These are reviews by
Tina Arena fans who have been to the musical, read on to see what they
think of the show ...
Loads of thanx go to them for providing me with these reviews :)
By Ray Hendriks
Well, I'll write exactly
what happened (and hope I don't bore anyone
with this long story). This is what happened:
Last Wednesday-night we (Dean, Willem-Peter, Jolanda and myself) went to
London. One of the first things I wanted to do on Thursday was of course
going to the Dominion Theatre to buy tickets for 'Notre Dame de Paris'.
When we walked in I saw this huge poster of Tina as Esmeralda; she
looked GREAT!! But then I saw the list of actors who were playing that
night and Tina was NOT mentioned. I asked the ticketseller when Tina was
to play. She said probably on Friday and Saturday, BUT she couldn't be
100% sure... We decided to buy tickets for Saturday, since 'Notre Dame'
was only begun one week earlier, so it would be strange if Tina would
take her second (official) Saturday off.
On Saturday-afternoon we went back. I wanted to make pictures of the
Dominion Theatre and have a look at the players-list. I was thrilled to
see Tina's name was on top of the list!!! But then I heard it was the
playerslist of the matinee-show which had just finished. It could change
for the evening-show... Then I asked the doorman where I could find the
stage door. He told me how to get to the door, so we had a look where it
was exactly. About 15 people were already waiting, but I didn't have the
feeling they were there for Tina.
Dean spoke two French girls who were waiting for any actor, because they
were huge fans of the 'Notre Dame'-show. They had seen it in France and
had just seen the matinee-show. They said they liked the English version
better. (Must be because of Tina :-)) They thought Tina was still
inside. I saw several people going in and I asked someone if she could
ask Tina to come outside to give me some autographs, and that I had
travelled from Holland just to see her. She asked someone inside about
Tina, but they said Tina had left for dinner. BUT Tina would be back,
because she had to play that night. (I was sooooo relieved!!!!)
Dean, Willem-Peter and Jolanda wanted to have some dinner before the
show, but I just didn't want to leave anymore (knowing that Tina had to
come back). So I told them to have dinner and that I would wait for
Tina. They walked away and I was thinking: "What if I don't recognise
her??" Several people were walking in, but they didn't look like Tina
all. Then I looked around to see from where she could come. Then at the
end of the street I saw HER!!!!!!!!!! She was very short, hair stuck up
and wearing sunglasses, but somehow I just KNEW it was her. I called to
the other end of the street, where Dean, Willem-Peter and Jolanda were
still walking. Dean looked around and thought: "Now, why is Raymond
going to talk to a stranger?" But then he realised it was our Tina
he, W-P and Jolanda came back.
I was so thrilled, my heartbeat up in my throat, emotions flying high. I
was so nervous! I said something like: "Excuse me, are you Tina
I didn't give her time to answer. I was one flow of words. "Could you
please give me an autograph?" She said she would if it wouldn't take
long, because she was in a hurry. I had four CD-booklets with me. She
signed all four:
- Don't Ask: "Raymond, love Tina Arena"
- In Deep (Australian): "Raymond, love Tina x"
- In Deep (French edition): "Tina Arena"
- Notre Dame de Paris: "Tina Arena X"
I told her I was a big fan from Holland and that 'I want to spend my
lifetime loving you' had been a giant top 10 hit for months. I said it
was difficult to get her singles, because Sony doesn't release any
singles anymore here. She was frank and open saying: "Raymond, I
care about Sony. I care about my carreer." (I loved it, how she used
name several times, when she spoke to me). She made it clear she wasn't
happy with the people at Sony. She also said there will be a new album
Mark, we also told her you would come to see her next month! Then I
asked if she would pose with me for a picture. She did! Meanwhile Dean
had taken several pictures already.
Then she walked on. But at the door she was stopped by the other fans. I
was so lucky I saw Tina in the street... I had her all for myself for a
few minutes!!!!!!!!! :-) Feeling extremely happy, I walked on. Passing
the French girls the said: "You just missed Tina Arena! She has just
entered the theatre!" I smiled and said happily: "I know!!! I
Seeing the show 'Notre Dame de Paris' I was in for another surprise. I
have the CD, which includes four songs by Tina. But the real show has
many more songs than what has been released on CD. From the songs which
are NOT on the CD, Tina has a part in many. It was almost like a Tina
Concert. And that was great, because I didn't like 'Notre Dame' much as
a musical. I know the story, but Jolanda didn't and still doesn't. She
loved the music, but couldn't follow the storyline. It is an allsong
musical (no spoken words). It looked great, but as for the story... all
four of us thought it could have been presented better and that it was
difficult to follow the story and that the acting of other artists was
poor. The other thing we all agreed on: Tina was brilliant! She sang so
easily and full of power.
Some people didn't like it at all, the show was sold out, but after the
break some people had left. On the other hand there were alot of French
who cheered and clapped after every song! At first they seemed
especially fond of the male-characters, but slowly it became clear they
were impressed by Tina aswell. (I thought it strange: Tina is so popular
in France: they should know who she is).
Well, that's my dream come true: meeting Tina!!!
By Duncan Hobbs :
From the minute I saw the
massive "Notre Dame De Paris" sign high above the
theatre I new I was in for the time of my life. Walking in the doors to
foyer made me even more excited as there she was, Tina ( all be it a HUGE
print of her) staring down at the eager theatre goers.
After buying up half the merchandise it was SHOW TIME.
Sitting in the front row of the stalls gave me the perfect possition to
the show. The lights go down, the music starts and my heart leaps out of
The show starts well, loud and impressive. After a couple of songs SHE is
there TINA ARENA is actually standing in front of me, I can't believe that
this is actually happening. She launches into a fantastic rendition of
"Bohemiene". Following that there was barely a time when she was
not off of
the stage. She danced all over the stage and sung a lot more than is
availiable on the soundtrack album. Although she is not firstly an actress
thought that she did fantasticaly well indeed.
The show itself is a loud stomping affair with some fantastic vocal
performances put in by everybody. A very minimalistic set worked very well
and the bells that came down at the start of the second act were very very
impressive.The dancers were hung upside down in the bells and did some
The highlight of the show for me and judging for the audiences reaction
when tina sung "Live for the one I love". Standing on a moving
slowly moved to the front of the stage Tina sang beautifully as the lights
shone all around the theatre with amazing effect. It was obviously
to be THE highlight of the show and it worked so well.
The other highlight for me was when Quasimodo craddled the dead body of
Esmerelda (who had just been hung!!) and sang of his love for her
Esmerelda" he sang with so much power it brought a lump to my throat.
All to quickly the show was over and it was time for the curtain call.
Naturally Tina came out last to recieve a massive standing ovation that
so richly deserved. Had I had some flowers I would have thrown them at
Don't listen to the critics go and see this show and enjoy it. The fact
our heroine Tina is in it makes it an evening that will stay in you memory
for all time.
A truely magical evening at the theatre.
By Sandra Ignacio :
I haven't enjoyed it that
don't get me wrong, the performers were fantastic "singingwise",
I know the show by heart in French and I LOVE it, the fact that they've
changed the order of the songs, that they modified them so that Tina
could sing when Esmeralda was not supposed to in the original version,
the fact that the translation was really poor and sometimes even
ridiculous compared to the french songs... all of this did bother me
I could have given an opinion on Tina BUT we know for a fact that she's
not a dancer, and she kept pushing her heair back behind her ear *all
the time* and I really focused on that
again, I have nothing to reproach to the singing performance of
everyone, but I didn't enjoy the show as much as I could (and should?)
plus I was really far from the stage, had to see most of it through
binoculars, shifting every so often so the person's head in front of me
wasn't disturbing me
I guess I should go and see it again, nearer from the stage, with
noworry for my dictaphone coming out and with no tall guy in front of
me, but it wouldn't change a thing to the bad translation...