Moses was the last show I saw during my stay in St. Gallen and as I my articles about the other to nights (Anything Goes and Artus Excalibur) already suggested – for my the quality of the shows went downwards from Anything Goes on.
(funny how I don’t even try to be polite on this topic)
Years ago Michael Kunze, to book writer and lyricist of German (hit) musicals like Elisabeth, Mozart and Marie Antoinette had paired up with Dieter Falk, a pop music producer and song-writer, to write a pop oratory about the 10 commandments, which premiere in a huge soccer stadium with a choir consisting of thousands of people and a big orchestra and all that jazz. The music and the lyrics were quite ‘heavy’ taking into account that so many voices singing make the words hard to understand, so the words had to be streched and sung very slowly. Anyway, this oratory was okay to watch, it told the story of Moses and the 10 commandments and up to today it is produced/shown primarily by churches and religious organizations having choirs.
Apparently a couple of years later they were asked (or wanted) to write a musical of this oratory – and this was how Moses – Die 10 Gebote was written. Do you remember when I wrote about Artus and said that the material didn’t appear to be all that bad, but the directing just didn’t give a whole lot of f*cks? Well with Moses it was the other way ’round! The directing actually was quite neat, sweet, sometimes a little too ‘funny’ (in a “Look! I can do funny!”-kind of way). The performers were good, they sung well and danced well for the most parts.
But outside of the pure watching-experiences (me, sitting there and watching what happens on stage, directing-wise, acting-wise…) I had some serious WTF?!-moments with the material. The songs mostly were like someone made the singers sing bible verses in pop music (like Britney Spears 90ies…), sometimes then suddenly bursting out into Gospel-inspired songs, dancing and singing and clapping – while a mere three minutes ago they’d told us that Moses’ people were slaves and had to work even harder than before because of Moses’ magic. There were scenes in front of the curtain, with two characters talking about a matter on of them wasn’t really concerned with (from a character-in-the-story-point of view) and which just had nothing to do with what happened before, it came out of the blue and obviously it had to be there because the set needed to be changed.
Right now I feel I don’t even want to write anything more about that experiences because I could go on and on about how weird I felt watching this as ‘musical theatre’ or how I think that these kinds of shows/productions are the reason why people in Germany think musicals are superficial, everyone looks great in them and from time to time someone randomly bursts into a song.
Usually I try not to write such short and negative things about theatre, but this needed to be done. Simply.