Music Monday … Kind of

My darlings out there, this one is a little bit of a stretch, but after watching the opening of yesterday’s Oscar opening it’s kind of a must.

So, let’s have a look back at 2013 when Neil Patrick Harris hosted to Tonys in the year BEFORE he got his own and opened them with – what I think was the most magical, Broadway-y opening number the Tony Awards could have wished for. And it hits a spot very close to the one yesterday’s Oscars opening hits.

Right?

My Week #49, Jan 26th – Feb 1st

what I saw
a couple of things. First I saw the dress rehearsal of Der verreckte Hof, a musical theatre piece in Bavarian dialect. On the very same day I saw the second to last performance of Show Boat. Then the next day Company and then the following day The World Goes ’round, the evening of Kander and Ebb-songs. All of than happened in various spaces of Landestheater Linz in Austria.

what I read
the libretto of Der Freischütz to prepare for a new production.

what I listened to
Anything Goes, which makes a fabulous soundtrack for an overnight trainride. And Company. And It All Fades Away. On repeat. For a long time.

what I did
After two days of work in Berlin and a day of uni in Leipzig I took the overnight train to Linz, Austria, to attend the annual conference of the Dramaturgische Gesellschaft (dramaturgs’ society). As exhausting these long train-rides to and from were – they totally paid off. The conference was fun, although I didn’t agree with some points….and I had an amazing time meeting old friends and making new ones.


What did you do?

The Theaterkind facebook page is only 3 away from 100 likes! Can we make it? That’d be AWESOME. :)

Have a great new week!

Music Monday … Fly into the Future

I wanted to put a new Music Monday up this week and I went through my old installments and realized I haven’t featured it yet? I mean: Really?

I’ve been full-on obesessed with this song for a good month now or longer. Anyway, I think it’s a great song about female empowerment coming around the corner all so sweetly, school-girly. I like that. A lot.

Listen, and repeat.

I actually am obessed enough to have started thinking about how to translate it into German – it really makes a good song in German. I swear.

 

Have an amazing Monday (night) and if you are on the East coast of the US, please stay safe.

What are you listenting to today? This week?

My Week #48, Jan 19th – 25th

what I saw
this may come as a kind of weirdo-thing, but I saw Shrek in Berlin again. Twice. Which makes – after the preview I saw in Düsseldorf last fall – three Shrek performances I’ve seen. And after the one I saw on Thursday I was so happy I was able to catch another performance on Sunday. It was very different, higher in energy and simply so much better. In between Shreks I saw Die taube Zeitmaschine, a production with hearing as well as (various states of) deaf performers for a hearing as well as (various states of) deaf audiences.

what I read
the New York Times.

what I listened to
oldies, but goldies: Shrek, Rent and Vanities. Most of the times.

what I did
My first semester in Leipzig is coming to an end! I had a presentation in one of my classes on Wednesday which needs to be finished next week, but still….On Wednesday also Legida was ‘protesting’ in Leipzig (for the people not from Germany/Europe: A protest-movement of ‘patriotic’ people was started in Dresden late last year protesting against foreigner and immigrants. Leipzig has a smaller, but more aggressive branch of it…) and the whole city of in a state of exeption – that definitely was a strange experience, especially since I got on the train and arrived in Berlin and Berlin mostly was like: “Oh boy! The S-Bahn isn’t going as it should!”


What did you do?

The Theaterkind facebook page is only 3 away from 100 likes! Can we make it? That’d be AWESOME. :)

Have a great new week!

My Week #47, Jan 11th – 18th

I always wanted to save the return of the weekly review-posts for a year’s recap just as I did last year, but just now I really felt like writing a post and here it comes. The statistics of 2014 will come sooner or later. Promise.

what I saw
my lovely friend F. was nice enough to think of me when planning her visits at the Tanztage festival. While we were involved via school project with this festival last year (check out what I wrote about that here!), we went for fun this time. On Monday we saw an interpretation of Sacre we had already seen before and we couldn’t be bothered to like more than we did the first time seeing it – which wasn’t very much. The next day we went to see a performance by a former stripper giving everyone who wanted (or just didn’t say ‘No’) a lapdance and telling us about her work. I liked that performance quite a bit – partly because I’m all in for experiments (I did say no to that lapdance though) and partly because I hope my MA thesis is going to deal with sexwork in musical theatre. For the rest of the week I sticked to watching classmates rehearse for our showcase which happened on Sunday.

what I read
after 3.5 weeks I finished Nino Haratischwili’s amazing novel “Das achte Leben (für Brilka)”. 1275 pages of Georgian family stories that sucked me in so much I couldn’t even think about sleeping. That was definitely a book you read at night for ‘just half an hour’ and two hours later you still haven’t slept and have to wake up in 5 hours. Been there, done that.

what I listened to
Funnily enough I really felt like “It all fades away”. Loads of hours. Also I’ve gone back to Rent (the movie soundtrack) quite a bit. And Vanities is kind of my new-ish love.

what I did
This week was kind of a week of back luck. On Friday I first broke the key to my bicycle lock, then came home to no hot water in our flat, the my train was running late for my solo rehearsal on Saturday morning and in the evening I had to go to an ER because I was stupid enough to show my classmates how a burpee is done with no shoes on. Which lead to slipping and supporting my falling with my left hand. Which was swollen afterwards and still hurts like a….But other than that I had a good time with my classmates in Leipzig with our project’s showcase. But I also recieved very encouraging emails regarding my plans for this coming summer.


What did you do?

The Theaterkind facebook page is only 3 away from 100 likes! Can we make it? That’d be AWESOME. :)

Have a great new week!

Music Monday … That’s Life

Who ever follows my Twitter feed might know that the days off between Christmas and pretty much right now were filled by endless re-watches of the glorious, hideous, ridiculous and yet amazing TV show Smash. So I decided to take an amazing song from my second favourite episode of the second season (The Opening) and make it the first #MusicMonday of 2015.

Because this song is amazing.

Because these shiny, sparkely dresses are amazing and look festive.

Because – well….listen yourself.

What are you listening to today?

Things that make me be excited for 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I did a similar post last year in which I stated things I was excited for in 2014 – one year later, here we are with 2015 starting all around us and I have a feeling this year will bring, yes, more theatre!

Care to read? Please!

In the end of January I’ll hop on an over-night-train to Linz, Austria, where I will be attending the annual conference of the Dramaturgische Gesellschaft (dramaturgic society). This conference will focus on popular theatre and will feature quite a few talks about musical. I’m invited there by their scholarship programme and I’m excited to meet young dramaturgs. Linz also has an interesting theatre for the musical theatre enthusiast, they don’t only show operas and operettas, but they have like 6 musical singers permanently contracted and they usually do great productions (so I’ve heard). While I’m there they’ll be showing Company (SONDHEIM!), Show Boat and The World Goes ’round and I really hope to get to see those.

Only a week after the conference, in early February, I’ll be heading the other direction, North – to Hamburg. My classmates from Leipzig and I go up there to attend the final weekend of the Lessingtage-festival. I like my classmates and we usually have fun. :) So it should be fun.

Up until June I’ll have the opportunity to dream about my dream summer for this year. The moment June comes around it either will be there or not. But first I have to apply for stuff. And keep my fingers crossed. You should keep yours crossed, too, because if I make it to my dream-summer, this blog has exciting times ahead.

After the summer I’ll be starting my third semester in Leipzig, oh boy! In between school and work and more work and more work I hope to queeze in a trip to Vienna, because I haven’t been there in too many years and there are quite a few things things going on over there theatre-wise.

Today is the second day of 2015. That makes 363 more to come. And overall I’m pretty excited what 2015 brings me as a growing-up dramaturg, a translator gaining more and more experience and for the writer that’s still somewhere inside of me. Maybe I’ll make some of my translations public? Maybe I’ll kick of a new project with musical theatre people? Maybe I’ll do none of the above, maybe I’ll do more.

Who knows. Life would be too easy knowing all these things.

Have an amazing 2015 and let me know what you are excited about this year!

 

My favourite musical recordings of 2014

Just as I did last year I’m going to round up my 6 favourite musical theatre recordings of 2014, because there are so many CDs. And it’s always nice to know what other people recommend, right?

No, they are not in order. I don’t do orders. Not on these kind of posts at least.

1) Bridges (The Bridges of Madison County). Because: You know me. Maybe I just make that up, but listening to this recording makes you able to hear how much the musicians and singers actually loved this music – and it gives you this impression to witness something really cool about musical theatre. The score seems to become alive before your very ears, the music you are to hear when listening to this album seems to be so much more than an acustic version of dots between lines with fancy marks around them (for the record: this is not how I actually describe music.). This music breathes and appears to be something dynamic and therefore it is something more than entertaining. It’s touching, moving, tearing your heart out and stuffing it back in. And I am still pretty sure that – if you just listen carefully enough – this will change you. To test it, please expose yourself to Steven Pasquale’s amazing ‘It all fades away’, possibly listening on good headphones, high volume and just try not to crack up.

2) the Broadway recording of Rocky. It’s true, I have a special relationship with this show. It was first shown in Hamburg, Germany, I’ve listened to the German recording a couple of times, more often than not walking away, embarrassed. Anyway during my first visit in New York I heard Liz Callaway sing ‘Raining’ at 54below and suddenly it made sense. I saw it on Broadway in April then and listened to the recording. First: Anything featuring ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is great, try riding your bike across the city, uphill, in a warm-ish summer night, listening to that song! And then: In English it makes much more sense. And thirdly: Andy Karl.

3) Next to Normal (German recording). This recording has a lot of flaws. Technically it’s not good at all. The sound is uneven, sometimes you hear the space around the singers, sometims you hear props making sounds and you get to ‘enjoy’ all this funny accidents that happened to the lyrics in translation. But you also get to enjoy this raw vibe I mentioned in my post about the production and the amazing singers over and over again. And in the end of the day we are happy about every single German production being recorded and – in a way – archived for future use. And whatever my opinion on this particular recording might be, I’m happy that they made the decision to record this production. Bringing Next to Normal to Germany surely was one of the bravest decisions I’ve seen in Musical-Germany for a while.

4) Fun Home. Yes, I am excited for the Broadway arrival of Fun Home next spring and I really hope for the chance to see it! First of all: A musical with not one, but three female leads (all three of them playing the part of Alison), with book, lyrics and music by women – yes, please! Discussing gender and sexual diversity – yes, yes, yes, please! And if these reasons weren’t enough – Sydney Lucas as small Alison has came to blow us away (so have the others, but Ms Lucas definitely nails it the most), her ‘Ring of Keys’ or ‘Al for short’ are so appropriate of the age of her character and the topic. Plus I always love when you get what happens on stage, when songs are so interwoven with the story you actually have a chance to get it without reading a synopsis while listening!

5) Heathers. A show I didn’t make to see when it was playing Off-Broadway this past spring and I was there. The only free slot in my theatrical agenda was the Wednesday matinee and guess what – yes! Heathers didn’t do Wednesday afternoons. The happier I was when I bought the recording and finally got to listen to it at least. So, a show with a almost 9-minutes-long opening is almost always a winner, these 9 minutes bring us directly into the plot. For the rest of it: DEAD GIRL WALKING! Find a version of it online, for god’s sake. The reprise is even more breathtaking.

6) Big Fish. After having had a serious addiction to this recording when it came out early in 2014, I just recently went back to it, because: Andrew Lippa. Norbert Leo Butz. Kate Baldwin. And while Bridges sounds like movement, like an animal or like something living for that matter, Big Fish sounds like bright colours. And no, I don’t say that because I saw the Broadway production and that, yes, was colours. Primarily blue and yellow. The recordings sounds more like a rainbow or a splash of many different colours all at once.

What were your favourites of 2014? I’d be glad to know! :)

Happy 2015, folks.

My top 5 things that moved me in 2014

…as an audience member.

I like lists and I cannot lie. I’m sorry, but the last weeks of a year just make me want to write lists. So here they come, the top 5 moments I experienced as a theatre-goer in 2014. In no particular order. And most of them involved crying and – funnily enough – other people.

1) My Mama just before seeing Anything Goes in St. Gallen: “Uh…I don’t like comedies like that!” Me: “Well, just sit and listen and watch and if you decide to like it eventually it’ll be worth much more, right?” Mama as intermission is about to start, smiling: “What you said just happenend!”

2) During a short trip to Dresden with my classmates from Leipzig, most of them wanted to go and see a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. As you might or might not know I usually don’t chose Shakespeare if I have a choice. And I had and to I took my classmate H to see the smaller scale production Weiße Flecken of the Bürgerbühne in Dresden (a phenomenon I mentioned in one of my newmusicaltheatre.com blogposts) by a director I know very well. Sensing her excitement and seeing how touched she was by what happenend on stage and talking to her afterwards about what we just had seen, which obviously a first for her, was great and made me not regret my decision to not have joined the others.

3) the very small production of Exit Paradise at Neuköllner Oper Berlin which I saw this fall. It was not so much about being moved or touched in a Bridges of Madison County kind of way, but it definitely was one of the most dense theatrical experiences I ever had. It was a small venue, the cast was highly energetic and acted/sung their bottoms off…

4) the closing performance of Barcode, a new chamber opera my mentioned classmate H and I were the dramaturgs for. After we had seen this production a lot, both of us probably didn’t expect this performance to be much different, but it blew us away. I guess we still are pretty proud of our singer-actors and what they accomplished.

5)
IMG_1811

This. Note the conductor. And I mean: This show as a whole. Whom am I kidding, right? (Who doesn’t know what I’m hinting at here, check out this post!)

5 favourite musical theatre things in 2014

1) Bridges of Madison County – I know, I mentioned that A TON on here! You don’t remember? Are you kiddin’ me? Check out this and that and that….More than 7 months after my visit at the Schoenfeld theatre it still wows me. Just last week I had a major re-listen of the score and it is as beautiful as always. I mean: Of course it is, I listen to it on CD. CDs usually don’t change….Boy, honestly I’m doubting I’ve felt something more beautiful in 2014 that this solo cello in the opening, Steven Pasquale’s “It all fades away” (which is great to hysterically cry along, by the way) or the things “Look at me” tells us about Francesca? This music and the memories of the performances I was #blessed enough to see are treasures of my (professional) theatre memory and it re-assures me that theatre and music might be the biggest love of my life.

2) my travels – I like to go on trains and I really like to go places. This year my (musical) theatre obsession has brought me to serveral countries and cities including St. Gallen and Zurich (Switzerland), a couple of German cities and of course the all mighty New York City. I like exploring new grounds and still know there’s something in each of my destinations I genuinely love: Theatre. I’ve began to believe that theatre connects people from all kind of countries and it’s hard for me to believe otherwise.

3) the internet – some of you might remember this – earlier this year I was a guest blogger for newmusicaltheatre.com’s blog. In my 8 part series I wrote about (contemprary) musical theatre in Germany. Literally I was so proud to be featured on there, since English isn’t my first language and I love the American musical so much I was over the moon to (potentially) bring my thoughts on German theatre to American and international readers. I deeply adore this website anyway, the articles feautred reflect our business in a way I’d love to read it from German folks as well….Another find this year definitely is the-interval.com, a online magazine reminding us that there aren’t enough women on Broadway or in theatre for that matter and that theatre still is mostly for men, workingwise. (I’ve written about this, too, a while back….read it here). Other than that they do amazing interviews with amazing women in theatre. ;)

4) books – this year I read serveral books and atricles dealing with theatre. Two of them are sticking out. Really. One of them of course being “The Untold Stories of Broadway” by the phenomenal Jennifer Ahsley Tepper (check out her twitter for more awesomeness!) which I already wrote about. I loved it and can’t wait until all my other reading is finally done to take my turn with the second installement. The other one is a very crucial one for me as a professional, as a researcher – I spent a week of my summer with Stacy Wolf’s “Changed for Good. A feminist history of the Broadway musical”. Although it in deed is feminist, sometimes more than a only a little polemic the books gives an overview what women on stages can tell or can’t and how men (most of the shows she writes about are written my men with the exception of Caroline, or change and even that only partly) have presented women in their stories throughtout the years.

5) friends – I’ve said that before: I love the community sense of theatre. And this year I’ve made new friends in theatres, around theatres and in the world just meeting people from the community: My classmates from Leipzig, especially my lovely H with whom I spent so much time around the ‘little’ production of Barcode, and so many enthusiastic people I again met this year while working with Bundeswettbewerb Gesang, and – of course, how could I forget you?! – my lovely friend D who a) sung a translation of mine to people, twice and b) is simply amazing! <3
Plus: I’m very, very happy that old friends of mine are still there or back again in my life.