"Best International Show" Broadway
After a run of ten weeks that presented 130, one-person theatre productions from six continents, United Solo – the world’s largest solo theatre festival concluded its ninth season at Theatre Row on 42nd Street, Broadway, New York by presenting Paul Lambis’ theatrical production “Melina: The Last Greek Goddess” with the “Best International Show” award.
Representing Cyprus, renowned Cypriot actress Paola Hadjilambri’s performance was praised by Broadway critic, Mehr Gunawardena, as “intense and powerful.”
“Ms. Hadjilambri’s determination to present Melina Mercouri in an authentic and fierce manner left no room for failure. Her eyes carried so much power and spirit that I felt Melina taking over her body to tell her story,” she added. “Melina: The Last Greek Goddess is cleverly written and directed, and is full of spirit, fight, and a love for Greece.”
Other critics referred to the production as “robust.” In particular, Broadway critic Alix Cohen noted that, “Paola Hadjilambri resembles Melina Mercouri, sings with a similar husky alto, moves with grace and emphasis, and projects the spitfire passion of a larger-than-life personality.” “The actress has terrific presence,” she added.
Audiences found the production to be an exceptional insight into Greece, as seen through the eyes of one of its most dynamic and influential citizens. Poignant, passionate, seductive and controversial, the play illustrates a remarkable life of Melina Mercouri, actress turned political activist who sought to symbolise the soul of Greek national identity. An outspoken woman of principle, Mercouri was a strong advocate for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, from the British Museum to Greece.
The official world premiere of “Melina: The Last Greek Goddess” took place in 2017 in New York. With the support of the Pancyprian Association Cultural Division, Lambis’ theatrical production was presented at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria to three sell-out performances. Under the auspices of His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, “Melina: The Last Greek Goddess” continued its sell-out tour in Cyprus and Greece.
“Representing Cyprus at the United Solo Theatre Festival was an honour and a highlight for my career,” Paola Hadjilambri added. “Winning first prize for my country, and raising the Cypriot flag on a Broadway stage was extremely emotional.”
The sell-out performance in New York was attended by the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York, Mr. Alexis Phedonos-Vadet, Consul General of Greece in New York, Mr. Konstantinos Koutras, Head of the Pancyprian Association, Mr. Philip Christopher, Business Entrepreneurs Mr. Nikos Mouyiaris and Mr. George Kitsios, and Head of the Pancyprian Association Cultural Division, Mrs. Ismini Michaels, amongst others.
“Melina: The Last Greek Goddess” was staged for one last time in Cyprus on Saturday 1st December at the Almyra Hotel. The event was supported by Aristo Developers in aid of the Children’s Ward of the Paphos General Hospital.