I was honored to be invited by one of Hungary's premiere actors and filmmakers, Robert Koltai, to attend a special invited performance of the musical “Sose halunk meg” which translates to " We Never Die".
The musical, which plays in the repertory of Jozsef Attila Szinhaz (Attila Jozsef Theatre) is based on Robert Koltai's 1994 hit film of the same name. Here is a link to the review of the movie: www.koltairobert.hu/sose.html
This musical is a current favorite in Budapest with more than 50 performances last season and many more performances scheduled for the coming year.
The story, also written by Koltai, is based on the life of his own real Uncle Gyuszi, a small time salesman, hustler, gambler and womanizer who leads his teenage nephew on a coming-of-age adventure in communist Hungary in the 1960's.
Mr. Koltai worked with composer Dés László and lyricist Nemes István to turn this popular movie into a stage musical with Koltai himself as Uncle Gyuszi.
I found the show to be delightful and moving. A true love story between a nephew and his uncle and between the uncle and life. Of course, the performance was in Hungarian, but the humanity of the story transcended the language barrier. The music is catchy - ranging from 1960's pop, to gypsy folk, to contemporary jazz and more. I find myself popping the CD in my car player as I drive around Chicago -caught up in its infectious good feeling - even though I do not know a word of Hungarian.
The production's scenery is a minimal unit set that functions for many locations. The 1960's are evoked with the period costumes. An added bonus is the parade of Hungarian stage legends playing a number of compelling characters that the pair encounter on their journey.
The only drawback to the production was the use of recorded music. The theater in which it is performed is traditionally a drama theater and does not usually produce musicals - so there is no place for live musicians. But that aside, if you are traveling to Budapest - Check out “Sose halunk meg”