Sant and an original score by renowned jazz and pop composer Dominic Galea, Balzunetta Towers promises to be an evening to remember,” said Valletta 2018 Chairman Jason Micallef. “With lyrics penned by leading poet Albert Marshall and production and direction by Sean Buhagiar, audiences are ensured a fresh take on the notorious Balzunetta myth”.
Festivals Director Annabelle Stivala said, “As festivals become increasingly diverse, it is important for producers planning events to consider how they can make their events accessible and engaging to a broad audience. Our audience includes people with a wide array of backgrounds. In order to plan events that are inclusive of the growing diversity, it is necessary to go beyond simply accommodating or acknowledging people’s differences, and instead, to create events that are designed to attract wider audiences. This kind of project which plays on nostalgia, has been created to do just that. Balzunetta Towers is a project which can be considered popular, easy to understand and which entertains while still being sophisticated and intrinsically challenging and rewarding. It is our duty as producers of the MIAF to present a very diverse artistic programme.”
A stellar cast was announced with well-known actor Davide Tucci, comedian Chris Dingli, and singer Doreen Galea being a few of the big names to premiere in Balzunetta Towers.
Amongst the voices jazzing up the score are Ozzy Lino, Josef Camilleri from Xarulu’, Justin Galea of KażinaSka fame, and the very talented Mariele Żammit. Theatre veterans Michael Mangion, Peter Busuttil, Antonella Axisa, and more will be starring alongside. Choreographer Jo Butterworth, cartoonist Seb Tanti Burlo’ and designer Adrian Mamo will be among the creatives in the show.
“Alfred and Albert gave us great ingredients, it’s Maltese satire at its best. This, coupled with Dominic’s incredibly beautiful tunes, is already a recipe for success” said Sean Buhagiar. “Audiences are in for a treat, they will see Pjazza Teatru Rjal like they’ve never seen it before and experience the show whilst sipping a glass of wine and enjoying delicious Maltese Food. We want to make this cabaret experience a magical summer night to remember”.
Dominic Galea described Balzunetta Towers as “a tribute I have been dreaming of for a number of years”. He added: “It is wonderful to have it produced on such a spectacular scale. The stories of my iconic birthplace will be finally brought to life. The music is inspired by these nostalgic times, times where my father’s roots as a musician lie. You can feel the teams’ heart beating in the project, we’re all in love with it. It is already a pleasure being part of the process and I can’t wait to play those notes live on stage with our fabulous cast and band”.
Pjazza Teatru Rjal will get a nostalgic make-over and turn into a spectacular cabaret stage featuring a live orchestra along some of Malta’s finest voices, actors and dancers. For the first time ever, the stalls will be transformed into cabaret-style tables which will host the gold ticket holders who will be served flowing wine, nibbles and given a free recording of the show’s musical score.
The show is also supported by Delicata Wines, Nenu the Artisan Baker, Teatru Manoel and the Floriana Local Council.
The show is in Maltese with English subtitles and will run from the 11th to the 16th July 2017 at Pjazza Teatru Rjal.
Silver and Gold Tickets are available from www.balzunettatowers.com.