Month: September 2013

NYC Adventures Pt 1

As some of you, especially those who follow me on twitter or instagram, might know I’m on vacation right now. For the first time I flew across the Atlantic Ocean to America to spend 10 days in New York City, a city I honestly have been obsessing about for almost 8 years of my life. For this fall I kind of could justify this trip to myself because, come on!, I was finishing off my BA studies and even it’s not that kind of an important degree for me personally it’s my first academix degree of any kind and I wanted to do something special. So: My mother and I flew over here.

Who read other blog entries or my twitter feed knows that I’m big into theatre and even bigger into musical theatre. I love almost everything opera-musical-whatsoever-like. And since I’m blogging here mostly about cultural/theatre stuff I thought it would be a nice thing to share some thoughts about one of the most amazing nights in my life so far with you.

This is a post about obsession as you might have noticed, so let’s use that word as often as possible.
I’m literally obsessed with the voice of Stephanie J Block. I loved her on the 9to5 recording, but I fell deeply in love with her Drood (and the musical itself, but that’s a different story…) as soon as I got the recording. And I was kind of bummed when she didn’t win the Tony for best actress in a musical (but then Patina Miller won, and it was like….okay. 😉 ). So at first I was really sad that Little Miss Sunshine at Second Stages won’t be starting previews for another two weeks so I’d miss that, but three weeks ago she was announced as a performer for a composer-lyricist-duo’s 30th anniversary at 54below on Sept. 26th. Actually I was so excited the night I read it I almost couldn’t sleep. (yes, that’s kind of teenage-fan-girl-like, but…well)

So, yesterday was the day. After a packed day in the city we dressed up a little and headed 9 blocks north to 54th Street to have dinner and then enjoy the concert. When we entered I remembered how many Youtube-Videos I’ve watched over the past years that were recorded in there. I was definetly familiar with the redish classy backwall of the stage. We both had a fabulous dinner and I really helpful waiter, who was even kind enough to come back to our table after we’d placed our order to tell me that the risotto I went for was made with chicken broth and so not suitable for vegetarians. (a HUGE plus here!) And I went for a fabulous glas of Grüner Veltliner (European wine for a European girl). After we’d finished our meal the missing party at our table came and we soon started a fabulous conversation. (it was, believe me.) They were a not that young gay couple, totally New York theatre-goers and -insiders and we started rambling about shows and singers and everything while they had their dinner. (best compliments I heard “You hardly have an accent.” and “Wow, she’s a seasoned pro!” referring to my extensive knowledge about the NY theatres)
Suddenly the performers entered and the concert started.

I’ve never really listened to any of the musicals by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (except for Rocky which – in the German version at least – I’m not terribly fond of.) so I was really excited to listen to their songs. It started with a short introduction by the two of them. And they really seem to be some of the sweetest and loveliest theatre persons I’ve ever met. Afterwards Liz Callaway (by the way: HUGE obsession as well! Go, youtube her “The story goes on” from Baby if you haven’t already!) started to sing the first song, “Journey to the past” from the animated movie “Anastasia”. And I have to be honest here: I fought tears. Really. Not only had the wine done its damage, but also was it and incredible performance and my first night out in NYC with such lovely people and everything. Sadly I’m not familiar with Ahrens and Flaherty’s shows so I have trouble to name most of the songs which were presented, but I remeber LaChanze singing off the roof and Brian Stokes Mitchell totally making me fall in love with his incredible voice (LaChanze and he did a duett from Ragtime and it was breathtaking. I literally can’t remember breathing when it comes to that number!) What I remember clearly is Stephanie J Block taking the stage after the that duett and being simply adorable. She sang “Something beautiful” which I already knew from her album and it was really beautiful. Sometimes her voice becomes so unreal it’s not even funny anymore and it’s much closer to perfection (at least to me) than many voices I’ve heard in my life. And I’ve heard a lot for the 22 year old I am. 🙂 But not only her but EVERY SINGLE ONE in this concert was incredible. The band was – WOW. Five people making a sound comparable to an orchestra!
I’m still mostly speechless. And we’re still kind of bewitched.
And everything.
And now we’re gonna leave to see ‘Once’. (the trailer alone made me cry once. Only because of the guy dancing with his cello. Yeah, right!)

My week #7 Sept 16 – 23

what I saw 
Dirty Hands (Sartre) directed by Jette Steckel at DT Berlin. I liked it. Kind of. I mostly liked the thought of another actress playing Olga than the one who as actually playing the part.
Murmel, Murmel remember last week when I saw these two Herbert Fritsch productions at Volksbühne? Well, that was the third and it was the best. Mostl because I had the feeling that Fritsch couldn’t just be lazy only finding kind of easy pictures for the texts. Because: When people say “Murmel” for 90 minutes that’s not much of a text, right? 😉
A midsummernight’s dream (Benjamin Britten) at Komische Oper directed by Viestur Kairish. Nope I didn’t like that one. Let’s not get started here….

what I read    
my friend’s BA thesis. And mine. And the others’ comments on mine. And again: mine.

what I listened to  
Drew Gasparini: I could use a drink. Great songs, great singers. Go, listen to them on iTunes!

what I bought 
some vacation preparational stuff.

what I did  
first things first: I finished off my BA thesis! Yay! My friend is gonna bring it to the examination office tomorrow. That’s some good new, right?
Other than that: Nothing much. I worked on the new webpage to represent the project I’m working for. I went out for dinner with my two “criminal dinner”-bosses. I had an amazing night with my best friend at a great bar with great wine.

where I travelled
the nightly Berlin. Again. This time: Less drunk, more bike-fun. I really love riding my bike across the city for 45 minutes at night. It’s amazing. It would have been even more amazing if it was still summer, but…..(sadly I didn’t to that at all this summer, but the next summer will arrive sooner or later…)

My week #6 Sept 9 – 15

what I saw 
Frau Luna directed by Herbert Fritsch at Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.
Die (s)panische Fliege, same people, same location. (Since I’ve never seen one of his price winning productions and now Volksbühne shows all three of them in two weeks I needed to see them. Not really the stuff I like, but….well. You need to do things)

what I read    
Some BA thesis re-reads. Again.

what I listened to  
basically the same as the week before.

what I bought 

what I did  
My bike broke and was repaired and now it’s good as new. Wrote huge amounts on my thesis. Almost finished, needs some fine-tuning though. The criminal dinner entertainment I work for opened the new season with the new play on Saturday. It was superb and gorgeous and we had some nice party afterwards. 😉

where I travelled
the nightly Berlin. By train. (because: Remember my bike??)

My week #5 Sept. 1 – 8

what I saw 
Uncle Vanya at Deutsches Theater Berlin, directed by Jürgen Gosch
Das Mittelmass by a lovely friend of mine.

what I read    
not much stuff. reread some Judith Butler and Roberto Esposito.

what I listened to  
not much consistence in here. Yesterday I listened to the entire sundtrack of “La Grande Bellezza” while doing some writing.

what I bought 
(organic) food. and – after I’ve wanted it for quite some time: a tribest personal blender. And tickets to Ahrens and Flaherty-Concert at 54below on Sept. 26th.

what I did  
I caught a cold. I dropped off a broken pair of shoes and a necklace to be repaired (at different places, of course). And I wrote quite a bit on my thesis.

where I travelled
across the city to pick of a bunch of theatre tickets for my friends and myself.

Back from summer?

Well, I guess someone (read: me) had three months of blogging-summer-break. Now with the new theatre season right peeking right around the corner I’ll try to hop back onto the blogging-waggon. Sounds stupid? Yeah, pretty much. 🙂

Since some stuff happened in my life I’ll give some updates right here. Just for the records. a) I’ll (hopefully) finish my BA thesis in the next two weeks and hand it in. (for those being interested its title will be: “Don’t compare. Construction of Self and Other in ‘Third Generation’ and ‘I love I'” … those are two theatrical performances bringing performers from different countries in the Middele East on stage together)

b) right after that I’ll leave for a ten day trip to New York City with my lovely mother. Kind of as a BA-graduation-mark. Since I secretly am a Broadway-fangirl, we’ll watch a number of shows (6 to be exact) and explore the city that never sleeps. I’m so EXCITED!

c) after we’ll return to Berlin I’ll have another week off before I’ll start my MA-programme. After having majored in theatre studies for three years (was it THAT long ago that I started university?) I’ll now concentrate more on the dance-aspects. I’m enrolled in the dance studies MA programme at Freie Universität Berlin.

Everything else we’re gonna see. Anyways, I’m very excited for fall and winter although it will include lots and lots of working – but as we all know, it’s pretty nice to have work in theatre business, right?

Oh and btw: My first theatregoing-experience this season (if we don’t count that open air video installation ‘Slow Dancing’ I saw mid-August) has been ‘Uncle Vanya’ directed by Jürgen Gosch at Deutsches Theater Berlin last Sunday.  And it terribly reminded me why I love theatre ifself but hate most of the people in the audience. Well. Yeah.

‘See’ you soon.