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“If I didn’t believe in you…”

After my recent move across the country from Berlin to Wiesbaden I was kind of a musical-orphan.

Not that Berlin is an El Dorado for musical folks. But….well….Wiesbaden.😉

Anyway when my long time internet friend Niklas from Theaterdistrikt texted me about 2 weeks ago if I wanted to try and get a ticket for the opening of “The Last 5 Years” produced by The Musical Season I was all like: “Hell yeah!”

Not only was I really in the mood for meeting new people (Niklas! Hey!) in real life, but in case you haven’t noticed: I’m a really big fan of anything Jason Robert Brown. From Parade to Bridges including The Trumpet of the Swan, you name it, I love it. Especially The Last 5 Years is one of my all time favourites. This show has been in my life for more than 8 years now and I habe always loved it. Mostly for the concept, but also for the lyrics, for the way the lyrics and the music play with each other and for the way Cathy has the hard job of being not too whine-y in the beginning or the whole evening will be a desaster. I own 4 different recordings of this show (original off-broadway, German, revival off-broadway, movie) and I’ve seen the movie a couple of times (THE SCHMUEL SONG, everybody!).

Almost 5 years ago on this day (Timehop just reminded me of that) I saw a production of it in Chemnitz and now Frankfurt was my second live experience. And while this Frankfurt production was not flawless in every department I loved every second of it. And here’s why:

  1. the stage:  black box, two benches. The musicians spread out over all three wall of the stage. From the walls and the ceiling hanging all kinds of things that make up our lives, our memories, our relationships. Keeping it simple, keeping in real – and a black box can mean the world.
  2. the staging: again. keepin’ it simple. There were a couple of dance moves (The Next Ten Minutes…mostly because – I believe – dancing is easier to ‘rewind’ for the second half of the song than normal movement), but it was best without. After all The Last 5 Years is about people. And about all of the things that can go wrong between them. Yes, there ARE costum-changes, a lot of them, but in these costumes you can always see the characters growing older or younger.
  3. the actors: while the impression these two leave is influenced by the biggest flaw of the opening night (memorizing the lyrics….), Hannah Grover and Andy Coxon manage to take us along on the journey their characters go on. Being alone on stage predenting to have a partner is one of the harder parts of this show and while you deeply understand both sides of the story. Both manage super well with the music (luckily music and lyrics can be two very different things) and small theatres have this amazing things where you sometimes can feel their singing in addition to just hearing it.
  4. the idea: The Musical Season went out to produce smaller scale shows in their original (English) language, bringing Off-Broadway or the West End equal of that to Frankfurt, staging high quality theatre without the big bucks in mind or in the background. Starting with enthusiasm and love for theatre and in a way…sharing their love with us. While we have a well developed off-Scene for most theatrical genres Musical is missing an off-vibe for the most part. This is why the idea behind The Musical Season is very, very welcome to my theatre-world.😉

It would be amazing to see which show they (HOPEFULLY) conquer next, I most definitely have suggestions. Plus: Seeing this has fueled my own Musical theatre mojo again. Now I only have to find the time and the brain space to sit down and work on some stuff. (YAY)

To those who are still on the fence about whether they should go or not: I was given a free ticket because I work in theatre business. But I was so moved and amazed by the performance and the initiave I simple HAD to donate the money I would gladly have spent on a Steuerkarte. And this, my friends, is the highest thing you could achieve in my books.

 

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#MusicMonday … Steal with Style

Long time no #MusicMonday, right?

Well, I settled into my new life in Wiesbaden and since I’ve been listening to one album obsessively since it came out last Friday this was destined to happen.

It’s not a secret that I am a fan of Steven Pasquale ever since he worked his magic in “The Bridges of Madison County”, right? Now the recording of his latest show, the Off-Broadway production of “The Robber Bridegroom”, was released and HELL YEAH! The most voice-magic probably happens during “Steal with Style”. So before you go off and listen to the whole thing (because the ladiest and other gentlemen on this CD are just as amazing) here are two short clips of of “Style with Style”.

Have a good new week!

 

 

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Music Monday … The Negative

Over the last week or so the Waitress recording and I really hit it off. Thanks to my lovely friend A. I own the Sara Bareilles concept-kinda album in addition to the Broadway album and I love them both.

One song I particularly like isn’t featured on the Sara Bareilles album, but it is still important as well as funny and interesting music-wise.

Not only has is the main lyric really funny (“Focus on the negative…!”), but it features one of my favourites lines from the show:

Jenna: Funny how one night can ruin my whole life!
Girls: Don’t go there yet, we don’t know what the test says….

(it happens around the 1:30min mark)

Please, take a listen and tell me how funny these lyrics are with what the music tells us at the same time. I burst into laughter EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Have a great week and I hope your August is off to a good start.

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Music Monday … For a Minute

Hey my dear theatrical friends, it has been a while!

What could possibly be better than a good ol’ #MusicMonday to somewhat get back into the blogging thing?

Let’s start again with a relatively recent find music-wise to shake it up a little bit.

If you are following my Instagram or my Facebook-page you might know that I basically spend the first half of July in New York City (“the greatest city in the world…” – bonus points for everyone who just read this in full-on Angelica-mode) and got to see many, many amazing things on stage specifically.

One of the most exciting days EVER ended with me and my Mom (best travel-companion EVER!) at 54below one table over from @BroadwayGirlNYC listening to Drew Gasparini and his fabulous guests being amazing and presenting new songs and older ones. (and enjoying the strong Gin Tonics they serve there. I am not kidding these Gin Tonics are….well….let’s just not talk about an aging Theaterkind and the alcohol)

What probably was my favourite song of the evening (along with “Float”) made it onto Youtube and I have to admit I’ve listened to that one more than once since it went up. Much more.🙂

So, sit back and enjoy!

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Special Day

A short thing on why May 27th was a very special day for me

On May 27th an era kind of came to an end. I saved a 85 pages Word-Document as a PDF file, hit the copyshop and printed it out five times, had it bound and took it home. There I put three of the copies in an envelope, put the address of my university on there and got it ready to take to Leipzig the next day.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was my Master thesis.
It’s finished.
It’s dropped off at the Prüfungsbüro.

Now the era of not thinking about sex and musicals and feminism in musicals all day every day begins!

On Friday I took my mother to see my friend Eric Lee Johnson for his solo show debut at a small and very charming theatre in Berlin Schöneberg. I remember when we last got together for a coffee Eric told me he might sing a song by Marc Schubring that I translated for a student of his earlier this year (which marked the first time someone asked me to translate something). To be honest I was all ike: Yeah, let him talk – and let’s see if that REALLY happens. (sorry, Eric…)

Then last Friday I met a mutual friend of ours and she was like “You know, he’s gonna sing “Completely Different” – and Marc’s gonna be here!”. And then that’s what happened.

As I’m still in the very beginning of my translating it’s VERY exciting to hear my German words being sung by people who aren’t me torturing my neighbours with endless shouting and trying to be a soprano or a tenor… Only when someone that isn’t me sings those German words I can listen to it as a dramaturg and judge it the way I would do translations by others and that’s not only very productive, but also a rather healthy thing to do.

And last week’s Friday Eric sung those words and it was the first time ever someone sung a translation of mine without me being in the back producing it, organizing it, putting together musical rehearsals or trying to make everybody feel comfortable about the lack of said rehearsals…and it was A MA ZING!

Thank you, Eric!
And thank you, Marc, for the music that works so well (I think) with German!

That special Friday was more than a week ago today, but I’m still mesmerized and I’m sure I’m gonna treasure that day for a while longer.😉 Even and especially after I’ve graduated from my current MA programme and I’ll be an unemployed dramaturg.

But before that will be the case my classmates are organizing a festival in Leipzig – and they need money, because – let’s be honest here – who doesn’t? We’ve 11 more days of startnext crowdfunding left, and honestly I think everyone should be wanting to be part of the funding crowd for a dramaturgy-festival. Who has ever seen such a thing?

Wanna help? Head over to: https://www.startnext.com/INTROLeipzig

 

 

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Music Monday … To Build A Home

This #MusicMonday was inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda who shared this video on his twitter and brought this back to my mind.

I guess we all know the song, right? It’s from Jason Rorbert Brown’s The Bridges of Madison County (that will be done in Germany next season!) – so this week isn’t that much about getting to know a song although it’s gorgeous and everyone should listen to it. All the time.

I wanted to make this week’s #MusicMonday about purity and courage (and maybe even honesty) in performances. Because this, ladies and gentlemen is an AMAZING example.

But sit back and see for yourselves.

And think and enjoy the sun (at least here in Berlin).

 

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Music Monday … with no music?

Late night #MusicMonday?

Yes, please!

After a weekend full of talking, meeting and sitting on trains travelling across the country (Berlin – Stuttgart – Hanau – Leipzig – Berlin in four days) I’m back home and thinking about music. (no, that’s wrong: I’m thinking about my MA thesis and about stuff.)

Anyways – I really don’t have to share a song with you today. I listened to Hamilton A LOT this past weekend plus whenever the wifi on trains was working I took advantage of my iTunes music subscription to listen to the Jasper in Deadland album that was just released last week.

 

So today I ask you: What are you listenting to these days? What’s your favourite musical theatre associated song theses days? What’s something you return to over and over and over again?

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Music Monday … Blackout

On Saturday I realized I hadn’t listened to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first big Broadway hit In the Heights in quite a while. I don’t know exactly why, but In the Heights really is a summer-listen to me and although temperatures dropped over the last couple of days (don’t even get me started on how cold I was when I rode my bike home at 3:30 in the morning on Sunday) I decided it’s that time of the year already.

There’s a lot of fabulous songs in that show, that make me cry on a regular basis, but one of my all-time favourites definitely is the Act I finale “Blackout”. And I really have nothing else to say about that.

Just listen and feel a little bit summery already!

 

#12v12 Mai

Schon wieder ein Monat rum?!?!?

In nächster Zeit stehen sowieso ein paar deutsche Posts hier an und da hab ich mir gedacht, fange ich doch gleich mal an mit etwas, was eigentlich “dazugehört”. #12v12 ist ein ziemliclh lustiger Ding auf Instagram, bei dem einige von mir verfolgten Blogger_innen immer wieder mitmachen, ob es nun die hochverehrten Kulturfritzen sind (die jetzt tatsächlich seit neuestem Plural sind!) oder Ella von Ringelmiez. “Konzept” dieses Hashtags ist es, einmal im Monat – nämlich am 12. – 12 Bilder aus seinem manchmal furchtbar langweiligen, manchmal ganz aufregenden Alltag zu teilen.

Dieses Mal fällt der 12. also auf einen Donnerstag. Donnerstage sind bei mir meistens von Büroarbeit geprägt, dieses Mal irgendwie nicht….aber von Anfang an.

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Dieser 12. fing also an mit Füßen. Und Wasser, viel später als ich eigentlich momentan mag, aber mein lieber Freund D. hat am Mittwoch gewissermaßen seine Abschlussprüfung bestanden (wörtliches Zitat: “Ich bin Diplom!”) und das musste gefeiert werden. Also wurde es spät – zumindest nach den Maßstäben einer langweiligen Tante wie mir.

Ich trinke wenig Alkohol, was dazu führt, dass ich dann im Fall des Alkohol-Konsums relativ schnell relativ lange was davon habe (#KOPF!). Also gab es nach dem Frühstück gleich noch einen Kaffee hinterher, gemeinsam mit ein bisschen Feminismus und (zumindest in der Theorie) Arbeit an der Masterarbeit. Weil ich an selbiger die letzte Zeit über vor allem zu Hause gearbeitet habe, ist es immer ein Highlight, wenn ich tatsächlich doch mal rausgehe und dafür “etwas Richtiges” anziehe – in diesem Fall: Jeans. Ich war überrascht von mir selber, aber wenn ich erwarte, dass ich Kollegen treffe, bin ich doch lieber ‘richtig’ angezogen und nicht nur in Yoga-Leggings unterwegs, ne?

In der Bibliothek war’s dann weder besonders spannend, noch besonders fotogen oder produktiv.😉 Das Kapitel über den Feminismus und die Frauenkörper habe ich aufgeschoben bis zum Schluss und jetzt müssen die Augen zu und durch. Am Dienstag soll eine Textfassung spätestens ein paar wunderschöne Menschen erreichen, die sich einmal dadurch quälen und korrekturlesen sollen. Bis dahin muss ich noch eben dieses Kapitel sowie Einleitung und Fazit schreiben. In zweieinhalb Wochen ist Abgabe!

Was ‘ne ganze Zeit lang “kein #12v12 ohne Zahnbürste!” hieß, ist jetzt anscheinend “kein #12v12 ohne Foamroller!”. Weil mir Leute sagen, er sähe mit seinen Noppen so seltsam zweideutig aus, habe ich den ebenso zweideutigen Slogan des Intro Festival Leipzig, das Studierende meines Studiengangs Ende Juni veranstalten, draufgeschrieben: Lass dich einführen. (hier steht er natürlich für das Streching und die Entspannung nach dem Sport, zwei Stunden war ich im Fitnessstudio und es gab BodyCombat und BodyBalance) Und dann gab’s eine kleine Schummelei: Nämlich einen Throwback nach München, als mein Strick-Bestie Aleks und ich uns von anderen fotografieren lassen mussten, weil beide unserer Mütter ein Bild verlangt haben. Nur noch zwei Monate und dann sehen wir uns endlich wieder, diesmal auf ‘ihrem’ Kontinent!

Nach dem Sport war ich noch ‘kurz’ im Bioladen, wo ich meistens eher nicht so ganz gesunde Sachen kaufe….diesmal musste es mal wieder ein Glas Erdnussmus Crunchy sein, dieses Granola und die Milch, weil ich auf alles abfahre, wo Kokos drin ist. (von dem Joghurt bin ich nicht ganz so überzeugt). Ein Teil des Einkaufs schaffte es dann auch sofort auf den Abendbrotteller!

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Als letzten Akt des Tages musste ich noch meinen Joghurtbereiter (ohne Strom) bestücken, damit ich zum nächsten Frühstück etwas für mein Müsli habe…Meistens mache ich nämlich meinen Sojajoghurt selbst.

Das war also mein 12. Mai, viel Bib…und wir müssen ja niemandem erzählen, dass das nur 11 Bilder waren, oder? Mal im ernst – wer hätte auch noch ein viertes Bild aus der Bibliothek gebraucht?

Am 12. Juni werde ich die Arbeit schon abgegeben haben, mal sehen, was ich dann mache…

 

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Music Monday … Sorrow Done

The other day Ryan Scott Oliver – and people know I value his work BIG TIME! – uploaded a number of videos from the We Foxes / Rope concert at 54below back in March. This concert actually happened the very same day German versions of two of his songs from 35MM premiered at schreib:maschine in Berlin – total conincidence, right?

 

Anyway – I never knew many of the songs really well before, but these videos changed EVERYTHING. It’s just real good music (and cool orchestrations!) played by amazing instrumentalists (that violinist!) and sung by amazing singers. Over the last couple of days I became totally obsessed with the performance of Kerstin Anderson as Willa – seriously, she’s AMAZING. And while Sorrow Done is a real good example of that I definitely suggest that you check out the whole playlist RSO has created for the We Foxes part of the concert, because it’s just….ah….I have to repeat myself….really cool.🙂

 

 

and here’s the complete playlist: