PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Sondheim-Inspired Romanian Adventure With Ali Ewoldt and Friends

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30 Nov 2011

A quintet of Broadway favorites, directed by Jose Llana, recently had the unique opportunity to bring the music of Sondheim to Romania in a Nov. 17 Bucharest concert.



Joan Almedilla (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), Angel Desai (Company), Ali Ewoldt (Les Miserables, West Side Story), Jose Llana (The King & I, Spelling Bee, The Flower Drum Song, Wonderland) and Orville Mendoza (Pacific Overtures, Road Show) performed A Medley of Sondheim, a concert presentation of Stephen Sondheim's iconic musical numbers.

Ewoldt documented the whirlwind 2-day trip and offers Playbill.com readers an exclusive look at their travels, the performance and some of the breathtaking historic sights around the city.



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After rehearsal, we head out to check out Bucharest... and do silly poses in front of the National Operetta's statue...
Photo by Ali Ewoldt



"One of the my favorite things about being a performer is getting the opportunity to travel and perform all over the world," Ewoldt told Playbill.com. "While our trip to Romania was brief, it was a remarkable experience with a remarkably wonderful group of people."

"We weren't entirely sure how the audience there would react to an all-Filipino, all-Sondheim, all-in-English concert, but the response was amazing: after we had performed our encore ("Old Friends"), been presented with flowers and an honorary diploma and exited the stage, we began congratulating ourselves, taking pictures and deciding what we felt like eating to celebrate... and then we realized that the audience was still steadily clapping in rhythm. After some deliberation, we crept back onstage to find a rousing standing ovation! As we had already used our planned encore, all we had left to do was to bow again and to be grateful for such a successful evening and a unique experience."

The concert at the Metropolis Theatre in Bucharest was presented within the framework of the fourth edition of the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts, "Life is Beautiful."