Towards the end of the year I can state: My top 5 Musical Theatre Experiences in 2013….in chronological order.
1) The last ever episode of Smash – I LOVED the first season of Smash and I liked the second one or, let’s say – I ‘lived’ with it until it got its sh*t together towards the end of the season and than the last two episodes happened and … let’s be honest here … that was some pretty girly cheesy stuff going on on there and everyone was a little too happy and/or too at peace with his/her fate, but it was super sweet and lovely. And Joshua Safran did some pretty nice acceptance speech writing there. And TONY AWARDS. 😉
2) 54below – back then I was all over the place for my mom’s and my night out at 54below back in NYC and I still think it was one of the better nights of my life. It was having a super nice night out (which I tend to have sometimes….) with my mom, our first night out in NYC and my first cabaret-style concert in a while. Plus: Stephanie J. Block, Brian Stokes Mitchell, LaChanze, hearing so many tunes for the first time (introduced me to Ragtime and Man Of No Importance) and crying over Liz Callaway singing Journey to the Past. I guess that was when I realized I finally was in New York, the city I had been obsessing about for six years or more and now taking in the vibe of Broadway in that lovely (and I’d say except for us tourist-free) venue was a little too much for…
3) Seeing Broadway shows – as I just stated from age 16 on I was thinking about how I’d travel to New York one day and see all these Broadway shows I read about on the internet and in magazines. In January I had this crazy idea about me earning my BA’s degree this year (by the way…I’m not even an official Bachelor of Arts yet….and I handed in my thesis three months ago and it’s not that long) and wanting to treat myself with that trip. My mother came along and saw six Broadway shows, two of which will close in the next week (Big Fish and First Date) and I can say that what I saw over there got a totally new perspective on musical theatre and what people call “mega musicals”. Especially Big Fish and Once moved me in a way it wasn’t even funny anymore and I just heard First Date‘s Krysta Rodriguez say “And now I’m in a Broadway show that’s like a TV show” – and she’s right. Yes, there is such a thing. But basically almost every show was special, too special and too dear to pick one or two to make it into my favourite musical theatre experiences.
4) Next to Normal in Germany – coming back from NYC I had a two week long break before my next adventure, travelling to the south of Germany to see the German version of Next to Normal. And coming back from New York I had this “Well….I’ve seen Broadway….I’ve seen musical theatre at its best” kind of attitude. I knew it featured my favourite two musical actresses in Germany and I was beyond excited for the translation. I’ve always loved the Broadway Cast recording and I knew I’d love the German version of “Wish I were here” music-wise and so it was. In addition to that I never knew “Maybe” could move me the way it did. Sabrina Weckerlin who played Natalie sang like three notes and I totally burst into tears – like she pushed some random “Lisanne cries”-button. Vocally it was overall a genuine performance of mostly everybody involved. Let’s just leave it at that.
5) Bundeswettbewerb Gesang – as you could just read in my two blog post about that competition (Part 1 and Part 2) I really loved working there and it was worth taking 5 days of my annual leave at my job at university even though it meant long hours very little to no private life – I mostly enjoyed working with all these people. It showed me a lot about musical theatre and how people working in there are.
Sadly I didn’t have that great experiences with opera – just because I didn’t see too much of it. But of course, Katie Mitchell’s Le Vin Herbe at Staatsoper Berlin as well as Caroline Melzer and Nurit Stark’s version of Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments were pretty amazing, too – just not Top 5 2013-amazing. 😉
Now I’m eager to learn about your favourite musical theatre experiences of 2013! What concert did you like most? What show? A stage door experience you’d like to share? I’d be happy to read some of that in the comments below or on my facebook page. Or, new since last Wednesday, you can write me an email in English or German to mail.theaterkind[at]web.de