Far out sounds

H.G. Wells's 'War of the Worlds' gets its first Hebrew treatment in a musical, theatrical and multimedia stage show.

orhcestra practice 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
orhcestra practice 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Here they come! The aliens from H.G. Wells's classic sci-fi novel War of the Worlds are set to land in Ra'anana on July 16 and in Binyamina on July 17. Though they're coming to wipe out the earth, thanks to American composer Jeff Wayne, the terrifying invaders will be backed by brilliant music. This week, the curtain rises on the first-ever Hebrew rendition of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds stage show. "Musically, this is one of the greatest soundtracks of all time," director-producer Dubi Baruch tells The Jerusalem Post. "Even though it was written 30 years ago, it continues to prove itself to all audiences, young and old. It's all about the music." Indeed, in 1978, Wayne composed and produced one of the most groundbreaking and best-selling musical works of all time - a musical version of The War of The Worlds. The award-winning album sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. It blends dramatic strings, otherworldly synthesizers and rock-operatics. "The music in this show is the root of music of the '90s and '00s; trance and electronica all come from here," says Baruch, who believes young audiences as well as veteran fans will come see the show. In 2006, Wayne converted his musical masterpiece into a multimedia stage show that continues to play to sold-out arenas across the United Kingdom. The show is an impressive mix of live music, theater, multimedia and visual arts on a grand scale. In the local production, actor Aki Avni takes the role of the narrator. The Ra'anana Symphonette players are in charge of the music, as well as The Martians Group - a bunch of rock musicians cobbled together by Baruch. In the original musical version of War of the Worlds, Wayne called on the late movie star Richard Burton to narrate. "Aki Avni is not Richard Burton, but he's Aki Avni, who narrates in Hebrew. The Hebrew is lyrical but understandable. Wells wrote in a very dry language and that's how we do it in Hebrew," says Baruch, who is behind such local cover productions as Pink Floyd - The Wall and The Best of Queen. "Avni's voice is strong and he's charismatic." The local version is also accompanied by original video art. Asked why he decided to launch The War of the Worlds in Israel, Baruch says the show is a thrilling and entertaining extravaganza. "I'm sure there's an audience here who wants to see this," he says. The production is set for two local shows - on Thursday at the Ra'anana Amphitheater and on Friday at the Shuni Fortress in Binyamina. Baruch says depending on demand, it will continue from there. Tickets: NIS 99 to NIS 189; (03) 521-5222 in Ra'anana, (04) 866-2244 in Shuni.