Guten Tag, Leute! Those of you that have read some of my posts on this blog will know that several of my favorite musicals are German language musicals like ELISABETH, SCHIKANEDER, TANZ DER VAMPIRE, and etc.. But why are those musicals so important to me? Well, today I endeavor to explain why.
For as long as I can remember, German culture’s been an important piece of my life. My grandpa was from Germany. Every year my family would go up to Levenworth, WA., a little Bavarian town in Washington state. And so, German language also had an importance to me.
As it turned out, so did musicals. At first I mostly listened to musicals in German. Disney movies were always really fun for me to watch in German and were the entryway to my fascination with the language. From there I listened to musicals like WICKED and PHANTOM in German and fell in love.
After learning German for a long time, I decided to give well-known German language musicals like ELISABETH and TANZ DER VAMPIRE a try. I fell in love with ELISABETH almost immediately and it remains one of my favorite musicals to this day and is, as a matter of fact, neck-and-neck with musicals like LES MISÉRABLES and WICKED at the top of my list.
STARLIGHT EXPRESS is Germany’s longest running musical and, coincidentally was the musical that made my mom want to com to America as an exchange student. It was also the musical that really originally got me into German musical theatre.
But why has my love for German language musicals transferred to loving musicals that were originally written in English that are performed in German? Well… in general I just love the production value of so many German musical productions. The costumes are always gorgeous, the wigs are flawless, and the sets are designed beautifully. Seriously. And, besides, I’ve always thought that German is a wonderful language for music. Even when it comes to non-musical theatre music, I always find myself loving German music more than English music. The language just seems to flow so well. There’s also the fact that German is a language that I can visualize. It’s tough to explain, but unlike English and the other languages I speak, German is a language that just forms pictures in my head.
My newest German language musical theatre obsession? Well, that’d be Stephen Schwartz’s new musical, SCHIKANEDER that premiered in Vienna last year and just closed last week. SCHIKANEDER has reminded me of all of the reasons I fell in love with musicals and German language musicals in the first place. The costumes, music, set, cast, story–everything–was amazing.
So, that’s kinda been a quick crash course on my journey with German language musicals. What do you think of German language musicals? What other languages do you really want to see musicals in?