Travel

#theaterkindtakesUK …

… First Stop: Brighton

(the one in which I ramble on and on about workout-pants and food)

I’ll start off my more in depth series about my recent road trip with the first stop of the UK portion of our trip, mostly because I want to put both of our short stays in Belgium together in the end of this series.

As I mentioned in my first post last week we arrived in Brighton around 9:30pm with raining pouring down – but we pretty muchDSCN1075 found a parking spot right in front of our AirBnb (which we booked like a week in advance after I’d found out that the camping site wouldn’t take us with an arrival past 8pm) which was not only very handy, but almost glorious.

We were greeted by our host and settle in our ‘home’ for the next two nights – a very cozy room on the top floor (kind of a former attic). Our hosts we super accomodating and even had parking permits for us to put in the car and maps – my Mom and I love us some maps….

Anyway – the next morning we were up bright and early (time difference! I’m very sensitive to that – I’m that person that is put off by daylight-saving for days!) and I went for a quick run down to the beach, along said beach for a while and then back up. ‘Up’ because Brighton is HILLY. I definitely learned that the hard way when I got lost during my run and found me running back on the same road I took down to the sea – and by “down” I mean DOWN!

After my run and a shower we had one of the coziest breakfasts ever in our room, during this trip I’ve developed a very extensive muesli-habit with ALL the ingredients and I’ve sticked to it up until today. At some point in the morning – probably around 10 we left our place and I took my mother to the sea – that’s one of the things I liked about running right the morning after you’ve arrived somewhere: you explore the area and in a very weird way I always consider myself a pro after that….

DSC_0056Basically when you went straight ahead from our Airbnb-place down to the sea you’d be more or less at the old pier I fell in love 10 years ago when the host family I was staying with for a part of my school trip in 8th grade took me along with their girls down to Brighton from London to celebrate their wedding anniversary. I guess I’ve always had a heart for old and broken stuff. We took a nice walk (wait for the other posts about that trip….that walk-thing will be a pattern…) along the beach to the pier and from there we turned towards the lanes – not without a quick stoll around the temple about which I’ve always kept telling one of my favourite memories from the trip down to Brighton 10 years ago when my host-mum asked when (when we were passing the temple in the car): “Lisanne, it looks like the Taj Mahal, doesn’t it?” Me: “Mmmh….I’m not too sure….” She: “LISANNE! Say it looks like Taj Mahal!” Me: “Yes, it looks like Taj Mahal.” Very funny.

The nerds we are we – of course took ALL the pictures of the temple from the outside, but didn’t go inside, because we turned more towards the lanes where we mostly did some window shopping except for when I walked into a Sweaty Betty store and left (quite a while later) with two pairs of workout-pants and with a ridiculous amount of money less in my bank account. The story behind that is that I’d been in the market as you say for a second pair of 3/4-length workout-pants and a long pair. I have this amazing pair of Lululemon DSC_0064Wonder-Under Crops which I love, and I was planning to buy a second pair plus a full-length pair since one pair of cropped pants isn’t really cutting it with my workout-schedule, if you know what I mean…So now Sweaty Betty instead. What really got me into the pants I bought was the fact that they both are reversible – so you basically get four styles in two pairs of pants. And especially the long pair came in very handy for long drives and short flights like the one I took to Vienna in the beginning of September (because on flights I do not proper pants. no way.). Anyway….as with most workout-clothes-stores I could have bought the whole store, because how pretty is all this clothing and I actually need a lot (the amount of workout-socks I own is ridiculous and still from time to time I’ll end up not having fresh socks to wear, oh well…). Enough of that workout-talk here, this is not the place. No.

My Mom was very much into the thought of having proper Fish and Chips which we got for her in a restaurant near the pier (Harry Ramsden’s) I found when I googled Best Fish and Chips in Brighton when I sat in front of a Itsu with my green smoothie across from a Boots and took advantage of the free Boots-Wifi.

After lunch we went a little more back up, away from the sea. I’d done some research beforehand and found a (what appears to be) independent health food store where I wanted to stock up on sugar free Provamel soya-yoghurt (#excitingtimes!) and took some time to go through ALL the raw snack-bars in order to find new things. Infinity Foods is located in the North Laine, an area that has gone from “slum” to hipster. There was an incredible amount of people, but Infinity Foods was probably the second best health store in went into in the UK – the best one being the one and only Whole Foods we tracked down in London. I stocked up on my favourite soya-yoghurt and bought a bit of the Coyo coconut yoghurt (which had me in awe a few days later….it was amazing, I’m in LOVE, everyone in the UK, go out and splurge and buy youself one of those! Right now!).

DSC_0075On our walk back to the place we stopped for a coffee up at Seven Dials (a kinda fancy roundabout close to our Airbnb) in a small coffee shop called Maple Café. Sadly they did not have a restroom when I was in desperate need of one, but they had vegan flapjacks and I can only tell you that I’ve developed a love for this stuff – I’ll have to try out all these flapjack-gone-“healthy” recipies on the internet (without refined sugar and stuff…). Plus the girls working there were AMAZING! When I went inside to pay for our coffies we chatted for a bit and I told them we’d be going to St. Ives the next day and one of the girls gave us a couple of recommendations because she said she was caming there every year! What a funny coincidence, right?

And because we are just as boring as we are we went home around 5:30pm and just chilled in the room, making dinner and stuff.

As I’m typing this this day seems pretty boring and random to me, but it was a great relaxed start for the UK portion of our trip. I swear.

Next week I’ll hopefully be back with a post about our four nights at a camping site near St. Ives, Cornwall.

Links and Recommendations:

If you don’t have too much time I’d say skip the lanes and head to North Laine. 🙂

Our lovely AirBnb-Place with all the warmest recommendations.

Sweaty Betty for the sporty female among you.

For good coffee and nice people in a not too crowded place: Maple Café

For the health-nuggets among you: Infinity Foods

#theaterkindtakesUK – an Overview

A while back I hashtagged many of my posts over on my instagram with #theaterkindtakesUK which was not really true since I didn’t really take the UK over by any means, but I did travel there during the last two weeks of August.

I can’t believe it has been a month now since we left, but it has been and now I decided I’d put on up a couple of off-topic (aka non-theatre) posts about that trip, because who doesn’t what to know about that morning I jumping-jack-ed out of the tent like a maniac not far from St. Ives? Or that time when ran around the camping-site 25 times and pretty much weirded out all the other folks? Or the time I made my Mama walk London for about 10k in one day? Or about the day we went and visited the real Downton Abbey?

To be honest probably noone wants to read about it, but I’ll tell you nontheless.
This post is going to be an overview about our itinerary and how I made it up.

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So – we went by car…or as we like to put it we took Jochen, that’s our car, out for a trip.
In short we drove the following route: Berlin – Antwerp (Belgium) – Brighton (UK) – St. Ives (UK) – Bath (UK) – London (UK) – Bruges (Belgium) – Berlin, which came up to about 3500 kilometers on the road with all the driving back and forth and the daytrips and stuff. And it was EXCITING!

Basically I came up with the idea of this trip in the aftermath of the Tony Awards (yes, right!) when my fingers almost klicked on the button to buy expensive plane tickets to New York the see ALL the shows and to get my portion of the huge #genderparity and #tesori2015-vibe. Right in the nick of time I suddenly realized that this would be more than just a little extravagant to go over to NYC three years in a row to spend a fortune….instead I decided to convice my mom of the little adventure we had then.

I have dreamt about a roadtrip around South-England for quite a long time now, but I never would have thought that it’d come around so soon. As a person who likes to think and plan everything through until she’s so scared she doesn’t do anything I was very, very chilled about that trip.

Basically I put up the itinerary in just a couple of hours with google maps considering how far we wanted to drive in one day (well….one drive was sooooo long I didn’t consider that all too well, but more on that topic later) and what we wanted to see.

Berlin – Antwerp

I put an overnight-stay in Antwerp in our trip because a) I’ve never been to Belgium – in fact I’ve never been to any of the more Western European countries with the exception of the Netherlands (and Spain….), I know SHAME ON ME, but from Berlin it’s kinda far away….but then: so are the US and Israel… and b) Antwerp is located very conviniently on the route from Berlin to Dunkerque which we chose over Calais as our port. We left at 4 in the morning and arrived there around noon. Not too bad, right?

Antwerp – Brighton

Well….in fact it was Antwerp – Dunkerque – Dover – Brighton. We left Antwerp around noon and drove about 2hrs to Dunkerque where we checked in and then waited. Driving onto the ferry was as easy as 1 – 2 – 3, driving off was a little bit trickier, since trucks were ALL around and…you know….driving on the other side of the road. The drive from Dover to Brighton was about another two hours and we arrived at our Airbnb place around 9:30pm. Originally we had planned to stay at a camping site near Brighton, but a week before we were schedule to arrive I was lucky enough to check back in on them and it turned out that they won’t take any arrivals after 8pm. In fact we were more than happy with that change of plans because it was dark, very very very dark when we arrived (and I’d never put up or tent before) and – YES! – it was raining. I liked to say that I couldn’t have wished for a more British welcome. In these first two hours of the UK part of our trip I drove through darkness, rain AND fog on what is for me the wrong side of the road. And we came out alive.

Brighton – St. Ives

Two nights after we arrived in Brighton we left it already early in the morning (not really, around 9am) because we had a long day ahead of us. We decided to drive mostly on smaller streets since we did want to see something of the country that wasn’t streets and streetsigns or other cars. It took us about 9 hours including VERY long queues in thick fog and me navigating the last twenty minutes in the good ol’ analogue way because apparently SatNavs fail whenever they are told to find a camping site….We put up our tent and arranged everything in about an hours and then we had a glorious cup of coffee. It wasn’t raining.

St. Ives – BathDSC_0197

We took down our tent and packed the car while it was pouring down like there was now tomorrow. I kid you not. We left at around 11 I’d say after we packed and dried ourselves off and got ready for the ride which took us about 4 hours. Our new camping site was very muddy but I don’t remeber it raining when we put up our (still wet…) tent once more. This time: 45 minutes until the coffee! Yay! And I went for a run around the site.

Bath – London

It took us longer to pack up then we expected since it wasn’t really raining, but our tent was still wet from the nights before and the dew….plus we packed everything super neatly. We left at around 9:30am and arrived in East London where our Airbnb was at around 1pm. Our SatNav send us all the way THROUGH CENTRAL LONDON and I had volunteered to drive. After that I’m not sure to many things can shock me. Really.

London – Bruges

Again, in fact it should be London – Dover – Dunkerque – Bruges. Since we wanted to have some time in Bruges we booked our ferry to leave at 2pm, so we left London around 10 to not have to hurry and there really wasn’t any need for it, the ferry wasn’t fully booked, there was good coffee near the waiting area (I’m talking soya latte here, folks!) and overall it was a very nice experience. The drive from Dunkerque to Bruges is a little more than an hours and with all those one-way-streets in the city center we had a little trouble finding a) our hotel and b) the parking lot we could park. But we did. Eventually.

Bruges – BerlinDSCN1170

We left around 1pm and arrived back home around 9:30 I believe. Funnily enough we aren’t very into long breaks during our rides, even the superlong ride from Brighton to St. Ives we had only a toilet break at a gas station (two birds, one stone…) and a  short stop where we walked around the car a couple of times and then I took over the wheel (we like to go and stop briefly only for a couple of reasons: toilet break, gas/petrol, driver’s change, reached our destination) – however: we happened to have a almost 50minutes long break somewhere close to the Ruhrgebiet in Germany on our drive back and we didn’t even notice. Very, very strange.

But we were home!

So this was a rather short-ish overview of the driving portion of our trip.

Over the next few posts and / or weeks I’m planning on seperated posts to every stop of our trip like what we did there and where we went and what we’d recommend and stuff.

Alright?

See you then!

Things that make me be excited for 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I did a similar post last year in which I stated things I was excited for in 2014 – one year later, here we are with 2015 starting all around us and I have a feeling this year will bring, yes, more theatre!

Care to read? Please!

In the end of January I’ll hop on an over-night-train to Linz, Austria, where I will be attending the annual conference of the Dramaturgische Gesellschaft (dramaturgic society). This conference will focus on popular theatre and will feature quite a few talks about musical. I’m invited there by their scholarship programme and I’m excited to meet young dramaturgs. Linz also has an interesting theatre for the musical theatre enthusiast, they don’t only show operas and operettas, but they have like 6 musical singers permanently contracted and they usually do great productions (so I’ve heard). While I’m there they’ll be showing Company (SONDHEIM!), Show Boat and The World Goes ’round and I really hope to get to see those.

Only a week after the conference, in early February, I’ll be heading the other direction, North – to Hamburg. My classmates from Leipzig and I go up there to attend the final weekend of the Lessingtage-festival. I like my classmates and we usually have fun. 🙂 So it should be fun.

Up until June I’ll have the opportunity to dream about my dream summer for this year. The moment June comes around it either will be there or not. But first I have to apply for stuff. And keep my fingers crossed. You should keep yours crossed, too, because if I make it to my dream-summer, this blog has exciting times ahead.

After the summer I’ll be starting my third semester in Leipzig, oh boy! In between school and work and more work and more work I hope to queeze in a trip to Vienna, because I haven’t been there in too many years and there are quite a few things things going on over there theatre-wise.

Today is the second day of 2015. That makes 363 more to come. And overall I’m pretty excited what 2015 brings me as a growing-up dramaturg, a translator gaining more and more experience and for the writer that’s still somewhere inside of me. Maybe I’ll make some of my translations public? Maybe I’ll kick of a new project with musical theatre people? Maybe I’ll do none of the above, maybe I’ll do more.

Who knows. Life would be too easy knowing all these things.

Have an amazing 2015 and let me know what you are excited about this year!

 

My Weeks #31, Mar 24th – April 6th

what I saw
are you ready for some craziness? As you know I went to New York and we were seeing a bunch of shows.
I saw Once for a second time. Then one of my dreams came true by seeing Bridges of Madison County, Idina Menzel, LaChanze and Anthony Rapp in If/Then, the latest revival of LesMiz, Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s show Jasper in Deadland Off-Broadway, Violet, Bullets over Broadway, Beautiful, Rocky, the concert Aaron Lazar had at 54below and once more The Bridges of Madison County. I’ll try and get thoughts on each and every show up as soon as possible.

what I read    
Jennifer Tepper’s book The Untold Stories of Broadway. Once more, I’ll think about getting thoughts on that up as soon as possible.

what I listened to
mostly Parade and JRB stuff and I kept listening to the four released songs from the Bridges cast recording on Soundcloud over and over again. (I’m obsessed with ‘It All Fades Away’), but I also needed to listen to In The Heights and Violet and the newly digitally released recording of Beautiful.

what I did
Well….with that trip to NYC guess what. 😉 I went to see the city and breathe in the city and had incredibly nice talks and experiences with other fellow theatre-goers and embraced one of the languages I’m so feeling at home in once again. I am so grateful for having this opportunity and having been able to see all these shows and experience all the stuff (thank the Lord, that one day I have to decided to get fluent in English!) – which makes my personal as well as professional live so much richer!
I promise I’ll write a little something about New York outside of theatres. When the time is right.
Plus: I came up with kind of exciting ideas for this blog. Let’s see how they’ll be made real.

 

What did you do?

Are you curious and can’t wait for my posts to see what I thoughts of the shows I saw? On the Theaterkind facebook page I posted pics of the ticket stubs with small thoughts for every show I saw – head over there and check it out!

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

On My Way

Folks, I’m too excited! Only six months and two days after my first trip to NYC I have the amazing opportunity to go back already!

(Thanks to my AMAZING Mama here!)

I’ll spend the next 9 (10) days over there in this amazing city (I’ll be happy to read any recommendations of you – especially when it comes to eating for eating-autists like I am. Salads? Juices? Smoothies? But also: Record stores, book stores and stuff like that), but I of course also will see theatre. And this is what I’m even more excited for than the city alone.

Last time I went I we saw 7 shows/plays plus a concert: Once, Big Fish, First Date, Newsies, Pippin, Fetch Clay Make Man and Matilda.

This time I have planned a whole lot more and I hope my girls (Mama and my sister) won’t be suffering from a kind of theatre overkill. Especially since this spring on Broadway is very interesting, I’m happy to be able to fly over once more.
The shows I’ve planned to see and write about (so you folks are going to be able to read about them) are in this order:
Beautiful
The Bridges of Madison County
If/Then
Les Miserables
Jasper in Deadland (Off Broadway)
Violet
Bullets over Broadway
Once (once more, because…..it’s just Once)

We are also going to see Aaron Lazar’s concert at 54below on April 2nd which also is the day where I might try to get into Rocky for the matinee. And we kept the last night free for us to each go and see the show again which we liked the most (and which has tickets avaliable). We are also splitting up to see different shows Sunday afternoon – while I go uptown to see Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s Jasper in Deadland, my girls are going to see Matilda, since my sister loves children and the movie and that pretty much makes it the perfect show for her.

So, keep your eyes open if you’re interested in Broadway thoughts over here!

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.

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.)

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Things I’m excited for in 2014

This is more like a private post – so there are not only theatrical events I’m excited for in 2014 but also some more private ones, about studies and travelling and things. It comes instead of the weekly recap I usually post here on Sundays, because except for seeing “Stimmen im Kopf” last Sunday I didn’t do that much….So I thought this’d be a proper substitute. 🙂 Things I’m excited for in 2014 in chronological order.

1) my 23rd birthday. Weird to be excited about? Yes. But I’m kind thinking about 23 as the gate-away to my “mid twenties” and as a person who’s primarily working with older, more experienced people I’m always a little uncomfortable with my age – since there were some people being like “You’re 22 (21, 20)? I’m not listening to you, I’m older than you are!” (sounds like kindergarten to you? Well, it was.). I always have been curious about what happens to me when I age – not to mention that I’m actually excited for the day I’ll find the tiniest bit of grey in my hair. I’m excited for the new year in my life. The older I get the more experiences I’ll make and that means: I’m learning.

2) returning to “the City”. I wonder what it is like to be returning to New York City for another ‘vacation’. I’ve been in Israel twice and I’ve visited serveral cities in Germany twice or more, but for kind of different purposes. Now I wonder what it will be like to be returning to 54below (hopefully) and the theatres and Times Square and everything. Since I saw everything I’ve dreamed about for so long for the first time last trip, I wonder what returning will be like. – I guess March will be different from September and since we’re taking my sister along with us this time that will be a completely different story, too. I’ll keep you posted.

3) re-visiting Broadway. There are so many things going on on Broadway this spring. Violet and Bridges of Madison County and If/Then and Bullets over Broadway (and Beautiful opening and the Les Miz-revival…). And I’m so eager to see these things. As far as I can tell the music of Bridges of Madison County is like heaven (especially for fans of Jason Robert Brown – and….who isn’t? Hands up!) and I just recently watched the movie and both my mother and I cried our eyes out – how sad is that movie?!

4) seeing new things in Germany. We hear exciting things about musical theatre in Germany. Shrek coming, Addams Family coming and this new Wildhorn in St. Gallen (which is Swiss, I know, my dear Swiss people, but it’s in German) – which I’m not sure I’ll be going to see, but still. Not to mention all the small things I’m probably going to see at all the off-venues in Berlin (e.g. the new Zaufke/Lund-piece with the next year of UdK-graduates….like Stimmen im Kopf, but newer. Or attending new open stages of Schreib-Maschine and other things at Neuköllner Oper). And I’m excited for things I’ll see in the multiple ‘real’ opera houses we have here in Berlin – I’ll see “Einstein on the Beach” at Haus der Berliner Festspiele, a friend was so nice to think of me and ordered a ticket for me since I’m mostly too slow for “hot things” like that. Not to mention all these exciting plays my city offers.

5) the things that might or might not change. I’m applying for some new study programmes and let’s see the results of the applying process. I really want to study dramaturgy and I’d love to stay in Berlin, since I’m not too much into changes. But to see results I first need to get out of my lazy holiday mood and work. (say it like Britney) Whether I get accepted or not I’m very excited about how my Master studies will change me and my work and my thinking and everything (hold your horses here, you’re studying dance studies….what kind of “everything” should that change?!).

I hadn’t even limited myself to five points before I started writing but I guess that top 5-thing really got stuck in my head.
What are you most excited for in 2014? Any changes you can already see? Any major events you care to share? I’d be happy if you did!

Big Fish on Broadway

Big Fish Playbill and Ticket

Although Big Fish has been only the second Broadway show we saw in the past days I’ll write about it first because they officially open on Broadway tonight!

And while most of my crying during Once (the first show we saw) was about “Oh my gosh, it’s soooo good. It’s soooo good it restores my faith in musical theatre!” my crying here was less about how good it was (after Once the expectations were pretty high, though), which of course it was, too, but more about its actual sadness. And oh yeah – it was sad. And beautiful. And sad again. And, Lord, it was good! (and sad again. and beautiful. and …)

To start: I kind of was (and still am) obsessed with only one little riff Norbert Leo Butz (playing Edward Bloom) does in Moving too fast from Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years (which Seth Rudetsky talks about in one of his videos around 3:40 to 4:15), so seeing him perform in Big Fish was kind of a big deal.
Next: I haven’t seen the movie or read the book. So I was a complete Big Fish-Newbie.
I’m not very keen on theatre productions (be they with or without music) displaying a lot of stuff on stage. Costume-wise, set-wise, fancy effects – that kind of things, you know.

And that was my first thought about Big Fish, when in the witch scene the ensemble-members start moving and that makes the trees look like their roots are moving and people in the audience were applauding. I’m not really into applauding for ‘computer tricks’. Along that the show offers a huge repertoire of bigger and smaller effects I really don’t wanna spoil, but let’s just say: Yes, of course there is a giant and there are quite a few super nice video animations that work great as a set. And while the show went on I realized as little as I like this ‘over the top’-stuff (as I want to call it) in general I really (really. REALLY) liked it in Big Fish. After all it’s a story about dreaming big and about imagination, so it really calls for imagining things and helping a audience to dream big. So I made officially peace with it.

And it was worth it! Wow! Not only is Norbert Leo Butz a phenomenal actor in that show – he really gets to show off a lot. Going from the old, dying man to the young, active version of that very same man in a second without giving the audience a chance to doubt that chance or one or the other interpretation is accomplishment I’ve never seen before and believe me or not: I’ve seen a lot.
Earlier that day when I met my best friend and I was telling him about the show I said: If that doesn’t win him a Tony Award I’ll do something crazy – I’m not settling on what I’ll do, but I’ll think of something when the time arrives. And I’ll stand by my word.

Next on: Kate Baldwin. Boy, she is great as well. She can play the taken back wife that gives all the stage to her husband, the caring wife when he’s close to his death and when the circus scene comes along when she ‘auditions’ with two of her girl friends for a part in that circus she’s so adorable young, naive and very true to life that you’d never get the idea of laughing at her in that rather corny trio-singing-dance-number they do.

Along with the two of them there are two versions of their son Will. The young one portrayed by Zachary Unger who gets to say many funny and precocious comebacks to his father’s over the top-stories seems to merge into the older version played by Bobby Steggert who is singing two of the most touching numbers of the show (Stranger was the first time I fought my tears this evening. It was hard but I was successful).

These actors are accompanied by a number of great ensemble-performers taking smaller and larger parts in the ‘stories’ Edward Bloom tells along the way. (among them I really, really liked Ciara Renée as the Witch)

About the music: I really like The Addams Family and I love Andrew Lippa’s version of The Wild Party. That being said it’s safe to say that I LOVE the music of Big Fish. I literally can’t wait for a recording to come out (which hopefully will happen rather sooner than later although it’s not even announced yet). Sadly I haven’t heard so much music of so many different styles that I can’t remember exactly what the music was like in general, I’d need to listen to a recording or something to write a real discription (but: I remember that I really loved Stranger, I know what you want sung by the Witch and Fight the Dragons. – especially the last one is an extremely beautiful song!). But the sound of that music goes really well with the direction (or better: the other way round), one thing suits the other. Susan Stroman’s direction kind of seems to be an absolute necessity of dealing with the music. I repeat myself but: Music and direction seem to be a dream team over there.

And before I write another paragraph about how beautiful and great everything was, only thing I really want to say: I am so grateful I had the opportunity to see it already (thanks to my mom here, for the trip and the company) and everyone else – please, go see it. Or if you can’t go because you’re in good old Europe or something: At least you and youtube the trailer and some songs they put online!

Read you soon!

My Week #8 Sept 24th – 29th.

what I saw 
Flora’s Dance. A 45 minute long (short) play with puppets performed by three Israeli puppet-players/actresses. Very nice. I totally remembered that somehow puppets are ‘allowed’ to do stuff that you would think as rather cheesy when performed by ‘real’ performers.
Nice fighting you. The concert at New Yorks 54below I wrote a about. Still: One of the best nights of my life.
Once. O to the M to the G. There will be another blogpost about that. I can only say: I cried all through second act.
Big Fish. Again. Blog post. Again. Cried.
First Date. Another nice Broadwayexperience. Another Blogpost, sooner rather than later. And: a totally original story (hasn’t been a book or a movie or a picture, an exhibition or whatsoever before)

what I read    
mostly playbills. although I did some magazine as well as novel-reading (Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom) on the plane.

what I listened to
Sadly not much. From time to time I listened to songs from the shows we saw at night before bed.

what I bought 
I did some major damage at Barnes & Noble where they actually do have musical recordings. Oh Lord, I bought some. A few. Well….that ‘few’ was actually a lie.

what I did  
Does anyone want to have a “What I did in NYC”-Post? I could do that. A “what a nerd does in that city”-kinda thing. Tell me. 🙂

where I travelled
Well, where am I now? Right: New York City. To be precise: Times Square, Manhattan.