Music Monday … Live out loud

So long no Music Monday… Lately I’ve been on some kind of Andrew Lippa kick and since I’ve re-discovered Spotify I have been able to test some things I’ve never listened to before. So I came across A Little Princess by Andrew Lippa. Some people might know that I have a soft spot for a good ‘I am/I want’-song and if it is a female one it’s even better.

This song – of course – seems to have some kind of pre-mature (is this a thing?)  energy and power and breezy. And I think that might be why I’ve fallen for it at the first listen.

 

What do you think?

 

My Week #46, Oct 12th – 19th

what I saw
over the last couple of weeks when I took a break from these weekly recaps I didn’t see all too much (the German production of Bonnie and Clyde will get a special blogpost hopefully up next week…), but this past week I’ve seen plenty of things.

I attended the first installement of the ‘new’ schreib:maschine an open-stage-kinda-thing for musical theatre writers.

On Thursday some of my new class mates from Leipzig came over to Berlin for a litte visit and we went to see Tee im Harem des Archimedes, a play at Deutsches Theater.

On Friday we went to see Christoph Marthaler’s latest project at Volksbühne Berlin: Tessa Blomstedt gibt nicht auf. Featuring a lot of cheesy songs and being hilarious and out-going and very quiet at the same time, but attracting a weird audience.

And yesterday I went on a little adventure to Düsseldorf to see the last preview of the German production of the Shrek musical.

what I read
sadly reading and I took a little break, I read parts of of a book called “Oper als Aufführung” and magazines.

what I listened to
Because I saw Bonnie and Clyde late last month I went through a massive phase of listening to the Broadway recording of that. I got a little into listening to Andrew Lippa’s Little Princess and, of course, I listen to everything I can find from Jasper in Deadland.

what I did
For the first three days of this week I worked with the very first call for participants of this year’s Bundeswettbewerb Gesang in Berlin. Then: Working, finally some working out again and as mentioned earlier yesterday we jumped into the strike to hop on our train to across the country to Düsseldorf. Before that I spend enormous amounts of time on trains to and from Leipzig, but to be honest I really enjoy commuting. :)


What did you do?

The Theaterkind facebook page is only 6 away from 100 likes! Can we make it? That’d be AWESOME. :)

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

Why blogging isn’t on top of my priority-list right now….

Folks…I might or might not have noticed posts have not been coming very frequently over here. There are various reasons, but only one of them is really interesting.

As of this week I started my second take on grad school, not in my home- and most recent town of studies, Berlin, but in Leipzig, about an 1-hour-highspeed-train-ride south from there. Earlier this summer I had been accepted to the Master’s dramaturgy programme, so as far as I can see I’ll be some kind of dramaturg in two year’s time. (this is so illusional, but still…). However I didn’t move to Leipzig but stayed in Berlin, because I have good work there, I have contacts and even though I keep complaining about the musical theatre community in Germany – in Berlin we probably are the closest to what that could mean in Germany. Plus I live in this fabulous living arrangement with my mother and can afford an one year unlimited pass to Deutsche Bahn.

Now I’m officially a commuter. As I am typing this I am on the train to Leipzig and I must say: I enjoy the trainrides. I always have.

However, now that I’m adjusting to my new schedule, my new workload and basically a new way of living, blogpost haven’t been coming that regularily and will continue to do so. I’ll try my best to keep up, but I can’t promise anything.

Just take this as a short “hi” from me. And the train. And Leipzig.
Read you soon, guys!

Nur ein Blick – Thoughts on Sunset Boulevard

The open air theatre of Tecklenburg is one of the more special things to happen in a musical theatre nerd’s summer. Tecklenburg is a small town in western Germany and it’s literally so small it does not even have a trainstation.

Ever since I have been into musical theatre Tecklenburg’s summer festival was something like a place to be in summer, to see their productions. After my last visit two years ago when I went wth my family to see Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay’s Marie Antoinette, this year my second ever visit happened there. This time alone and kind of as a stop in my journey to Frankfurt, where I was visiting a friend. (by now the production is closed….this seems to be a thing on this blog these days – oh, boy!)

This season they happend to show to musicals of Andrey Lloyd Webber – which I am not a huge fan of, but their second production, Sunset Boulevard, appealed to me because you can hear people say Sunset is one of his really good shows.

Because I wanted to go for the uninformed audience-member all the way, I’ve never really listened to the score before (of course I knew all these big time popular songs), when I sat down and the music director came on and started conducting I knew nothing about the structure of the show. (I have to admit, I quite like this perspective…it basically makes you an investigator.) – That’s probably why I had quite a few “That’s quite cool!”-moments during the show and a lot of structural and analytical thinking going on.

The director Andreas Gergen (who is – in my opinion – probably one of the most interesting directors in the German musical community….) added a group of dancers to the ‘normal’ scenery: a woman dressed as a variation of Salome appearing with the head of Jochanaan. From time to time she is joined by a number of male dancers. Beforehand I’ve read about this fact online and most people thought this addition was a little bit too much – since we all get this Salome connotation anyways. I have quite a different view on this, I liked the idea of another ‘layer’ added to the action since it really created a layering effect – there was a scene going on and on another part of the stage Salome would come and ‘join’ them, acting with her acting-partner, the bloody head of Jochanaan. Although it mostly did some foreshadowing or stressing of situations, it at least did this and basically this Salome-branch of what happened was the presentation of the ending all the time. When the show starts off with Joe telling us about the muder, the ending is pretty clear already and when Salome keeps dancing with dead Jochanaan in her arms it stays present throughout the show.

While I could identify the dancing Salome as added into it, being a non-expert-viewer made it hard for me to judge the directing in general – but maybe me not being able to judge it (those who know me: Can you imagine it? Me not being able to judge something?! … Me neither!) is a sign that it was in its way coherent with the material. And sadly that’s all I can say about the directing itself.

For the leads I can say: Boy, that Joe Gillies was a nice one! Julian Looman was very Joe-Gillies-handsome, has a very nice, fitting voice and – last but not least – enough charisma and energy to take the audience with him on the journey thought his story. I wasn’t all too fond of our Norma Maya Hakvoort which was because I knew her voice from an older recording and didn’t like it back then and I didn’t like it in real life as well as I learned and she reminded me of an actress I so absolutely dislike…BUT (and that’s a huge but!) from time to time I felt sorry for her Norma and this (at least to me) seems to be crutial for getting her character: only when we feel sorry for her we see what drives her into her action and we get an idea of the alternative world she has created for herself.

Overall my trip to Tecklenburg this year was a pleasant thing in my summer and I did not regret it. I got to know Sunset Boulevard as a musical itself and this production made me interested enough to keep on listening to the score and finding out things and thinking about the plot and the way it might or might not work…

Have you seen it? What did you think?

And for those who missed it – they published a trailer….

Music Monday … Did Spring Come to Texas

Lately I’ve been looking into songs that have some kind of colour to them. And no, I’m not talking any kind of sould or rap that are considered to be ‘black’ (or at least more ‘black’ than Beethoven…) For a while the Off-Broadway-recording of Giant (produced by the Public Theatre) has been chilling out in my iTunes library without getting too much love from me…Anyway, from time to time I put it on and fall in love with the song Did spring come to Texas all over again.

And: Do you hear the red and the yellow-ish gold in that song? Or is it just me?

(let me know….) :)

My Week #45, Sept 8th – 14th

what I saw
nothing, I was lazy. But, wait: I spend my Sunday watching a couple of old Tatorts…

what I read
I started reading the second installment of Thomas Mann’s Joseph-books and I just really don’t get into it….

what I listened to
still loads of Sunset, a little bit Anything Goes and Giant (the Off Broadway recording with Brian D’Arcy James and Kate Baldwin)

what I did
dropped into the final week of rehearsal of our new criminal dinner entertainment production twice, spend one afternoon/evening at the office to help prepare the opening which was on Saturday and then I got sick and had to stay in bed with a fever on said Saturday – which sounds totally like me, oh boy! And I got through a dentist appointment.

Plus something very exciting: I kind of finished my first ever translation of a song from a musical!! (Yay!)


What did you do?

The Theaterkind facebook page is only 6 away from 100 likes! Can we make it? That’d be AWESOME. :)

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

My Week(s) #44, Aug 25th – Sept 7th

what I saw
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard in Tecklenburg directed by Andreas Gergen
a sneak preview at the cinema which made us watch Hercules
and a musical theatre project by Christoph Marthaler at Staatsoper Berlin called Letzte Tage. Ein Vorabend

what I read
Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated
the first of Thomas Mann’s four novels focusing on Joseph from the bible: Joseph und seine Brüder
and a book I bought when I was in Frankfurt, Arnon Grünberg’s novel with the (German) title Der Mann, der nie krank war

what I listened to
loads of Sunset Boulevard while walking the streets from Frankfurt, a little Rocky riding my bike across Berlin and I finally made time to give a proper listen to the Nice Fighting With You-album from the concert series of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

what I did
I saw friends which I enjoyed and made me think of how grateful I have to be to have so amazing friends! And I did some travelling of course, a lot of changing trains was going on, but I reached everyone of them and everything worked out just fine.

What did you do?

The Theaterkind facebook page is only 6 away from 100 likes! Can we make it? That’d be AWESOME. :)

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

Music Monday … Boy with Dreams

This Music Monday is brought to you by the inspiration of a friend of mine. He brought my attention to the Pasek and Paul song cycle Edges which I’ve heard about but never really listened to it. A terrible mistake.

As you probably could have figured by now I love me a (rocky) uptempo song for a tenor voice. I was sent a link. I clicked on it. And I was sold.

In addition to the more formal things that immediately sold me to that song, it’s a very playful, original song which takes us through a growing-up/coming-of-age process – so it’s definitely worth a listen!

Check out this duett-version with some staging…

or a solo, slightly rockier and very playful version:

And: Have a great new week!

What are you listening to today?

Moses – Die 10 Gebote

IMG_2216

Moses was the last show I saw during my stay in St. Gallen and as I my articles about the other to nights (Anything Goes and Artus Excalibur) already suggested – for my the quality of the shows went downwards from Anything Goes on.
(funny how I don’t even try to be polite on this topic)

Years ago Michael Kunze, to book writer and lyricist of German (hit) musicals like Elisabeth, Mozart and Marie Antoinette had paired up with Dieter Falk, a pop music producer and song-writer, to write a pop oratory about the 10 commandments, which premiere in a huge soccer stadium with a choir consisting of thousands of people and a big orchestra and all that jazz. The music and the lyrics were quite ‘heavy’ taking into account that so many voices singing make the words hard to understand, so the words had to be streched and sung very slowly. Anyway, this oratory was okay to watch, it told the story of Moses and the 10 commandments and up to today it is produced/shown primarily by churches and religious organizations having choirs.

Apparently a couple of years later they were asked (or wanted) to write a musical of this oratory – and this was how Moses – Die 10 Gebote was written. Do you remember when I wrote about Artus and said that the material didn’t appear to be all that bad, but the directing just didn’t give a whole lot of f*cks? Well with Moses it was the other way ’round! The directing actually was quite neat, sweet, sometimes a little too ‘funny’ (in a “Look! I can do funny!”-kind of way). The performers were good, they sung well and danced well for the most parts.

But outside of the pure watching-experiences (me, sitting there and watching what happens on stage, directing-wise, acting-wise…) I had some serious WTF?!-moments with the material. The songs mostly were like someone made the singers sing bible verses in pop music (like Britney Spears 90ies…), sometimes then suddenly bursting out into Gospel-inspired songs, dancing and singing and clapping – while a mere three minutes ago they’d told us that Moses’ people were slaves and had to work even harder than before because of Moses’ magic. There were scenes in front of the curtain, with two characters talking about a matter on of them wasn’t really concerned with (from a character-in-the-story-point of view) and which just had nothing to do with what happened before, it came out of the blue and obviously it had to be there because the set needed to be changed.

Right now I feel I don’t even want to write anything more about that experiences because I could go on and on about how weird I felt watching this as ‘musical theatre’ or how I think that these kinds of shows/productions are the reason why people in Germany think musicals are superficial, everyone looks great in them and from time to time someone randomly bursts into a song.

Usually I try not to write such short and negative things about theatre, but this needed to be done. Simply.

Music Monday … Man in the Mirror

This isn’t a typical Music Monday this week. No show tunes, not at all. But: a video filmed at 54below and Matt Doyle whom I’ve seen in Jasper in Deadland this past spring. And I’ve simply been obsessed with his version of Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, as I’ve already expressed on my twitter account.

So, to start off this new week – the last week of August – let’s all just take a minute and apprechiate this one, okay?

What are you listening to today?And: Have a great week!