The last time I wrote about this show was in 2011 and since then it has changed its name and its location. Back then, I thought it was worth every penny of the entrance fee and said, “It would not look out of place on a London West End stage”.
When the new show, now called “History – the Musical” opened in July it promised a bigger and better combination of theatre and west end musical, a tribute to ALL music from classical to rock and would pay homage to great popular music artists. For those of us who had seen “Rock Story” and its predecessor “The Wall” this was exciting stuff. It was therefore surprising when History didn´t get the same rave reviews; in fact, some of the comments were scathing.
Fast forward three months ……
When my friend Ulla said she would love to see the show I thought, that’s one Christmas present solved, however I only recently found out that the show ends in November before going on tour throughout Europe. I booked the tickets for the early Christmas present online, which was straightforward and we went on Thursday night.
The Magma Centre is the ultra-modern building next to the bus station in Las Américas. After meeting in the huge car park I was immediately impressed not just by the futuristic outside of the building but also by the modernistic interior. All that concrete could have made it feel “industrial” but it doesn´t it is cool and spacious.
Inside the arena the stage on which a piano stands juts into the audience and around this are set individual tables and chairs. There is a small bar and if you can catch a waiter’s eye service is available but easier if you queue yourself.
The historical musical journey started promptly at 9.00pm and we travelled in time from Bach through the music that accompanied silent black and white movies, the visual impact was provided by old film footage projected to the back of the stage. We moved on to Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra. Two singers performed a superb rendition of All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera with great passion before we took a break for the first intermission.
We returned to the rock and pop era, Elvis, the 1960’s with the Beatles in dodgy wigs, Gloria Gaynor, Motown, Abba,Tina Turner and Ray Charles right up to the present day with Adele. While all of this was taking place centre stage, high in the air acrobats showed their skills twisting and turning on ribbons and ropes suspended from the ceiling all the while, lights and swirling smoke added to the spectacle.
The acts have to imitate the real bands and singers and they were all good but some performances were incredible. For me several stood out above the crowd, if I closed my eyes Edith Piaf was actually on that stage as was Prince. The sound of Thriller filled the air and as the zombies crawled onto the stage their make-up and costumes were scarily life-like.
The marketing people had promised that our favourites from the previous shows would be retained and so they were.
Pink Floyd’s huge Wall was slowly built on stage and a video of another wall was projected onto it making the fall when it came seem even more dramatic and symbolic.
The audience joined Mark Quee’s Freddie Mercury, to sing We Are the Champions and the show finally ended after three hours with a closing tribute of Who Wants to Live Forever, where many stars that had passed away were projected onto the ‘silver screen’.
History is no ordinary tribute show it features 30 artists from 14 countries is slick, fast moving and seamless. It is an exciting blend of beautiful voices, passion-filled solos, astounding acrobatics and has to be seen to be believed.