Carin Filipcic performed Telling Stories at the Theater Akzent, Vienna.
After appearing in numerous productions (Der Mann von la Mancha, Xanadu, Rebecca, Romeo & Julia, Mozart) in both Austria and Germany, as well as performing in various concerts and cabarets, Austria’s first lady of musicals, Carin Filipcic, presented her first ever programme entitled Telling Stories at the Theater Akzent in Vienna.
As the title suggests, the show is about stories. At the beginning, Filipcic explained that each song told a little story of her life so far. Act I was about her beginnings, and featured songs such as ‘Ottakring’, an interpretation of ‘New York State of Mind’, written by comedian Dolores Schmidinger for Sigrid Hauser. I did not see this one coming but I particularly liked her rendition of this song.
Act I ended with a medley from her time when she explored the world of Serbian gypsy music, while Act II was more general, as she explained, about relationships and love. The songs performed in the latter were also taken from a few of the shows she had appeared in. These included numbers from The Wild Party as well as Romeo und Julia, and one of her signature songs, ‘Gold von den Sternen’, from the musical Mozart, this time in a new jazz-inspired arrangement, which I really enjoyed.
Her special guest was The Voice of Germany finalist and musical theatre star Rob Fowler (The Last Five Years, The Rocky Horror Show), who was a great addition to the concert.
Together they performed the Labrinth and Emeli Sandé songs ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ and the Carrie Underwood song ‘Temporary Home’. For this song, Fowler not only joined her on vocals but also played the guitar. He chose a rather unusual song for his solo, ’Someone Like You’, but he made it his own and sang it beautifully.
Filipcic was joined by a three-piece band, with a violinist and saxophonist playing on a few of the songs (‘Mein Herr’ from Cabaret was particularly noteworthy). Herbert Pichler served as musical director and could be heard on piano too.
Filipcic’s singing was clear, powerful and moving at the same time. She certainly knows how to tell a story in song. Highlights of the show, aside from the ones already mentioned, included her rendition of ‘Ich komme voran’ from Die letzten fünf Jahre (‘Climbing Uphill’ from The Last Five Years) in which she not only showed off her vocal skills, but also proved to be a good actress and cabaret performer, and a glorious rendition of ‘Maybe This Time’ from Cabaret. Also interesting was the opener of Act II, a new version of ‘Just One Step’ from Songs For a New World. Having performed two songs from shows by Jason Robert Brown and two from Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, one wondered whether she was trying to tell us that she wanted to appear in these shows one day. She certainly sang them beautifully.
It does not happen very often that you go to a concert and never want it to stop. Well, Carin Filipcic certainly provides one of those very few exceptions.
Ludovico Lucchesi Palli