Many times, when more than one person wants the same thing they become competitors. The entertainment business is a hard path to follow and a highly competitive one. However, Rachel Fabri, Jean Marc Agius Cafà and Matthew Anastasi claim that it is through friendship and not competition that things become easier. This showcase of music was in fact organised as their last venture before they travel together to the UK to study at the GSA Conservatoire, their stepping stone to success. Whether they will become world famous or not is yet to be seen but one thing's for sure - they intend to support each other throughout.

Friends Like These was an evening of music and dance together with drama. It was a message of friendship through the adaptation of various songs to their present real life situation. Supported by the ingenious script of Coryse Borg and the voice of Edward Mercieca together with various established actors and actresses, the trio pondered the meaning of life, friendship and what the future holds for them.

Most of the first part of the show, which lasted a comfortable 45 minutes (thus not making the audience restless), was a variety of songs about the different kinds of friendship and the different things friendship may lead to. Can You Feel the Love Tonight? was the song of reconciliation for three friends after a tiff. Their voices worked well together with Ms Fabri's singing talent somewhat standing out. The First Time dealt with two friends becoming lovers with a song sweet and humourous where Ms Fabri and Mr Anastasi mirrored each other in a duet.

Mr Agius Cafà's solo, From This Moment, was challenging for his voice but he managed it well and without hesitation. Forget About the Boy started with Ms Fabri singing about deluded love and lacked some energy at first. The piece picked up when Ms Borg and Elaine Camilleri joined in and the choreography became more upbeat. Emma Loftus, the choreographer, did a good job in keeping the steps simple but energetic with good use of brooms as props. In the song about the jealous lover, Ms Borg played the part of the broken hearted while Mr Agius Cafà and Ms Fabri danced a ballet duet perfectly and passionately. This was not an easy task considering the use of a bench as their dance floor. Mr Anastasi's solo was touching - he sang Breeze Off The River in which he played the part of the parent trying to explain the wonders of parenthood.

Part Two of the musical showcase was highly engaging. The script dealt with the personal challenge that awaits these three young artistes. They started off by giving us a taste of their future dream coming true: Reciting their speech at the Oscars. This included a great thank you to their friends which triggered a memory of where it all started. They then took us back to the root of it all, that is, the MADC clan who coached them, supported them and in their version of the Money Song collected funds to send them abroad. This number featured Mr Mercieca, Ms Borg, Faye and Alan Paris and Ms Camilleri giving a hand in the most original and funny sort of way. Ms Fabri then reached her peak in Climbing Uphill, a song about her life so full of auditions.

Here she portrayed herself as any normal girl with a dream who feels fatter and uglier and also less talented then the other 400 girls she sees around her in search of her same dream. We appreciated her genuine character in this piece coupled with the absurdity of this talented girl singing "I suck, I suuuck, I suck, I suuuuck", at the top of her beautiful voice - side-splitting! Under Pressure was the epitome of the trio's everyday stress since choosing such a complicated career and was equally well interpreted in all three areas - song, dance and mime. Electricity was Mr Agius Cafà's forte where not only did he sing brilliantly but also danced like a true professional. Here we're talking classical ballet, pirouettes and all! Mr Anastasi also went solo in the energetic rock and roll piece Moving Too Fast and was once again successful in his interpretation. Another rather striking number was the song from Little Shop of Horrors - Skid Row. The three friends explore the possibility of a future without their dream coming true and the possibility of having to do other things to make ends meet. Mr Agius Cafà quickly sees the positive side by assuring his friends: "It will happen", however more humour fills the air as he does not seem so convinced himself about his statement.

I must say I really enjoyed myself at this performance and it was a very heart warming start to an evening. It showed me that people feel down and think of giving up but really no matter what your goal is having good friends can make a big difference. There was a positive aura at the theatre in the round that evening and lots of talent to get the message through.


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