Month: February 2014

The Stories

Ever since I chose to become a theatre person and I started spending time with theatre people I suddenly had something to tell. I started getting to know people I can actually like.

They make great stories – and I am a boring person. Just recently I told a friend: You know, I’m so boring – I only do exciting stuff like once every few weeks and keep telling people what happenend then so that they HAVE to think I’m an interesting person. (of course I am, but not in a “Heyyyyyy, folks, look, I did something exciting this past weekend! And it was AMAZING!” kind of way)

Anyways…I’m pretty good in making things up, but I’m not as good as the stuff is around my theatre environment.

I mean – for example yesterday something happened and it wasn’t even a good thing, but it was amazingly theatrical. My boss at the criminal dinner entertainment suddenly fired a blank from one of the revolvers we need as props in our office like 1.5 meters from me without giving me a heads-up. I have had some problems with my hearing/my ears in the past and that thing yesterday wasn’t even funny for me – I am still struggeling with the consequences kindly provided by that event.
But I really imagined me seeing a doctor about it and saying: You know, my boss fired a blank right next to me.

And that’s all it needed. And actually there are tons of stories like this, some of which include me getting injuried (e.g. this time the tenor made me hurt my knee) and some of those don’t – but all of them include my really bad skills when it comes to story telling.

What I was going to say: Theatre provides you with so many stories. The stories you might (or might not) see on stage and all the stories around that.


Do You Dance?

also known as “So, you dance, right?”.

That’s basically the reaction after you tell people from a non-theatre researcher-backround that you are enrolled in a dances studies MA programme. I mean, I know how to conquer these sort of weird questions because for the past three years I had been studying something that made people ask “So you wanna be an actress!” (nope, I don’t. If I wanted to be one I’d applied to performing arts schools.).

Right after I had been on stage with the performance I wrote about in my post “Theatrical Birth // Theatergeburtstag” I decided that I am not a performer at all and that there are things I am definitely better at than performing. That was around the time when I decided I wanted to be a dramaturg. And nothing has changed in this department. So, now I am enrolled in a dance studies programme and people ask me “Do you dance?” or tell me “Right, you had been dancing for so long as a kid!” all the time.
But people: I’m not there to dance.
Of course, I have been attending dance classes for a little more than 12 years of my 23 year long life – and I have enjoyed it all the way – but this has absolutely nothing to do with me being intersted in dance studies today. There are people beginning to study theatre studies and they tell people “I liked drama in school!” or “I’ve taken drama for the last three years of school.” or “At home I was in this drama club and now I’m here!” and to be honest, it’s great that they enjoyed being on stage so much, but I never have understood them properly. I am not saying that this is the wrong way to approach your studies. What I am saying that this’d be the wrong approach to me. If I enjoy doing things so much I enjoy doing them and not watching other people doing them, right?
For example: Last week I was sick and I could not run or go to the gym. One day my sister send me a pic of her running shoes on her feet with her running tights on and the caption “Morning Run!” and I was like: Noooooooo! You don’t do this to a runner who can’t run!
Do you get my point?

At some point I’ve realized that I enjoyed watching people do stuff on stages much more than I enjoyed being one of those people on stage doing stuff. I am not a “Hey, look at me!”-kind of person. And most important I am NOT an actress or a dancer.
What doesn’t mean that I am not aware of my body in a presence-kind of way. All of you following me on twitter (if you don’t, you should @Lisanne_Wi) get a sense of my running-gym-adventures and I am a rather picky eater because I know what my body likes in order to work well (in a very basic sense of: functioning and me being able to be happy). I know how my body does and reacts (to) certain stuff and I know how certain movements (might) impact my/your/a body. But that of course doesn’t mean that I have to do this all the time. In a way I hate moving/doing dance stuff around people I’ve originally met to work with as a researcher.

The other day some people I know from my BA studies had a performance (sadly I couldn’t see it) in a performing arts festival and right when they told me about it, I was like: Damn, why am I not with them? (because I still think I’m a good thinker and I can do theatre.) But then I remembered that I don’t perform.

So basically the conclusion of this post could be: NO! Theatre scholars are not actors and dance scholars are not dancers. They might not even like to dance or act. And they might not even like/love theatre in the first place.

Are you studying something that makes people think you do stuff different from what you REALLY do?
I’d be delighted to hear about it. 🙂

Music Monday … It All Fades Away

It All Fades Away

This is a song from Jason Robert Brown’s latest Broadway show and it’s so gorgeous I kind of can’t take it. Really. Steven Pasquale’s voice is unbelievable – especially right in the beginning.

(I’m not in the mood to write much – so, let’s just listen, okay?)

Happy Monday! What are you listening to today?

My Week #26, Feb 17th – Feb 23rd

what I saw
some old German TV shows since I didn’t feel that well most of the week and I stayed home a lot.

what I read    
magazines and blogs and I did some proof reading.

what I listened to
pretty much: Big Fish! And Beethoven’s 9th symphony was playing when I was driving to our place of performance on Friday since it’s some kind of rite to have Beethoven playing when I take one specific actor with me.

what I bought
Yes, I’m guilty. I bought tickets to see Bullets over Broadway. And Jasper in Deadland. Yes. Yes. The discount for Bullets was too tempting. 😉

what I did  
I was sick for the most part of the week so I stayed home a lot and over all didn’t really do aynthing exciting. I had to manage two performances on Friday and Saturday and inbetween them there was a workshop held by the research project I am working for, so I had some workshop duty to serve. And I’m still not sure whether I’m gonna go and see some performances of 100° festival tonight or not. I’m really not sure.

What’s Next?

This is the name of a fun song from the Big Fish score (and for me it’s a VERY important song describing the change of Will’s and Edward’s relationship) – but it’s also the name today’s blogpost! Who would’ve thought so, right? Okay, after this crappy introduction I can now tell what this is about. I thought I’d take a minute writing down the things I am up to over the next couple of weeks/months theatre-wise and we can all be happy for me or just shake our heads about how nerdy/weird Lisanne is.
Sounds like fun?
Let’s go!I’ll be able to see two productions that are invited to Theatertreffen 2014 a festival held in Berlin honouring 10 of the most recognizable theatre productions of the past season BEFORE the actual festival – which in fact is great because I you probably might know: festival tickets are expensive and then don’t really offer student discounts and so I’m happy I’ll get to see at least two of them. That will be Tauberbach by Alain Platel (dance/thank you very much, my dear friend F., to think of getting us tickets!) and Ohne Titel Nr. 1 which is some kind of musical theatre project thingy (I have no idea, but that’s what I like…no genres and stuff). In addition to that I’ll be seeing the students’ preview of Einstein on the Beach and a performance of Jeremy Wade’s Together Forever (with tickets saying ‘including dinner’ which kind of creeps me and my friend out. like a lot.). No off the pure musical theatre in a musical kind of way. I’ll be seeing a production of Gypsy (in an actual night burlesque club), the next original musical of the UdK graduates Schwestern im Geiste (just as the production of Stimmen im Kopf I saw last year…) and hopefully a Berlin-ish off-production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch if I’ll make it. Originally I planned to see it tonight but I’m not feeling that well and I’ve got a packed weekend ahead.
And after that I’m off to NYC where I’ve planned to most intense theatre-watching-time I’ve EVER had (and I’ve done a lot of crazy stuff….). Over the past months I already bought tickets for well selling shows (and ones I’m very excited about) so know we have tickets for The Bridges of Madison County which I honestly can’t wait to see….because Jason Robert Brown is my all time favourite composer and how exciting is it to see one of his works on Broadway? Back when I bought the tickets to If/Then I was so happy that we were going to see the first regular performance after opening night, but now they re-scheduled opening night and so we are seeing the second to last preview. Hmpf. But I’m happy I got us the tickets we have now. For the evening show that same day we’ll be seeing the revival of Les Miserables on Broadway and that’s actually exciting because (and I know that’s kind of embarrassing) I’ve NEVER seen it before. I didn’t even catch the movie – of course I know the plot and most of the songs by heart, but I’ve never seen it. On the next day I’ll go uptown and see Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s Jasper in Deadland which I’m also uber excited to see since I love RSO’s music, while my girls will see Matilda (it was my present to my sister for her birthday in december that I’ll pay for the tickets). After that we’ll (probably) head over to the American Airlines Theatre to catch one of the first previews of the Broadway production of Violet starring Sutton Foster. Other than that we are planning to see Beautiful (which my mom first described as “the one with these songs I know from my youth. playing at this downstairs theatre!”), Bullets over Broadway and re-watch Once cause that’s kind of the living version of my idea of musical theatre (and we just so want my sister to see it, too). And we’ll hopefully get to spend another night at 54below and we are saving the last night so that everyone of us can go and see the show again she liked the most. On top of that I’m tempted to try my luck at either the Rocky or Kinky Boots lottery….

Well…and when we’re back and the jetlag has worn off (last time it took me forever!) I’ll be going to Switzerland and see three shows in St. Gallen and maybe a production at the opera of Zurich…just as I blogged last week.
And after that…I’m excited what’s next. There will be German productions of Shrek and The Addams Family later this year. And I REALLY should get my act together and return to going to the opera more.

Music Monday … No Good Can Come From Bad

A consequence of my listening habit of last week would be to share something from Big Fish, but I couldn’t find a clip of one of the songs I’d dying to share on Youtube or anywhere else.

Instead I’m gonna go back to a show I was obsessed with around that time last year: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Although dramaturgically it’s not the best show you could ever imagine, I love the concept – I’m very much into audience participations – and the recording of the 2012 Broadway revival is just gorgeous.

“No Good Can Come From Bad” is a song happening towards the end of Act 1, right before Drood disappears and is assumed to be dead. I just like the way the different conflicts sound (in order to make every other person in that song a potential suspect of mudering Edwin Drood).
And, I mean we all know me: Stephanie J. Block. Still. And Jessie Mueller (who’s playing the Indian Helena Landless).

So, let’s have a listen.

My Week #25, Feb 10th – Feb 16th

Today is my birthday and it honestly qualifies as one of the best I ever had (last years went we went on a photographer’s tour through the closed down Tempelhof Airport buildings was pretty cool, too) – just a day of chillaxing and not doing much (except: eating).

what I saw
If you follow Theaterkind’s facebook page (which you should totally do, because it’s fun. and you get snippets of my theatre thoughts almost every day.) you already know that I went to see Warhorse (“Gefährten”) in Berlin this week. And that I LOVED the puppets, because….I mean….puppets, but some other stuff was not to get that excited about…I am not sure if I should write a seperate post about it since it’s not really musical theatre but it’s produced by a musical theatre producing company in German and I think part of why there are so few people going to see it is that they think it might be a musical, but it kind of isn’t but it also is not a “real” straight play. Anyways, what are your thoughts? Post or not to post – that’s the question.

what I read    
newpaper articles about the votum in Switzerland last Sunday. And…stuff.

what I listened to
the BIG FISH CAST RECORDING. I was so excited for it! (again, do you want me to write something about that?) It’s so beautiful and I’m a little sad that the music itself makes it hard for you to understand the way the story goes (I can imagine) and what makes me even sadder is the fact that I’ll (most definetely) never be able to see it again and ‘revisit’ some scenes.

what I bought
I’m too excited not to share! I found a discount code for Bridges of Madison County and even though I am pretty sure there will be tickets avaliable at the TKTS booths in March I went for it yesterday and bought us a trio of tickets for March 28th – it’s tooooo unbelievable to be true, but still I got the confirmation and everything. This makes Bridges the third show I bought tickets for on our vacation in March/April. (the other two are I guess the new mega-sellers If/Then and LesMiz)

what I did  
I loved it when my friend stayed with us here, it was so much fun and serious discussion and I think it might even has helped me to make a private/study-life decision and kind of wanted/needed to make before, so now it’s done. And we’ll see if I stick to it.
I didn’t share that last week but last Saturday was the day when I was able to run 10k without any leg-pain in more than half a year. Since then it worked three times and I’m kind of proud that I was able to include a more long distance kind of running in my workout plan.

Valentine’s Day Favourites

Since today is Feb 14th and that means Valentine’s Day I thought I’d do something valentin-y. (Although I might as well can call me Queen of Being Single and that pretty much sums up what I think of Valentine’s Day)

But: Most pieces of musical theatre are full of love and drama and all that jazz. So why not write about my top 5 couples in musical theatre? This time they come in a “Top 5”-kind of order.

5) Penelope and Ulisse (Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Monteverdi)
Okay, I have a soft spot for love stories that include one of them having been absent for quite some time. And I like the music. The only production of       that I ever saw was the Komische Oper Berlin production (which in my opinion is the best of the three Monteverdi productions they’ve done two years ago) included one of my favourite baritones as Ulisse and he was amazing and it was so sad – and I mean how weird is it that you finally give in to marry some other guy and then a totaly new one comes a long, kills all of them and wants you to marry him and you don’t recognize him and then your maid has to tell you that he actually already is your husband? 😉 Nice story though.

4) Lucille and Leo Frank (Parade, Jason Robert Brown)
First of all, I love Parade‘s music anyway. Regardless the plot. And I’ve never seen a production of it nor read the script – so my judgement of the love story is only based on the music. But: This is not over yet is one of the most beautiful songs being primarily about something else but also expressing so much love I’ve ever heard. I love how in the beginning they seem to have their struggles and these are present throughout the music, but when Leo is imprisioned Lucille decides to stand up for him and do things. And: How sad is it that they somehow finally find their ‘real’ love and she makes the authorities to move him to another prison and then he suddenly gets killed? I mean…..really?

3) Diana and Dan Goodman (Next to Normal, Brian Yorkey/Tom Kitt)
This is a little weird. What we whitness when seeing/listening to Next to Normal is a marriage that already has last for almost 20 years, the birth of their first child kind of made them marry in the first place. Their child died and they – let’s be honest here – were stuck with each other. And now we see this disfunctional family with this ‘crazy’ mother, this ‘crazy’ daughter and – yes! – the ‘crazy’ father. Each in a very different way. But still Dan cares for her. He wants her to be good (maybe because that’s the reason he will be fine in the end, as long as he has her to care about he doesn’t have to face his own not-being-okay). All the way through the plot Dan seems to be the one doing so many things wrong. Making her undergo this ETC treatment, making her take the pills and in the end she leaves him to finally become ‘healthier’ again. And he is alone with his problems. In my opinion the ‘real’ love story with these two starts when the musical ends. Because….you never know, right?

2) Leonore & Florestan (Fidelio, Ludwig van Beethoven)
My love for Fidelio (or at least the 1805-version also known as Leonore) is pretty unconditional. I love the music, I love the Gender-aspect of it and the lovers’-duet “Namenlose Freude” in the end shows some kind of love that made her take all these ‘un-women-ishy’ things she has done during the opera. Of course this is not very emanzipated (a woman doing things only to be reunited with her man so they can be ‘complete’ again) – but we’re talking about 1805 – 1812, folks. And it’s a littly fluff. Although the almost three hours before “Namenlose Freude” are a little bit angsty and she’s confronted with so many things that she thinks she won’t be able to cope with and still she does. Go, Leonore!

1) Guy and Girl (Once, Enda Walsh)
Okay – this was the love story I totally cried my eyes out about when I saw it on Broadway last fall. They meet, they obviously fall in love with each other and she lets him go just because she thinks the ex-girlfriend is the best thing for him. She helps him getting out of a pretty dark place and not only lets hime go, but MAKES him go in the end. I mean how sad is that? And he – he totally accepts the way she doen’t seem to want to be with him and leaves. It’s just so sad. Let’s just read the saddest lines of the piece together, okay?

GUY: So what’s Czech for, “Do you still love him?”
(A pause)
GIRL: Ty ho este milujes?
GUY: So … Ty ho este milujes?
GIRL: Miluji tebe.
(We read “I love you” in the surtitles.)
GUY: What does that mean?
(She looks up above them)
GIRL: It looks like rain.

(Enda Walsh, Once, New York 2012)

I mean – really?

As you might have noticed I’m more a lover of complicated, not so typical lovestories (although I have the strong feeling that Francesca and Robert from The Bridges of Madison County will be on top of this list once I saw it…). After all that is what makes good stories, right?

So, my dear readers who have a valentine to spend today with, do so. I’ll spend it with work and after all that’s my valentine anyway. 🙂

The World’s Most Fancy Tickets

Last week I posted on the Theaterkind facebook page that I didn’t feel like blogging but I was planning a trip for the end of May/beginning of June.
Now the trip is all set and since it will be a theatrical trip, I thought I’d share with you!

We will be going to St. Gallen, Switzerland, for Musicaltage of the Theater St. Gallen, where they will show a three musicals in their repertoire in three days accompanied by concerts and stuff.

So we will be seeing a production of Anyhing Goes (spoken texts in German, songs in English, sadly – because the other day I almost fell off my bike from laughter when I thought about the German translation of “Blow, Gabriel, Blow!”), the brand new Wildhorn musical Artus – Excalibur (although I’m not a HUGE Wildhorn fan, I am interested in the cast and the idea of seeing a new Wildhorn piece come to live. For the first time. In Europe.) and Moses. Die 10 Gebote (Moses. The 10 commandments) – which I suppose will be weird. Since I know the pop oratory that was kind of the model for that – but still, let’s have some fun.

My mother, who will come along with me just because we enjoy travelling together, never has been to Switzerland and that’s why we will leave St. Gallen after three nights and spend two additional nights in Zurich. I visited Zurich more than two years ago and I’m pretty excited to go back for private purposes. And if I find a way to get reasonable priced tickets for the opera I’d LOVE to see Willy Decker’s production of Monteverdi’s Ulysse which will open in March.

Anyways…..since this post is entitled the way it is: Two days ago our tickets for the shows in St. Gallen arrived and they literally are the fanciest tickets over. We only got one ticket each for three shows all together and it looks like a credit card. I can’t get over it. Look at them! Arent’s they pretty?

(the blurry thing is to protect our privacy because it says my mom’s full name and our address.)

DSC_0248 DSC_0251

Music Monday … Starting Over

Okay….I usually don’t include kind of illegally recorded sound material…but I have been OBSESSED with this song (and her interpretation) for the past week. Plus it’s a very new song, If/Then will open on Broadway on March 27th and I’ll get so see the March 29th matinee – I’m beyond excited.

And I mean: Idina Menzel. (the best part is at 3:35 minutes plus the next three seconds or so.)
Just lean back and have listen and let Monday happen around you!