Alexander Rybak is a real entertainer

Alexander Rybak is a real entertainer who treats his audience just as adroitly as he treats his violin, his crooner-voice and his grand piano.

Text to the picture: Our reviewer is excited about Alexander Rybak’s 10-year anniversary show. .
Source:, published 7.6.16. Text: Mona Levin. Photos: Anita S. Andersen

Mona Levin gives Entertainer a  Dice 5

As a 20-year old Alexander Rybak won “Kjempesjansen” with his own song “Foolin’”. Now he starts his 10-year anniversary show with exactly this one, and he shows that he has become exactly what he, to many people’s surprise, wanted to be: Entertainer!

Shouldn’t he with his classical education and talent be a violinist? Yes and no. Rybak is a violinist with a high developed entertainer-gene.

Now he celebrates his 10 artist years, flanked by Heidi Ruud Ellingsen and Sofie Bjerketvedt and an eight man orchestra and a lavish show with an impressive number of his own songs, The newest is bought by DreamWorks for Dragetemmeren 3.

Alexander Rybak Entertainer Larvik 2016
Rybak brought with him Heidi Ruud Ellingsen, Sofie Bjerketvedt and an eight man orchestra to Bølgen in Larvik. Foto: Ania S. Andersen

Big band feeling

The intro sets the mood: the musicians make the entrance to a drum solo before they , under the lead of Knut Bjørnar Asphols, throw themselves into the loveliest big band sounds, but also gives sensitive pieces of single instruments.

Through the following medley Rybak shows his versatility, but this is not a numbers show. It shows the way from reality to realities, in a high tempo and thought through intersections, and without embarrassing interludes.

The director Johan Osuldsen wanted to tell a story, and  it is about three distinct artists that have emerged through talent competitions on TV. You can think whatever you want about that, but these three are born to be on stage. They knew from their early childhood what they wanted, have wagered everything for it, and reached their goal.

Rybak generously shares the stage with the others, but is naturally the one in focus. He is much more relaxed then 10 years ago, of course, more secure and not so much touching his hair. He covers musical genres from sad Belarusian lullaby to Elvis, from “Det er lov å være bli’”(It’s allowed to be happy) to virtuoso string technic without any big problem.

Power and energy

Versatility characterises Heidi and Sofie too. Heidi tap dances so you almost get anxious about the baby in her stomach. Her “The Man that got Away” in almost a blues-arrangement, is a highlight, only surpassed by her  “Tretten hester” ( by Rybak) – a drama of a song. Sofie makes a big effort with the “Artistklemma”.

Energy is characterised for the whole show. Sometimes there is so much singing energy and power that the text loses its meaning, like in Ellingsen’s and Bjerketvedt’s almost unrecognisable  duet from West Side Story. If this is because of an unclear sound picture, it can easily be fixed. If the reason is diction, it can also be fixed, but not that simply. Gorgeous light in the whole show.

The review was written based on the dress rehearsal, so maybe everything was in place at the premiere.

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