The Key of Happiness

Reviewer's Rating

When Linn Roberts and Jason Mitchell, two young graduates driven by their dreams, both end up in Las Vegas, the story`s outcome is rather obvious – influenced by old friends they had originally wanted to wipe the slate clean and start all over again, but: fate gets in their way. While Linn makes a living singing in a casino, Jason earns money as a poker player – both in order to finally achieve what they have always wanted. Throughout their common part of the story, there`s a question that takes time to be clarified: who, what or where is the true “key to happiness”? Something that, in the end, all protagonists can find an answer to, on their own and together.

Without a doubt – composing, planning and organizing a full-length musical theatre production at such a young age (composer Carolin Anna Pichler is only 20 years olf) is an immense accomplishment. Fortunately, a proper venue and ensemble could be found to stage this remarkable composition. On the Konzerthaus Klagenfurt`s stage, the swing orchestra – a formation of music students lead carefully and thoughtfully by Hans Lassnig – tries its best to bring the musical`s liveliness through to the audience, a certain plus are the wind- and brass-arrangements.

The ensemble, consisting of 90 artists from 12 different nations, is lead by the two main characters, Linn and Jason, portrayed by Simone Leski and Johannes Petautschnig. Leski shows praiseworthy approaches to a euphonious musical-theatre-voice that she properly presents. Petautschnig sings Jason, always endeavoured to show his delight in playing. Jack Simon as “womanizer” Udo Malchov gives his all to bring and keep his comedic and temperamentvoll character to life. The production`s most complete and convincing performance is delivered by Jasmina Weger as casino singer “Kitty White” who presents herself as a theatrically, rhetorically as well as vocally talented singer-actress. Linn`s friends (Laura Kmetic, Lena Pachernegg and, especially worth mentioning: Goulnara Norkina) also help ensuring that the casino´s director Geoffrey Dogan (a little colorless: Siro LaBac) receives his deserved punishment in the end. The not very well audible choir is not always of one mind, while the excellent dance crew (choreography: Dominik Velina, Gloria Mostetschnig) does not only add a considerable deal of momentum to the slightly tedious evening but also delights with a due portion of peppiness.

A respectable performance of a highly motivated young ensemble, rewarded by the audience with ample applause!