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Musical Theatre Love Triangle Game

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

I figured that it was time to bring this back again! For those of you who don’t already know, the way that this game works is that I put a bunch of character names into a hat and I draw out three for every round and I have to pick which pairing would be best! Los geht’s!


ROUND ONE: Archduchess Sophie (ELISABETH) x Leopold Mozart (MOZART!) x Marian Paroo (THE MUSIC MAN)

Oh, this one’s easy! Definitely Leopold x Marian! Their shared love of music would definitely be the driving factor in their relationship, I think. In addition, I feel like both characters really love and care about their families. Plus, Leopold just seems like the type of person who would be able to be really happy and content in a place like River City! And while Leopold might appreciate things about Sophie’s philosophy, I highly doubt that he’d be able to stand her for long… plus I’d feel awful pushing him together with Sophie…

ROUND TWO: A Todesengel (ELISABETH) x Portia (SOMETHING ROTTEN!) x Graf von Krolock (TANZ DER VAMPIRE) 

Huh… who would Portia go for? A Todesengel–a Death Angel–or Krolock? In all honesty, I’m pretty certain this is a no-go either way. Though I feel that Portia would appreciate the Todesengel more–and maybe be able to come to love?–if only because of the metaphor. We all know that Portia loves metaphor! So Todesengel x Portia it is, then!

ROUND THREE: Elphaba (WICKED) x Fiyero (WICKED) x Éponine (LES MISÉRABLES)

I don’t know why, but whenever I play these games, it seems nigh upon impossible to break up the WICKED love triangle. Fiyero always seems to pop up if I draw Elphie or Glinda…

I guess that the obvious answer is that Elphaba x Fiyero is best but Éponine and Fiyero would be really interesting too, I think!

ROUND FOUR: Belle (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) x Nigel (SOMETHING ROTTEN!) x Constanze (MOZART!)

Ahhh!!! Belle x Nigel for sure! That would just be so perfect! Imagine that… they both love reading and I think that they’d get along splendidly! Belle is actually a lot like Portia in some ways so I think that this would work so well! It’s just so perfect! Constanze, I think, might be a little too rowdy for Nigel’s liking and I feel like they would be better off as friends. Also, I just can’t picture poor Nigel having to deal with the Webers…

ROUND FIVE: Orpheus (HADESTOWN) x Lucy Harris (JEKYLL & HYDE) x Harold Hill (THE MUSIC MAN)

Mm… this one’s kind of tough because I feel like Lucy would be far more interested in Orpheus than Harold but that Harold would be more interested in Lucy than Orpheus. At least initially.

I’m going to go with Orpheus x Lucy as I feel like they would be a general better fit and would be able to help each other out. Also, I feel like Lucy wouldn’t frown too much on Orpheus’s We’ll see what happens lifestyle as it’s how she’s lived most of her life anyways. She’d just be glad to have someone for company and I think that she would find Orpheus utterly charming. It might not have the sweetest start to a relationship but I think that they would get along great ultimately!

ROUND SIX: Marius Pontmercy (LES MISÉRABLES) x Eleonore Schikaneder (SCHIKANEDER) x The Phantom (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA)

Usually, Marius would be a no-brainer. But I really don’t think that Marius would be good for Eleonore. She’s just someone who has an urge to create and wants to be with someone who likes to create too, and Marius just doesn’t fit that. The Phantom, however, does. That being said, Eleonore seriously would not appreciate the Phantom’s modus operandi… but at the same time, I think that Eleonore would be a lot harder to push around than Christine and maybe, since Eleonore isn’t exactly a singer, he wouldn’t be as obsessed with the idea of controlling her? Ahh… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to say Eleonore x the Phantom. 

ROUND SEVEN: Enjolras (LES MISÉRABLES) x Magda (TANZ DER VAMPIRE) x Franz Joseph (ELISABETH)

Pah! This is a no-go, isn’t it? I feel like pre-vampire Magda would definitely prefer Enjolras. But maybe vampire Magda would like Franz Joseph? This is tough… I’m not sure what to do about this one. I do like the storyline that would exist for Enjolras x Magda better so I’m going to go with that, I think!

ROUND EIGHT: Jekyll/Hyde (JEKYLL & HYDE) x “Ich” (REBECCA) x Mozart (MOZART!)

Man, I don’t really like either of these options. I know for sure that Mozart wouldn’ like “Ich” very much but I feel like “Ich” would be too horrified of Hyde–I mean, who wouldn’t be?–for it to work. Still, I feel like “Ich” would like Jekyll and that Jekyll would like “Ich” so I’m going for Jekyll/Hyde x “Ich”…

ROUND NINE: Der Tod (ELISABETH) x Eurydice (HADESTOWN) x Raoul (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA)

Oof. I feel like both would be potentially good options. Eurydice likes sweet guys–reference Orpheus–so Raoul would be a great option but I feel like Eurydice also has a history with “dancing with death” as ELISABETH puts it. But maybe if Eurydice was with someone as well off as Raoul, maybe she wouldn’t have to dance with death? This would be a potentially really interesting love triangle, really. But since I have a really hard time shipping der Tod with anyone other than Sisi, I’m going to opt for Eurydice x Raoul. 

ROUND TEN: Alfred (TANZ DER VAMPIRE) x Lisa Carew (JEKYLL & HYDE) x Emanuel Schikaneder (SCHIKANEDER)

Definitely Alfred x Lisa on this one. I feel like Alfred would really like Lisa and Lisa would really like Alfred. Then there’s also just the fact that Emanuel would probably be over Lisa in a week if he even took notice of her. She just doesn’t have the same fire in her that Eleonore has, you know?

ROUND ELEVEN: Sarah (TANZ DER VAMPIRE) x Ludwig II (LUDWIG²) x Nannerl (MOZART!)

While I’m not sure that either of these would be super perfect, I think that Ludwig x Nannerl would be the better choice. Both Nannerl and Ludwig share a love for music and, I would assume for Nannerl, opera. And opera is something that is a big deal to Ludwig. In addition, I feel like both feel really lonely and about to suffocate if they don’t get to do something with their lives and that they would be able to help each other out with that, maybe!

ROUND TWELVE: Gaston (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) x Sisi (ELISABETH) x Joe Gillis (SUNSET BOULEVARD)

Okay, I guess that this one is a no-brainer because I’m definitely not putting Sisi with Gaston. So, Sisi x Joe it is, then. I feel like maybe they wouldn’t always get along all that great but that they would probably be able to, at the very least, come to an understanding of each other.

ROUND THIRTEEN: Fantine (LES MISÉRABLES) x Pippin (PIPPIN) x Nancy (OLIVER!) 

Oh, wow… this is interesting because I feel like, either way it would be really interesting. But I’m going to go with Fantine x Pippin because I can just visualize that more and it gives me a happier sort of feeling, I think. Fantine and Pippin would probably be able to help each other a lot, I think. It would be interesting to see how that would go!

ROUND FOURTEEN: Christine Daaé (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) x Sydney Carton (A TALE OF TWO CITIES) x Mrs. Danvers (REBECCA) 

Definitely Christine x Sydney on this one. Mrs. Danvers would be of absolutely no help to Sydney and I’m pretty sure that Sydney wouldn’t like Mrs. Danvers much either. While Iḿ not sure exactly how things would go with Christine and Sydney, I feel like this could potentially work. And just solely for the sake of that possibility, I’m going to roll with it!

ROUND FIFTEEN: Mr. Rochester (JANE EYRE) x Glinda (WICKED) x Javert (LES MISÉRABLES) 

Yeah… nothing good can come of this. Javert would simply get annoyed with Glinda and I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t take very well to her best friend being a fugitive. By the same token, I’m not sure that Mr. Rochester would like Glinda very much either. But I feel like Mr. Rochester x Glinda has the best chance so…


Whew! That was weird… what was your favorite trio? Would you pick differently than I did on any of these? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

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Some Danaé and Julien Scenes | CLEMENCY Excerpts

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut! Wie geht’s?

Okay, I couldn’t resist giving you guys some more Clemency stuff so here we are, with a new set of excerpts. I contemplated giving you guys purely Julien-centered excerpts because he’s been the character on my mind the most recently but, since Julien’s at his best when he’s with other people, I decided to give you guys some Julien and Danaé scenes from Clemency because their friendship is one of my favorite things about the novel so… here we go!

Los geht’s!


EXCERPT ONE: “Dreams”

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Banks of the Seine, 1879 by Alfred Sisley

This scene takes place early in Clemency, pretty shortly after the storming of the Bastille. Danaé, before this scene, has just told her family about Rousseau and her participation in the storming of the Bastille. She decides to confide in Julien and they begin to talk about dreams. 


“You told them, then?” Julien asked, cocking his head to one side. “About Rousseau and the Bastille, I mean?”

“I did.” Danaé’s breaths were measured carefully, calm and paced as she responded, her eyes fixated on the water that rippled beneath the bridge that they leaned over.

“How did they react?”

“Well… they haven’t disowned me as of this morning, so I suppose that that’s a good thing.” She replied and Julien chuckled a little. “My brother’s angry that I never told him anything.”

He nodded.

“It’s not as if I could have told him, though. I spent twelve years in a convent, and that’s where I first read Rousseau.”

Finding Julien had been easy enough. She could have gone to Bastien and Rosaire, but somehow, at that moment, she didn’t want to. She didn’t think that they’d understand her plight in the way that she knew that Julien would.

“What’s law school like?” Danaé asked abruptly. For a moment, Danaé wished that she hadn’t asked the question at all for fear that he might decline to tell her, saying that she couldn’t possibly understand.

“Law school?” Julien echoed, caught off guard. His brow creased in thought. “I… well… it’s not like anything that I’ve ever been accustomed to. Yet, at the same time, I feel as if I’m doing the right thing, throwing myself into law. Perhaps that’s insane-.”

Danaé shook her head. “It’s not insane to dream.”

“To dream? I suppose not.” he smiled thinly, turning his eyes away from Danaé to look out at what he could see of the city from their spot on the bridge.

“Everyone ought to have a dream.” Danaé mused, picking up a stray stone and turning it over in her hand.

Julien grunted in agreement and then smiled, raising an eyebrow. “And what’s your dream, Thayer?”

Danaé flung the stone that she had in her hand, counting how many times it skipped as she frowned, contemplating Julien’s question.

My dreams? What do you want, Danaé?

“I… I want to see France free. I want… I want to do something with this life that I have. If I’ve been given time here on Earth, then there must be a reason why. There must be.”

“And what will you do?”

Danaé looked down at her hands before looking at Julien again. “I have to write.”


EXCERPT TWO: “Lessons Learned”

barnes (2)
Screenshot of Ben Barnes as Sam Adams in Sons of Liberty

One of my favorite things about Julien and Danaé’s friendship is that they learn a lot from each other. This is just after Danaé spent the day operating the printing press with Julien–for the first time and also before Julien bought his own printing press–and they’re talking on the way back to Bastien’s flat. In this excerpt, they start to talk about some of the things that they’ve learned from each other. 


Finishing the work on the press, Danaé carried the pamphlets and Julien talked as they walked back to the flat.

“You do love stories, don’t you, Julien?” she laughed.

“Stories are what kept me alive for a long time.”

Nodding, Danaé looked up at the sky, sighing a little. “You taught me something, you know?”

Julien laughed, shaking his head. “I can’t see what I could have possibly taught you other than the fact that sometimes, if you make up a story, dogs can talk and cats can fly.”

She shook her head. “You taught me that the rich have their own troubles too. Since I’ve met you, I haven’t envied the rich, you know? I’ve actually pitied them.”

“Pitied them?”

“It seems like a sad, lonely existence.” she shrugged. 

“Depends on how you look at it. My father sees money as his friend.”

“If that’s not sad in and of itself, I don’t know what is.”


EXCERPT THREE: “A Story”

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Carl Schweninger Jr., Couple in the Moonlight

Danaé stays the night at Bastien’s flat one night as Julien and Bastien insist that the threat of being attacked by angry citizens is too great for her to return home. So Julien gives up his usual spot on the couch. But Danaé’s having trouble falling asleep so she asks Julien to tell her a story.

In all honesty, this scene might get cut but I like it simply for what it does for Julien and Danaé’s friendship and I figured that I could at least post it here.


“Can you tell me a story, Julien?” Danaé whispered in the darkness. “I can’t sleep.”

“Listen, when I say this, I don’t mean any offense.” Julien turned over in his spot on the floor to look up at the couch that Danaé was laying on, staring at the ceiling. When Danaé didn’t say anything, he continued. “Rosaire told me that you don’t like the dark very much. Is that what this is?”

“Rosaire told me that light will chase away the darkness. Said that Bastien was that light for him. I guess… I guess that I think that when you’re telling your stories is when you’re at your lightest.”

“I can tell some pretty dark stories too.” He admitted after a moment.

“How about a light one for tonight?” she asked and she heard him roll over on the ground.

“Alright. Give me a moment to think something up.” He whispered. “Okay, I think that I’ve got something.”

“Once, long ago, there was a lonely boy and his dog. There were so many people that he could have had as friends waiting for him outside, but he was too afraid to leave the confines of his home.

“One day, though, he didn’t have a choice. His dog was dying and he knew that he would do anything to save his dearest friend. Even die.

“Which wasn’t as unlikely an idea as one might have thought. To save his friend, he would have to get the hair of an ogre-.”

“The hair of an ogre?” Danaé interrupted, crinkling her nose. “What on earth-?”

“It was the first thing that came to mind.” He muttered. “Can I continue now?”

“Sorry.” She mumbled.

“This ogre lived far, far away in the jungle of Zedany. It wouldn’t have been such a big problem if there were more than one ogre. Unfortunately enough for our hero—I suppose that I’ll call him Casimir—there was another person out looking for this ogre.

“So Casimir set out on his journey right away. As he was traveling through the kingdom of Epany, he found himself being taken by an evil princess and locked up in the dungeon of the castle which was guarded by a giant dragon.

“Unbeknownst to this princess, Casimir was an expert storyteller and minstrel. Casimir sang about the adventures he’d been on without so much as leaving his bedroom. The dragon was deeply touched by these stories and asked why Casimir had left the safety of his home. Learning that he was looking for an ogre so that he might obtain his hair and save his dog, the dragon began to weep.

“When the dragon’s tears hit the ground, the dragon metamorphosed into a tiny owl. Tiny though he was, he was magical.”

“A magical owl?” Danaé interrupted.

“I’m doing my best to come up with this on the spot.” Julien grumbled. “Don’t you have an imagination inside that brilliant brain of yours?”

Rolling her eyes, Danaé gestured for Julien to continue.

“This magical owl, it turned out, would be his way of getting to the ogre.”

“Don’t tell me that he rode on the owl all of the way to the jungle of Zedany…” Danaé uttered under her breath.

“And Casimir flew all of the way to the jungle of Zedany on owl-back.”

“That is so not a thing.”

“It is now.” Julien quipped. “This is a story.”

“Point taken.”

“Anyhow, where was I?”

“Casimir was riding on owl-back all of the way to the jungle of Zedany.”

Nodding, Julien started his story up again. “Casimir flew all of the way to the jungle of Zedany on owl-back, but when he arrived, the ogre was nowhere to be found. It appeared that his opponent had gotten to him before he did.”

“Now, that’s not fair…”

Ignoring her, he continued on with the story. “Casimir was heartbroken and asked the owl to take him back home.

“Once home, Casimir found that his dog was dead.

“All was not lost, though. The owl still had one or two tricks up his sleeve… er… wing. ‘Take this feather of mine. The wizard who changed me into a dragon told me that my feathers might retain some magic.’ He said.

“Casimir was confused, but he took the feather anyways, crumpling the feather up in his fist, sprinkling it over his dog’s body.

“For a moment, his dog was unmoving. Just as he was losing hope, however, the dog sprang to life and hopped onto Casimir’s lap. And they all lived happily ever after. The end.”

Julien could almost see Danaé’s smile in the dark. “That was a good story. Not too bad, Descoteaux.” She smiled and drifted off to sleep.

When Julien heard her soft snoring, he smiled.


EXCERPT FOUR: “Printing Press”

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Postcard Illustration

As aforementioned, Julien didn’t always have his own printing press. He was using one that belonged to a friend of his father’s. To put it shortly, Julien doesn’t trust the guy he’s been borrowing the press from so he buys one for himself. The rest of this scene’s pretty self-explanatory, I think!


“You bought a printing press?” Danaé hissed at Julien.

“Now, I don’t want you to tell Bastien. Last time I told him that I spent five francs-.”

“How much was this printing press?”

“Never mind that.”

“You’re the one who brought up money-.”

“And you weren’t thinking about money the moment that I brought up the fact that I bought a printing press?” he asked and she shut her mouth, gesturing for him to continue on. “Besides, this way I don’t have to keep paying Gagne-.”

“Did he stop allowing us to use the press?”

“No, it’s not that.” He replied, shaking his head. “I don’t trust him, that’s all.”

“You need to form better relations with people, Julien.” She groaned, rubbing the back of her neck. “Did you two have a falling out?”

“He was asking ridiculous questions all of the time. Questions that I didn’t want to answer.”

“And where are you going to keep this printing press?”

“You thought that the press was the expensive part.” He murmured, rubbing the back of his neck.

Danaé paled. “You bought an office to keep it in didn’t you?”

“What else was I supposed to do?”

“Julien Descoteaux, you have too much money for your own good.”

“So you agree to keep it a secret?”

“You could have kept it to yourself and not have increased the risk of Bastien finding out about it by simply not telling me.”

“I figured that you’d like to know.” He shrugged. “So do you promise?”

“You should have asked me to promise not to tell anyone before you told me about your secret purchase.” She groaned. “But yes, I’ll keep your secret.”

“I knew that I could count on you.” Julien grinned, putting a hand on her shoulder.

“No you didn’t.” Danaé snorted. 

“I was trying to be nice.”


EXCERPT FIVE: “A Gift”

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Sherree Valentine Daines, Serenity

This scene doesn’t need much explanation other than a little bit of context. Just prior to this, Danaé had been writing at Bastien’s flat. She thought that she’d come up with something compelling that addressed a main issue of the time: what to do with the royals? However, Bastien and Rosaire tell Danaé that it might be best to not write so fiercely, considering that it probably wouldn’t catch on well with other people, being considered radical. Danaé understands why she can’t write it in association with Bastien–it would put his and his family’s lives at risk–but she wishes that there were a way for her to express her thoughts fully, without restriction. Julien might have a solution. 


A rock hit Danaé’s bedroom window just hard enough that she could hear it without her window being shattered.

Vivienne stirred a little at the noise and Danaé quietly got out of bed to see who was outside as soon as she was sure that her sister was still fast asleep.

Outside was a man with hair that was just long enough to curl behind his ears, his bangs pushed carefully out of his face. The light blue jacket gave his identity away almost immediately.

Julien. Of course.

“What are you doing here?” she hissed at him, slipping out onto the front porch (if that is what it could be called).

“Thought I’d drop by and see how you’re doing.” He shrugged, hugging Danaé tightly. “And besides, I couldn’t sleep.”

“I’ll be fine. I just…”

“You just don’t want to lay low. You want to fight for what you believe.” He filled in for her, nodding.

“Yes!” she exclaimed, gripping onto his forearms. “And what’s so wrong about that?”

“Nothing.” He replied sadly. “Nothing at all.”

“Rosaire sure seemed to think otherwise.” She muttered.

“He’s worried about you, that’s all.” He said in defense of their friend. “He doesn’t want to happen across your path one day and find you dead.”

“Julien, I know that.” She whispered. “But that wouldn’t happen.”

“You know just as well as I do that it very well could.” Julien replied, his eyes sad and tired. “Rosaire wants to look out for everyone. It’s what he does. It’s who he is. But he didn’t mean to offend you.”

Danaé looked up at the stars and nodded. “I know.”

After a few moments of silence passed between them, Julien began to speak again. “Here, I got you something.” Julien replied, reaching into his coat pocket, producing several sheets of parchment, a bottle of ink, and a quill. “Write whatever you like with them.”

When Danaé stared at them silently, Julien looked at her, worried. “You don’t like them-?”

“They’re wonderful.” She said, hugging him tightly. “It’s just… you need to stop spending money on us all of the time.”

Smiling a little, Julien patted Danaé on her back gently. “Hey, someone’s got to spend on you all. And it sure isn’t going to be you.”

***

Up in her bedroom, Danaé sat by the window, her papers on the windowsill, hoping that the moon might provide some light as she wrote. The words just flew from her quill. She knew precisely what she had to write and it came to her easily.

PARISIENS, JE VOUS EXHORTE À COMBATTRE

Having been taken from Versailles to Tuileries, the king and queen are closer to Paris than the royal family has been for a very long time.

Yet, Parisians everywhere are wondering what ought to be done with them. The Jacobins believe that they should be eliminated (likely by death), yet one in the midst of their faction, a lawyer by the name of Maximilien Robespierre continues to dissent and argue for a constitutional monarchy where the people hold the reigns, the king and queen being figureheads of the government.

What about republicanism? What about democracy? Are they not things for which we should be fighting? Imagine a world where France is a republic. Where the people stand and are the government. Is that not a wonderful thought?

Democracy is not merely a failed experiment tried by many and quickly discarded. See how the Americans are prospering! Did we not aid them in their fight for freedom? Then why such hesitation? Why such fear of standing?

Stand for your rights. Stand for freedom. Stand and fight for democracy.

A Republic of France.

Think of it! Is it not a glorious thought?

As aforementioned, many of the Jacobins wish to execute the king and the queen. Where is clemency in this world of revolution? Parisians, I urge you to use clemency as your policy and stand. Stand, not to kill, but to dissent. What greater form can love for a cause take than dissent?

And so, my fellow Parisians, we cannot stand apathetic. Perhaps you do not believe in democracy. Perhaps you believe in a constitutional monarchy. Or perhaps you believe that we were alright as we were with the monarchy that we already had. No matter what your views may be, I urge you to stand.

A friend of mine once told me that ignorance is only bliss until you have opened your eyes to the world you once shunned. Do not shun the world around you. I beg you not to be apathetic.

The world is changing.

Danaé smiled at the finished paper and smiled at the moon.

Perhaps Julien’s buying of a printing press wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

***

“You want me to publish a new pamphlet secretly.” Julien echoed, his tone incredulous. He said the words slowly to make sure that Danaé was hearing him properly and that he himself was hearing her correctly.

“Please. You bought a printing press, Julien. If you’d just print for me-.”

“And what about Pour la France, les Parisiens?”

“I’ll still write for it. But I… I need to write something where I can write everything that I think, Julien. Without any restrictions. And this way… this way it doesn’t put Bastien, Iris, and Isidore’s lives at stake.”

“So you’re going to put your own on the line, then?” he sighed, shaking his head.

“I don’t see any other way.” She admitted.

“Just know that if you die, I’m dying with you.” 

She rolled her eyes. “So you’ll print it?”

“It’s what you want, isn’t it?” he asked and she nodded urgently. “And I did tell you to write whatever on earth you wanted to, didn’t I?”

“You did at that.”

“Then I suppose that I will have to print it.”

“And you’ll keep it secret?”

“You haven’t told Bastien or Rosaire about the printing press, have you?’

“I haven’t so much as hinted at it.” She proclaimed proudly.

Holding out his hand, he felt the papers drop into his hands.

“I’ll give you the copies tomorrow.”


There you go! Five Julien and Danaé excerpts! Maybe I’ll follow up with five excerpts featuring Bastien and Rosaire? We’ll see! What was your favorite Julien and Danaé moment from the ones that I’ve given you here (or ones that I’ve given you before)? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

Symbolism and Themes in Levay/Kunze Musicals

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze, together, have made so many good musicals over the years and so many of them are full of great symbolism. Today, I thought that I’d just kind of just talk about some of those moments of symbolism that appear in their musicals! I’m not going to hit on everything–that’d take forever–but I’m going to try to talk about quite a few. Though, let’s face it: I’m most familiar with ELISABETH and MOZART! at this point so I’ll be mostly talking about those musicals. Los geht’s!


**Spoilers ahead!**

Shadows

Ahhh… shadows and Levay/Kunze musicals. It always works so well. It’s been a while since I last listened to REBECCA but, as I recall, it’s the one time that they’ve failed to bring up a shadow when it would have been so perfect… I mean, I think that it’s expressed but not through song. Again, it’s been a while so the possibility that I’m wrong is really high.

But then, let’s look at ELISABETH and MOZART!. Ahhh… the shadow-play. Especially in MOZART!. “Wie wird man seinen Schatten los” is phenomenal here and, all around, Amadé is Mozart’s shadow. I’ll talk more about Amadé in a little bit. Then, in ELISABETH, with Rudolf, he’s kind of in the shadow of his mother and father though, this too, isn’t really expressed through song. Shadows, in ELISABETH, though, are very threatening things. Just take a look at both uses of “Die Schatten werden länger” in the musical. In Act I, der Tod warns Sisi that the “shadows grow longer” and that growing attached to the world around her will only hurt her more. Then, in Act II, der Tod reveals to Rudolf all of the sorrow that he’s harboring with the same words, though used more aggressively.

Then, in MARIE ANTOINETTE–now, guys, I’m really pulling at the edges of my memory since I can’t remember much about MARIE ANTOINETTE aside from the story because I only listened to it once and a while ago–we’ve got the story of two characters who are pretty much each other’s shadow. One’s the queen of France, one’s a girl on the streets with nothing. I’m gonna do a full listen-through of MARIE ANTOINETTE soon, guys, I promise, and I’ll dig through this more when I do!

Death

Death is a big theme in Levay/Kunze musicals. But not only is it a big theme, they almost always handle it with symbolism.

Most obvious, of course, is der Tod–Death himself–in ELISABETH. He personifies death and, of course, the phrase, The kiss of death is put into full activation as der Tod takes the lives of those who are dying with a kiss.

Elisabeth (10)

There is also the existence of the Todesengel–Death angels–in ELISABETH who really seem to be a personification of the phrase the wings of death. Some productions make better use of them than others… but when they’re used effectively, they’re really awesome and are definitely one of my favorite uses of symbolism and theme in ELISABETH.

todesengel
A Korean staging of “Wenn ich tanzen will” where the Todesengel are so cool! 

Of course, throughout ELISABETH, Sisi and Rudolf struggle with suicidal feelings and thoughts and Rudolf eventually does commit suicide. Some productions show far more clearly that Sisi does have those suicidal feelings than others. Reference, for this, the Russian production in which, during “Ich gehör nur mir”, Sisi holds a knife in her hands but ultimately sheaths it, determined to fight and stay strong.

Then, there’s Amadé blowing out the candle when Mozart himself is dying and while that is far less in-your-face, I still think that it counts and that it was used really effectively. I loved this so much.

Death is prevalent in both musicals and death affects Sisi and Mozart heavily. Sisi’s loss of her father proves to be something that resonates with her in Act II’s reprise of “Wie du.” The death of Sisi’s daughter, Sophie, causes Sisi to scream out in agony. Then, her son Rudolf’s death, very nearly breaks Sisi. Mozart loses both his father and his mother in the musical and both cause him to stop and contemplate his life and his choices. They both change him, though his father’s death and the change in him that results from it is far more obvious.

Thematically, death is a huge part of REBECCA. Death is what fuels the whole story, really, as none of it would happen if it weren’t for the death of Maxim’s first wife, Rebecca. Rebecca never appears in the musical but her presence is felt so deeply that it seems that she is still there. The shadow that Rebecca’s death casts over everyone at Manderley is the premise for the whole story.

Puppets of Fate?

This shows up, especially in ELISABETH. Pretty much everyone in the musical, no matter how strong-willed they are, are puppets of fate or are portrayed as being such. Even those who like to pretend or seem to be the puppet masters are also controlled to some extent.

This theme is shown symbolically in ELISABETH mostly through choreography as well as various mentions of puppets in the lyrics. For visuals, reference choreography in “Alle tanzten mit dem Tod”, “Am Deck der sinkenden Welt”, “Wenn ich tanzen will”, “Die Schatten werden länger” (Act I + II), “Éljen”, “Jedem gibt er das Seine”, “So wie man plant und denkt”, and “Alle Fragen sind gestellt.”

Musical Themes

I’m not a music theory person so I’m definitely not talking about the theory behind the music here. Just how different themes are addressed through music.

I think that in ELISABETH, especially, this is noticeable and worth taking a look at. Sisi’s theme is “Ich gehör nur mir” and you know something important is happening with her character when you hear “Ich gehör nur mir” start playing. Then, of course, there’s the theme for the whole musical “Alle tanzten mit dem Tod.” This is the underlying theme of everything that happens in the musical.

One of my favorite cases of music being used to bring out themes and used to draw out symbolism in ELISABETH is in “Wenn ich dein Spiegel wär.” Rudolf is very much like Sisi and is trying to beg for her help. The sound of “Wenn ich dein Spiegel wär” mirrors–“Spiegel” means mirror–“Ich gehör nur mir” in a lot of ways. Another way in which Rudolf mirrors Sisi in this scene is that, when ultimately, Sisi declines to help him, he reprises her words that she speaks right before “Ich gehör nur mir”: “Also, lasst du mich in stich” [So, you’ve abandoned me].

Amadé

Amadé needed his own little section because I couldn’t think of any place else to put him.

Amadé is easily one of my favorite parts of MOZART!. He’s just so interesting. He’s Mozart’s younger self and the shadow from which Mozart wants to flee but, at the same time, loves. The relationship between Mozart and Amadé is one of the most fascinating things in MOZART! It’s a fascinating dynamic that works wonders for the plot and the shadow theme of the musical.

Colors

This isn’t necessarily prevalent in every production of ELISABETH but in more recent German and Austrian productions, der Tod’s been given two costumes: one white, one black. While figuring out which one is brought out and when is not necessarily something that I have been able to do flawlessly, I have got a bit of an idea as to why one is worn at certain times and the other at different ones.

I think that it’s all about how Sisi perceives der Tod in the moment. The only positive moment that I can think of in which der Tod comes out wearing the black costume is in “Schwarzer Prinz.” I think that this might be because, for one thing, the song is called “Schwarzer Prinz”–“Black Prince”–and therefore that was something that they couldn’t really change and, for another, that this is her first encounter with der Tod… she expects him to be the way that others see him: threatening and dark. She realizes, however, that that’s not the case. Not in her eyes, at least.


Those are just some of the themes and moments of symbolism that really have stuck out to me in Levay/Kunze musicals! What are your favorite Levay/Kunze musicals? What’s your favorite theme/use of symbolism in their musicals? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

Why der Tod is Different From the Phantom and the Graf von Krolock | ELISABETH, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and TANZ DER VAMPIRE Analysis

Hallo und guten Tag, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

Yesterday, I found a Russian version of “Wenn ich tanzen will” on YouTube. Prior to this, I didn’t even know that there was a Russian version of ELISABETH, concert, full stage production, or otherwise. But apparently, there was this concert version and maybe even, at one point, a full stage production. Anyways, I got entirely hooked onto something really interesting about this version of “Wenn ich tanzen will”–called “Дуэт Элизабет и Смерти” [The Duet of Elisabeth and Death] or just “Элизабет и Смерти” [Elisabeth and Death]–and it entirely influenced something that’s kind of plagued me for a really, really long time:

Although I don’t like the Phantom or the Graf von Krolock as love interests in their respective love triangles, why do I like der Tod more than I like Franz Joseph?

I’ve had various ideas as to why this might be, including but not limited to:

  • Der Tod’s by far more interesting than Franz Joseph
  • Sisi likes der Tod more than Franz Joseph in the end
  • Franz Joseph just isn’t right for Sisi at all
  • Sisi ends up with der Tod

And I think that maybe all of those things come together to form the bigger reason why I like der Tod with Sisi far more than I like Franz Joseph with her. That being said, there are a few things that I need to discuss before I hop into this post:

  • There will be spoilers and unpopular opinions in this post. The unpopular opinions are mostly the ones dealing with the Phantom and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I love the musical and understand and like the character’s function in the story but I’m not a fan of the Phantom as a love interest nor am I really a fan of who he is as a person. I’m not as concerned about offending people with my views on Krolock since I’ve noticed that the TdV fandom is a lot more forgiving towards people who don’t like Krolock as Sarah’s love interest but, if you do get upset about that, then maybe avoid this post.
  • I don’t think that this has ever been something people have assumed from my posts on ELISABETH but it’s been my experience that some people who are unfamiliar with ELISABETH and the concept of der Tod in the musical think that Sisi is unfaithful to Franz Joseph (whom she marries early in Act I). I don’t think that that’s the case at all and don’t support one’s being unfaithful to their spouse. However, like I said, I don’t think that that’s what’s going on in Sisi and der Tod’s relationship. Most people who read my ELISABETH posts are familiar with ELISABETH and I think understand this concept but I thought that I’d throw it out there so that I don’t give anyone the wrong idea.
  • And, finally, I don’t hate Franz Joseph. I think that, at his core, he’s a good person who’s trying his absolute hardest. He just isn’t right for Sisi for a number of reasons–which I’ll touch on in this post–and overall, I don’t particularly like his character all that much but I don’t by any means hate him.

Also, if you want to look at the video I was watching, you can click here!

I think that that’s all now, so los geht’s!


Okay, so der Tod. He’s kind of tough to understand–I’ve written lots of posts on why, etc. It’s also a little hard to understand why on earth he’s so likable. He’s Death. Personified. If anything, that would usually set off alarm bells in one’s mind, especially considering the story of ELISABETH. There’s a lot that goes on in ELISABETH concerning der Tod and sometimes it makes you wonder: Why do I like this guy? And why on earth does Sisi, of all people, like him too?

The funny thing is that it’s right in front of our noses: Sisi loves der Tod because he’s her image of freedom. And what she wants more than anything is to be free. She feels, knows, and understands, that der Tod can give her that freedom but, at the same time, she’s also aware that it would come at a price. She would have to die. So she fights against him because, despite her desperate want to find freedom in him, she doesn’t want to die yet. She wants to fight and show that she is strong.

tanzen will

And oh, boy. Sisi is strong. It’s one of the things that der Tod loves about Sisi. She’s a fighter and, just like she sees freedom in him, he sees freedom in her.

That all sounds really sweet, right? Well… erm, remember that we’re talking about the Kaiserin Elisabeth and Death.

I think that this is something that’s different about fans of ELISABETH who are not native German speakers and those who are: it’s easier for fans of ELISABETH who are not native German speakers to forget that der Tod is, in fact, the personification of Death.

But anyway, that’s a discussion for another time…

And here we hit something that sets der Tod apart from Krolock and the Phantom:

  • Sisi loves der Tod but Christine doesn’t love the Phantom, even though she does pity him and Sarah doesn’t love Krolock though she is fascinated by him.

It’s the main noticeable difference between the love triangles in ELISABETH, PHANTOM, and TANZ DER VAMPIRE as, after all, it deals with the outcome of the musical.

But why? And why does der Tod make for a more likable love interest than Franz Joseph?

Let’s turn our attention to “Boote in der Nacht”, shall we? In “Boote in der Nacht”, Franz Joseph begs Sisi to come home when she’s traveling around the world after Rudolf’s death, trying her best to cope. Another thing that I think Sisi is trying to cope with is der Tod’s rejection. But anyways, “Boote in der Nacht” is when Sisi hits Franz Joseph with the hard truth:

“Begreif’ doch: Was nicht sein kann, kann nicht sein.” [Comprehend it: What cannot be, cannot be.]

boote in der nacht2

Franz Joseph is desperate to make things work with Sisi because he loves her, or at the very least, thinks that he does. To me, it’s always seemed more like infatuation as he never seems to understand her and she certainly doesn’t understand him. But, no matter what the case is, it’s a tragic situation; Franz Joseph will continue to chase after Sisi and her favor but while he does so, he’s doing precisely the thing that Sisi does not want and gains no ground: Sisi’s position will not change.

And while that seems awful–like Sisi is impossible to please–it goes back to the same point that I brought up earlier: Franz Joseph doesn’t understand Sisi and how she thinks.

But der Tod? Der Tod does. He himself says it: “Du hast dich in mich verliebt, Weil’s Freiheit ohne mich nicht gibt und Keiner dich versteh’n kann außer mir” [You fell in love with me because no one else can give you freedom and no one understands you except me].

The thing is, Franz Joseph cannot understand Sisi. It’s something that Sisi brings up time and time again: “Soll’ ich dich verstehen, will ich auch verstanden sein” [If I should understand you, I want to be understood as well], Könntest du einmal nur durch meine Augen sehn, dann würdest du mich nicht länger mißverstehn…” [If you could just once see through my eyes, you wouldn’t misunderstand me anymore].

nur lass mir mein leben

It’s just the simple truth and because of this, Franz Joseph is doomed to keep trying to make Sisi love him, not realizing that it’s not possible because he doesn’t understand her and her wants.

The flip-side of this is der Tod who understands Sisi so perfectly that it’s almost scary. He understands her in the way that Franz Joseph–if he understood Sisi–would like to understand her. The thing is, Franz Joseph doesn’t understand a thing about Sisi; he doesn’t understand the deep sadness that she harbors inside of herself.

This is precisely why Sisi keeps yearning for der Tod despite all of the awful things that he has to do throughout the story. Things like taking her children from her–though I really don’t think that this is because he wants to but more because Fate dictates that he must–that one might think would turn her irreparably away from der Tod only serve to cause a brief rift between them which ultimately closes and draws them closer to each other as before. Because Sisi sees understanding, kindness, and freedom in der Tod but sees none of that in Franz Joseph.

But it’s more than just sharing the same want of freedom and understanding of each other: it’s also the fact that they can match each other’s strength. And this is where the “Элизабет и Смерти” staging comes into play with this post. The staging of this Russian version of “Wenn ich tanzen will” shows really beautifully in a visual way the dynamic that exists in Sisi and der Tod’s relationship. How? Through the use of strings.

 

 

Der Tod and Sisi, in this version of the song, are tethered together by strings. At first it seems that der Tod’s controlling Sisi with the strings but it quickly becomes evident that Sisi is able to overcome that control that der Tod seems to have with her own strength until they eventually level out and become well… equal. The progression of this is really fascinating and, I think, nails the reason why Sisi loves der Tod right on the head.

 

 

Sisi doesn’t want to be controlled in a relationship but, at the same time, she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who is easily controlled and influenced. In short, she wants to have a relationship where both partners are equals. Franz Joseph, in their relationship, weirdly shows both of those traits. He controls Sisi in the sense that he forces her to be put under the stern control of his mother; something that Sisi sees as a prison. Knowing Sisi’s love for freedom, this is a big mistake. But at the same time, Franz Joseph cannot make a single decision on his own; he needs to be swayed and, practically controlled, by his mother, Sophie. This is everything that Sisi doesn’t want. 

But der Tod, on the other hand, likes to show his strength in his relationship with Sisi. That’s shown with the strings and his using them to move Sisi around. But, at the same time, der Tod doesn’t get upset when Sisi fights back and takes control herself. In fact, that’s precisely what he wants to happen. The foundation for this based simply on the staging of “Элизабет и Смерти” is a little weak, I’ll grant you that, but I’ll head more into that right now by turning your attention to “Rudolf, wo bist du?/Totenklage.”

SISI: Come, open for me! Do not let me wait… Haven’t I been tortured enough already? Take pity! Come, sweet death … cursed death! Redeem me!

DER TOD: Too late! I don’t want you — not like this! I don’t need you! Go away!

totenklage

It’s an exchange that, at first glance, doesn’t make much sense. Sisi finally seems ready to come to der Tod–it’s what he’s been seeking since mid-Act I but now he’s rejecting her and telling her to go away?

It’s important to take notice of a few things in this portion of ELISABETH:

  • He mirrors what Sisi says in “Elisabeth mach auf”
    • “Geh! Ich will dich nicht! Ich braucht dich nicht! Geh!” [Go! I don’t want you! I don’t need you! Go!]
  • He says “nicht so” [not like this] after he says “Ich will dich nicht” [I don’t want you]. He’s not saying that he doesn’t love Sisi anymore. He’s saying that he doesn’t love this Sisi. Not this Sisi who comes to him, begging. That’s not the girl that he fell in love with.
  • Also, interestingly, Sisi calls der Tod both sweet and cursed. I think that she views der Tod as sweet but views the outcome of his existence as cursed–as witnessed in her mourning for Rudolf. Her loss of Rudolf leaves a hole in her and that’s what she’s referencing, I think.

And I think that Sisi understands what der Tod is saying when he says the “nicht so”, though she is shocked by it. Looking at Maya Hakvoort’s performance, she seems utterly crushed when der Tod refuses to come to her, sitting up, and then crumbling as he walks away from her.

I also think that it’s a huge part of why Sisi decides to leave Austria and travel. She wants to find relief from the pain she’s suffered after losing Rudolf, yes. But she also wants to find herself because she understands that she is not the Sisi that der Tod loves at that point.

There are many interesting things to be taken from this exchange in “Totenklage” but let’s focus on the “Ich will dich nicht–nicht so!”, shall we? I think that this is the most crucial part–aside from the fact that Sisi loves him–of what sets der Tod apart from the Phantom and the Graf von Krolock. In both cases, I’m almost 100% sure that they would be more than ready to comply with their respective love interest’s wishes. Because, in both cases, I don’t think that they truly, truly love their love interests. They love something about them, yes, but they don’t really love them as the people that they are. The Phantom loves Christine’s voice and what she could do for his music–though, at the end, I think that he also comes to love her compassion–and Krolock loves Sarah’s blood and the fact that it will–temporarily–sate his hunger. But der Tod loves Sisi and who she is. He knows that this is not the Sisi that he fell in love with and refuses to claim her when she comes to him from a place of weakness.

Even in “Der Schleier fällt”, we see hesitance in der Tod. He knows that Sisi is dying but he refuses to grab her life from her and claim her as his own; he wants her to come to him as he implied by the words: “Lass’ mich nicht warten” [Don’t let me wait]. In some portrayals, der Tod seems almost ready to walk away from Sisi as he turns in shock to Sisi as she calls out to him, gets to her feet, and runs to him. I think that the source of the hesitance is that he’s unsure if Sisi has found herself again. He knows that it’s time, but he’s unsure yet if Sisi has become just like every other human life that he’s been forced to come and claim or if she’s the girl that looked him in the eye during “Schwarzer Prinz”, grasped onto his arm, and smiled at him.

 

 

So, in short, the main difference between der Tod, the Phantom, and Krolock, is that der Tod doesn’t want Sisi to come to him from a place of weakness–he doesn’t want to dominate and control Sisi. He wants to be her equal.

But this might beg the question of why der Tod seems so controlling in songs like “Wenn ich tanzen will.” I think that it’s easily explained as der Tod being playful. At its root, I think that “Wenn ich tanzen will” is a playful song. It’s easy to tell when der Tod’s been serious versus when he’s being playful or amused. “Wenn ich tanzen will” is definitely the latter. Contrast it with “Totenklage”, Act I’s “Die Schatten werden länger”, “Elisabeth mach auf”, and “Der Schleier fällt.”

I also think that it’s important to remember the mantra of ELISABETH: “Alle tanzten mit dem Tod doch niemand wie Elisabeth” [Everyone has danced with death but no one like Elisabeth]. ELISABETH is all about this “dance” between Sisi and der Tod. If we want to look at the actual physical act of dancing and take that as a building block for this metaphor, we can assume that der Tod is usually the one to lead and end the dance. But Sisi was not that way. Look at the chorus of “Wenn ich tanzen will”: Wenn ich tanzen will, dann tanz’ ich so wie’s mir gefällt. Ich allein bestimm’ die Stunde. Ich allein wähl’ die Musik. Wenn ich tanzen will, dann tanze ich Auf meine ganz besond’re Art. Am Rand des Abgrunds oder nur in deinem Blick” [If I want to dance, then I will dance the way I want. I alone choose the time, I alone choose the music. If I want to dance, I will dance in my own way, around the abyss or maybe just in your sight].

 

 


So, those are my thoughts! What do you think makes der Tod different? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

My Top Ten Favorite Songs From TANZ DER VAMPIRE

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

Okay, guys! It’s time to get to TANZ DER VAMPIRE. Ahhh… I’m afraid of taking on this one because, honestly, there are just so many good songs. It’s one of those musicals that I very frequently listen to all the way through simply because I don’t want to miss any one moment of the musical. Anyways, I’m going to do my best to narrow it down to my top ten favorite songs from the show and kind of explain why! Los geht’s!


***SPOILER ALERT*** There will be spoilers in this post!

1. “Die unstillbare Gier”

Let’s knock the big one out of the ballpark right away, shall we? “Die unstillbare Gier” is the crowning jewel of TANZ, in my opinion. It presents itself in stark contrast from the rest of the musical which is generally frivolous and silly. But then, we hit “Die unstillbare Gier” towards the end of Act II and suddenly, a serious, emotional feeling dawns from the character you’d expect it from the least: the Graf von Krolock himself.

mark-seibert-1

I think that “Die unstillbare Gier” is just about a flawless song. It hits all of the major points that I think a song should hit and it does it all very, very well. The themes of the song hit hard and when Krolock directly calls out the audience in the last stanza, there’s something immensely personal about the song that hits close to home. I think that this song is one that everyone can see as true because its cynical assessment of the way that the world is going is something that many people have seen develop over the years.

drewlock

I think that it’s simply the truth to say that “Die unstillbare Gier” is a true highlight of TANZ DER VAMPIRE. It’s a song that simply doesn’t disappoint and sticks with you long after you’ve first heard it. Just hearing the instrumental of the song hits me hard, the sound just sounding so heartbreaking… everything about it is so immersive and well done. I could rave about “Die unstillbare Gier” forever and ever but for now, I think that we’d better just leave it at that!

2. “Für Sarah”

Alfred’s easily my favorite character from TANZ and one of my favorite characters in musical theatre in general. He’s so sweet and lovable… I’ve never met someone who’s told me that they just flat-out hate Alfred. He might not be everyone’s favorite character but he’s simply not hateable. Why? Well, to steal from the words of HADESTOWN, he’s “someone who tries.” 

“Für Sarah” shows that side of Alfred so well. He’s willing to do anything–or, at least would like to think that he’s willing to do anything–if it means that doing so will save Sarah. Alfred’s someone who spends a lot of time being scared and uncertain… for someone like this, the strength that he exhibits in “Für Sarah” really is magnificent and something to be applauded.

Not to mention that this song is just downright stunning in so many ways that I can’t even number… it’s a song filled with so much feeling and emotion from Alfred and you can really see what a good, kind, sweet person Alfred is. Ahhh… it’s such a good song!

3. “Draußen ist Freiheit / Stärker als wir sind” 

I’ve always loved “Draußen ist Freiheit” and the “Die roten Stiefel” dance sequence that goes on throughout it but it’s only been relatively recently that I realized how amazing “Stärker als wir sind” truly is. It’s hard to explain exactly what makes this sequence so powerful and amazing and all I can really say is that you have to see it to truly understand.

die roten stiefel kleid

But there’s just something so spectacular about all of it. From the ballet dream sequence–it’s definitely one of the most stunning things that I’ve ever seen–to the strong and yet somehow soft “Stärker als wir sind”, it’s just so wonderfully put together and the transitions are nigh upon flawless. Another absolutely amazing thing about this sequence is that it utilizes the full abilities of the set so wonderfully. It all just move so flawlessly and flows into each other almost cinematically without being any crazy set piece, really. In fact, it’s pretty minimalist.

4. “Nie geseh’n” or “Ein Mädchen das so lächeln kann”

I’ve seen it referred to as both, though I believe that the official name of the song is “Nie geseh’n.” This is one of those songs that I play over and over again, even if I have the whole CD in my CD player. When “Nie geseh’n” plays, I repeat it at least three times before allowing the CD to go on to “Gott ist tot.”

nie geseh'n

There’s something so beautiful and sweet about this song and it’s been one of those that I’ve loved for pretty much as long as I’ve known about the musical. This has got to be one of my favorite scenes from the musical in general. It’s just so well done and I can’t help but love it…

5. “Einladung zum Ball”

Ahhh… flamboyant Krolock. I mean, “Flamboyant Krolock” could seriously be an alternative title for the musical if someone wanted it to be… and this scene is almost 100% of that. If you’ve seen “Einladung zum Ball”, I’m sure that you’d probably agree: this scene is the tippy-top of Krolock being flamboyant and it’s iconic for a reason.

I mean, talk about a great, cape-swishing entrance, honestly. Not to mention that Krolock couldn’t just pick a better time to invite Sarah to the ball… I mean, seriously. And then, the music’s just awesome and it’s pretty much, in my opinion, the best Krolock moment of the musical. Yikes.

This was the song that made me keep coming back to TANZ. If it weren’t for “Die unstillbare Gier”, I might never have actually finished listening to all of TANZ and, seriously, that’s kind of a weird thought for me now because I’ve hit that point where I simply can’t imagine my life without TANZ DER VAMPIRE at this point…

6. “Gott ist tot”

Ahhh… more flamboyant Krolock. Except for this time, it’s more angsty Krolock than anything else. And, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought that if you’re going to have a vampire story, you ought to have some really good vampire angstiness… and TANZ accomplishes that so wonderfully that it’s almost funny.

3f09272ac02629556366975a2b4e748c-ist-tot-vampires

The lyrics of “Gott ist tot” are really interesting and I think that it’s fascinating to see Krolock’s perspective on the world, especially out of the context of “Die unstillbare Gier.”

“Was ich rette, geht zugrund’. Was ich segne, muss verderben. Nur mein Gift macht dich gesund; Um zu leben, musst du sterben.” [What I save, perishes. What I bless has to spoil. Only my poison makes you healthy; to live, you have to die.]

Yeah… angsty Krolock says some pretty interesting stuff and I think that the lyrics are what make “Gott ist tot” such a powerful song that stands out from the rest of the TANZ lineup. After all, musically, there are a lot of songs in TANZ that are really similar… but the lyrics just don’t have quite the same punch.

7. “He, ho, Professor”

As far as openings to musicals, “He, ho, Professor” is definitely one of the best that I’ve seen. I think that it sets the scene wonderfully and I love how it introduces us to Alfred in just the right way, showing us who he is and also helping us to feel attached to him. It’s right from that opener that I’m thinking “Oh, no, don’t let anything happen to this one…” Because, I’m just saying, Alfred’s too sweet for all of the stuff that happens to him in TANZ.

alfred...
Lukas Perman as Alfred

Alfred’s undying dedication to the Professor is something that I’ve always loved about Alfred and getting to see that first and foremost as a top priority in his story is something that I truly love. Plus, having “He, ho, Professor” as the opener has an extra emotional punch in the Ronacher production which has the Professor, at the very end of the musical, calling for Alfred in the same way after Alfred’s already been lost… screaming “He, ho, Alfred!!”

8. “Ouvertüre”

You may have noticed that thus far in this series, I’ve never once named an overture of a musical as being one of my top ten favorites. Usually, that’s due to there not being much of an overture or just that there are too many other great songs that I have to talk about that the overture gets a little swamped.

Well… that ends now. Because TANZ’s overtures stands out so much and it’s easily one of my favorite songs in the show. It’s so powerful and it just sounds so cool. There are few overtures that can stand up to the sheer awesomeness of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s overture… but TANZ definitely holds its own in that department, I think and poses a great challenge…

When my dad first listened to TANZ, his reaction to the overture was this: “Oh, wow… that’s really, really cool.” That was within hearing the first few notes of the music. And seeing as my dad’s a bit of a critic when it comes to music, I always thought that that was pretty impressive. It’s just a super cool song… there’s no escaping it!

9. “Ewigkeit”

It was especially hard to narrow down these last few because there are still so many songs to talk about and yet, I’ve only got room for a few more. But I couldn’t just not include “Ewigkeit.” While there was a time when I thought next to nothing about “Ewigkeit”, now it’s one that I reply over and over again. It’s an awesome song that really just shows the other vampires’ feelings on well… eternity. 

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The only vampires that we really get to spend time with throughout the musical are Krolock and, to some extent, Herbert. But getting to see this assessment of the concept of eternity from their opinion is wonderously interesting… especially as it just leads into “Die unstillbare Gier.” It makes me wonder if, perhaps, hearing the graveyard vampires describe eternity as being boring and empty, influences Krolock to open up in “Die unstillbare Gier.”

10. “Der Tanz der Vampire”

There were just so many that I could have put in this spot but I just absolutely had to include “Der Tanz der Vampire” in this post… it’s just a wonderful finale in the most bizarre of ways. I don’t think that one can really understand what “Der Tanz der Vampire” achieves unless they’ve watched the musical because describing it simply doesn’t work very well.

Anyways, I love this finale. It’s energetic and weirdly satisfying, considering that the heroes lose. Even weirder is the fact that the finale is pretty much celebrating this because it’s sung by all of the vampires. It’s a kind of shocking finale but it’s so much fun!

 

The choreography is pretty awesome in this scene too. I mean, TANZ uses choreography really, really well in general but in “Der Tanz der Vampire”, I feel like that’s taken to a completely different level!


What are your favorite songs from TANZ DER VAMPIRE? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

“Interview” with Julien Descoteaux from CLEMENCY

Guten Morgen, Leute! Wie geht’s?

We’re taking a small break from my Top Ten Songs From __________ series to get some Clemency stuff in. It’s still Camp NaNoWriMo and while I haven’t gotten all that much written–I’m still on track with my goal, though!–I feel that I’m making really good tracks where I’ve gotten work in.

Like last week’s Clemency post, I’m doing another interview with a Clemency character but, this time, it’s Julien instead of Danaé! I took these questions from the NaNoWriMo blog so you can look at that by clicking this link right here. The only thing that I’ve done is change the questions to sound as if the characters themselves are being asked them as I felt that that would be more entertaining! Julien’s one of my favorites so I had a lot of fun writing this!

Anyways, guys, I’ll stop talking now and I’ll hand it over to Julien! Los geht’s!


***Quick Note: Some of the questions reference things that Julien would realistically have no knowledge of but I’m going to proceed as if he does know what these things are simply because I feel like that would be best. In addition, I interject a little–in italics–when I feel that Julien would answer differently than might actually be accurate or something like that. You’ll understand when you hit that point!***

1. What do you do when you think no one’s looking?

Well, I believe that Danaé stole my answer for this question when she talked to you… but I guess that another thing that I do when no one’s looking is that I like to try to get any bit of sleep that I possibly can. Of course, Rosaire will usually catch me and, when he does, unlike Danaé and Bastien, he’ll wake me up immediately. Danaé and Rosaire usually will just let me sleep.

2. What’s the one thing you would save in a fire (beyond the necessities)?

Iris’ chair. I suppose that that’s the most important thing for me to save. Besides, while Bastien’s helping Iris around, I suppose that I’d better be grabbing Isidore, Diodore, and Iris’ chair. Those are the important things.

3. Who’s on speed dial?

My sister, Julie. She’s rough on me and gives me a hard time about almost everything but I know that, at the end of the day, she’ll be there for me when it matters. …Even if she does give me an earful of her lecturing before letting me off the hook.

4. You get turned down for your dream job. What’s your second choice?

I’d probably just volunteer to help Danaé and her family around their farm. I don’t mind that sort of work, really. Or I could just stick to working the printing press for Danaé and Bastien while they write up a storm. Yeah… if the lawyer thing didn’t work out, I’d probably do one of those things.

5. What would you tell your ten-year-old self?

To stop being so afraid and to look for more opportunities to stand up for myself and what I believe in.

Oh, and to stop taking my sisters for granted and to spend more time with them because, honestly, they deserve that much.

6. Where would you want to go on a first date?

Oh, I don’t really know. I suppose that it would depend on who I was taking on a first date. For me, though, I think that a walk by the Seine would be perfect.

7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I do recall Danaé telling me to stop cowering in the corner and to put my foot forward and start doing something when we first met… I was taken aback by it at first but now, I can’t emphasize the importance of that advice and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not much has changed since we first met, I suppose.

8. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?

The worst advice? I know that Danaé said it already, but pretty much any advice that Rosaire gives me is immediately discarded…

9. What’s one physical detail you’d change about yourself?

Do my clothes count? I wish that I’d be able to dress a little less… richly. But some habits die hard and my careful way of dress is one thing that I can’t seem to let go of, much to Danaé, Bastien, and Rosaire’s amusement.

If it weren’t a physical detail, I might say something about my name. I’d change it from Julien Diodore Évariste Mathis Edgard Florian Descoteaux to something that maybe I can say in one breath…

10. When was the last time you were held? By whom?

It would probably have to be the last time that I went home and my eldest sister, Daphne was trying to comfort me when I was upset about not being around more often and missing so much of their lives.

11. What’s your favorite thing about your favorite season?

Well, I love being able to sit by the fire in the wintertime. When I was still living at home with my family, we’d read books by the fire and I’d play dolls with my younger sisters, Eulalie and Lydie. Nowadays, though, I like to try and do the same things with Bastien and Iris’ children, Isidore and Diodore though a fire is a little rare when I’m with them. We kind of just have to bundle up in blankets. Sometimes we’ll get Bastien, Iris, and Danaé involved too. Though it takes a lot of persuasion with Bastien and Dané sometimes.

12. Your wallet gets stolen. What do you do?

Not much. They probably need the money more than I do.

13. Prioritize: Love, money, power, knowledge?

Love, I think. Though knowledge is important too. But one can live without knowledge… I don’t think that I could live without love. Such a life sounds like a sad one indeed.

14. What’s something nobody knows about you?

Something that no one but my sisters know is that when I play dolls with them, Madeleine is “my doll.” Though that’s not something that I would call that doll…

15. What’s in your fridge?

Too much fresh produce. Danaé gets them off of her hands by piling them on me. Not that I’m complaining.

16. What (creature, object, substance) are you most disgusted by?

I’m not a big fan of rats. Danaé thinks that it’s hilarious.

17. What’s your second worst habit?

There are so many contenders for my worst habits that I’m not certain what I ought to say in response to this question… you might know better than I do for this one.

As my personal response, I think that Julien’s second worst habit’s probably the fact that he overthinks everything. Though, of course, maybe that’s not such a bad thing since he’s got both Danaé and Rosaire to have to worry about and neither of them like to think a lot before acting.

18. What are the victory conditions for your life?

We get a new and improved France and I get to live out the rest of my days in peace with my friends. Ideally, I’d be able to mend things with my family–well, at least with my sisters; I’m not sure if there’s anything to be done about how things have gone with my father. I just want a world where everything’s right. Sounds a little unrealistic, I suppose… but who doesn’t want that?

19. In the end, you fail to save the day. Assuming you survive, what do you do?

Keep fighting, keep trying. As long as there’s still movement in my limbs, I don’t think that I’ll be able to lay low and just roll with the punches. It’s just not quite who I am.

20. You’re charged with a crime you didn’t commit. What do you do?

Erm… I don’t know? Deal with it and then joke about it for the rest of my life, I suppose. If I get accused of a crime, it’ll forever be a joke and a highlight of my life…

Though, since Danaé and Bastien seem to be unsatisfied with this answer, stating that I should at least acknowledge the fact that getting charged with an uncommitted crime is very possible, especially, as Danaé seems set on pointing out for me. The Committee of Public Safety likes to accuse anyone that they can of “counter-revolutionary activity.” I suppose that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that such charges could be set against me…

Between you and me, though, I think that Danaé and Bastien just wanted to use this as an excuse to rally for the cause… you decide what to think about that.

21. You’re charged with a crime you did commit. What was the crime?

…I need to think about this. I’m not entirely sure. At all.

22. What’s the 140-character version of your life?

Danaé, I think, went far above 140-characters in her response to this question but I’ll try to keep my own response concise…

I was born into a rich family, started studying to be a lawyer, and then a wrench got thrown into that by a certain band of revolutionaries.

Boom.

23. What important statistic would you want to be displayed above you?

Yikes… stats? I don’t know… maybe something about how pamphlets I’m still carrying around for sale? I think that that might be a way to hike up some sales and I’m sure that Danaé and Bastien would appreciate it greatly.

24. What’s the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

I’d make sure that Danaé and her family had enough supplies for the winter even if it would make Danaé unendingly upset with me. But, seriously… none of them need to be getting frostbite when I can just buy them shoes that fit and don’t have holes in them.

25. What profession do you most respect?

At the risk of sounding self-exalting, I must say that I most respect lawyers. They do, after all, stand up for those who need a voice. I suppose that that’s why I wanted to become a lawyer in the first place.

26. What childhood injustice did you never get over?

I don’t really hold grudges; it takes too much energy that I need. That being said, some things have been a living thorn in my side since I was a child. Reference my bad relationship with my father, I suppose. It’s partially my fault, yes. But then, I’m never going to pretend that the way that he treats and steals from those poorer than him is okay with me.

27. How would you handle having a panic attack?

Probably not very well. I’d need a lot of emotional support if things got that bad.

28. You’re burdened with an inconvenient superpower. What is it?

The ability to know what everyone’s thinking. I suppose that it would be worse yet if I couldn’t turn that off. Imagine being in the middle of saying something really important and just hearing someone’s inner thoughts of what they’re going to eat for dinner. Ahh… I shudder to think of being bombarded by hundreds of people’s thoughts at once… that just sounds awful.

29. If you died and could come back as any person, animal, or object, what would you be?

Perhaps a jolly ogre who wants fairy wings? *wink*

30. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

It was just an ordinary stew, but, that day after Danaé made me promise not to let her watch me die as long as it was in my power, I needed that stew more than ever and I daresay that it was the best meal that I’d ever had.

31. Where would you stand at a dinner party?

Wherever the people that I trust are.

Okay, just a brief step-in from myself: Julien is the type of person who tries not to draw attention to himself but eventually somehow ends up in the center of the room, entertaining the whole party. He just has that sort of air to him and is good with people.

32. Who would you invite to the dinner party?

I hate that I know far too much about putting together a good dinner party and I would, in all likelihood, refuse to set one up. Besides, we haven’t got time for it. The only dinner party that I want to be at these days is the one that I’m at every night. It’s just me, Bastien, Iris, Isidore, Diodore, and sometimes Danaé, Rosaire, and Euphrasie. That’s good enough for me. Though it would be nice to have my sisters and, perhaps, my mother there too.

33. What makes a perfect day for you?

A day’s pretty nigh on perfect when I get to spend the day with Danaé, working the printing press and then, after we’ve finished our work, taking Isidore and Diodore out for a walk around Paris. What makes a day like that even better is when nothing worth noting happens. Just a normal, simple day. Maybe Danaé, Bastien, and I would head off to the Cordeliers Convent to meet with some people.

34. If given the opportunity, would you want to know how and when you died?

No. I don’t see how knowing would pay off in any way.

35. What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Why haven’t you done it yet?

I’ve always dreamed of taking a trip out to the countryside of France. Or maybe outside of France. My family went so many times but I… I never went with them. Mostly because I had school. Other times I’d find excuses to stay at home; I just wanted some time spent alone. You know how it is.

36. What do you tend to joke about?

Well, I joke about myself, mostly. I find that it makes going through life easier if you can laugh at yourself a little bit. It’s important not to take yourself too seriously, I think.

37. What’s off limits?

My friends; my sisters.

38. Whose wedding would you cross the world to attend? Whose funeral?

I don’t know whose wedding I’d cross the world to attend… I don’t know anyone who’s planning on getting married that I know…

As for funerals, though… if any of my friends died, I would cross the world to attend their funerals. The same goes for my sisters and for my mother. Heaven’s sake, maybe even my father.

39. What impossible choice did you make that turned out to be the right one? The wrong one?

Deciding to run away from home, I think, was the right choice. I would have died there, and yet, I had to give up my four sisters, Daphne, Julie, Eulalie, and Lydie. Still, leaving home allowed me to escape the absolute carnage that I was facing at home and then I also got to meet some of the most important people in my life, Danaé, Bastien, Rosaire, Iris, Euphrasie, Isidore, and Diodore… life without them is almost unimaginable for me.

As for a wrong decision, trusting Cécile and falling in love with her all of those years ago was the wroong decision. I was a fool and I’ve said it a thousand times before but I’ll say it a thousand more times if I must. Cécile’s simply loathesome… she’s hurt Danaé and everyone around me and I can’t help but blame myself for it.

40. You now have a hype man (or woman). What would they say to get everyone excited about you?

Honestly, I don’t know…

Okay, I’m stepping in again. Because Julien won’t say it himself, but it’s simply true: he’s probably his best hype person by just being there. 

41. What recurring dream do you have?

Despite the fact that I like making stories and dreaming while I’m awake, I’m a pretty dreamless sleeper. So when I do have dreams, they’re not recurring. In addition, they’re also something that I take note of.

42. What is the meaning of life to you?

Ahhh… so now we’re getting into deep questions, I see. Well, then. The meaning of life… I don’t know, really. Does anyone really know? Well, if you insist upon an answer, I suppose that it’s all about fulfilling your purpose, right? I mean, if you believe that you have a purpose–which I do–then your life must all be about fulfilling it, right? Okay, I’m leaving it at that; my brain’s starting to hurt!

43. If you wrote a NaNo novel, would you be a planner, pantser, or plantser?

Probably somewhere between a planner and a plantser. I like to make plans, it’s true, but when it comes to storytelling, I’m almost always acting on a spontaneous basis.

44. What book do you pretend to have read?

Some of the books by Voltaire and Rousseau that Danaé and Bastien are always talking about. I’ve not read most of them but sometimes I’ll just nod along as if I know what they’re talking about. And I’ve most certainly not read whatever it is that they’re always talking about that was written by a Mr. John Locke.

45. Someone takes undeserved credit for your work. What do you do?

I suppose that it depends on what the work was and how important it was to me. If it was something important, I would do whatever I could to mend the situation. Otherwise, I’d probably just ignore it and focus on figuring out how to keep Danaé and Rosaire from bursting into the situation and trying to fix things themselves.

46. What controversial belief or view do you hold? Why? Do you hide it?

I think that the day that the guillotine was born was the day that the revolution started to fall apart. It’s simply the fact that the revolution was never supposed to be about bloodshed or death… it was a revolution based off of ideas. No one was supposed to have to die. At least, I never thought so.

I don’t particularly hide this point of view but I don’t shout it from the rooftops either. With that information about me in the wrong hands, I could quickly find myself approaching the guillotine. Still, in most circles, I don’t go about hiding it.

47. You’re at a theme park. Where do you go first?

Since Danaé likes crazy roller coasters, I’d probably wind up there. Mildly frightened by some of the loops, perhaps, but in the end, I’d probably enjoy myself, let’s face it…

48. What’s your favorite name?

Well, that’s simply not something that I’ve ever given too much thought. I do, however, like the names Rosalie and Victoire. Antoine’s not bad either, I suppose.

49. What’s the biggest compliment you’d give yourself?

The biggest compliment that I’d give myself is that I’m a relatively creative person. I think that that’s something to be happy about… at least a little.

50. How do you feel about bugs?

Not a fan, let’s just say that.

51. If you could hit a reset button on your life, would you?

Can I change things about my life? If so, then yes. 100% yes.


Okay, guys! Me, again! I hope that you guys had fun talking to Julien; I’m sure that he enjoyed it! How’s Camp NaNoWriMo going? What would your characters say in response to these questions? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

My Top Ten Favorite Songs From OLIVER!

Guten Morgen, Leute! Wie geht’s? Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

Aaaand we’re back with the scheduled programming! Today, I’m taking on OLIVER! in this continuation of my Top Ten Favorite Song From ________ series! OLIVER! was my first non-Disney musical and is the musical that I usually credit for my love of musicals. If it weren’t for the splendid introduction that musicals got in my life through OLIVER!, I’m not sure that I’d be a musical fan at all!

That being said, let’s just hop into this, shall we? Vielen Dank und tschüss!


***SPOILER ALERT*** This post will contain spoilers for the musical OLIVER!

1. “Fine Life”

Nancy is probably my favorite character from OLIVER! and I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love “Fine Life.” It’s one of those songs that’s stuck with me since my first time watching OLIVER! and, now that I’m older, I love it even more now. It’s a fun song while being an emotional one and you really get to see Nancy’s optimism despite her rather awful situation.

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I think that it was “Fine Life” that really helped me to fall in love with Nancy. Her optimism and charm is just infectious in this song not only amongst the other characters but also for the audience.

2. “I’d Do Anything”

This is one of the most enjoyable, fun songs of the show. Just seeing the kids playing with Nancy and Bet is really fun and I think that it shows this close bond that they all have with each other. In addition, it also just adds a bit of likability to Fagin.

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I think that one of the best things about this song is that it reminds us that the kids are just that… kids. Even the Artful Dodger. They’re all kids who have something in common: all that they’ve got is each other. No matter the circumstances and the things that they do, they’re all kids and while some of them are certainly ruthless thieves, they also have this side to them that just wants to have fun.

3. “Consider Yourself”

I’ve never seen OLIVER! live but as far as the movie goes–and it’s a really great musical movie!–this scene has got to be one of the most impressive. Actually, this scene has got to be one of the most impressive that I’ve ever seen in any musical movie ever. Take into account, also, that this movie was made in the 1970’s…

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I think that this song also just really perfectly characterizes both the Artful Dodger and Oliver. The Dodger’s crafty and persuasive–he’s a natural people person–and Oliver’s quiet and easily persuaded because he’s naïve, young, and trusting. It’s also just a really fun song and scene in general. Definitely a standout moment in musical theatre in general for me!

4. “Reviewing the Situation”

While Fagin’s an antagonist, he’s certainly a rather likable one as far as antagonists go. This is mostly due to his comical nature throughout the musical and because of his want to change deep down inside. Very, very deep down inside… as we find out in this song. That desire’s just so hidden that he can’t even reach it at this point and his chance at starting a new, honest life is pretty much gone…

That being said, this is a great song. I think that it’s one of the absolute best from the musical and I love the back-and-forth that Fagin’s character goes through throughout the course of the song. The lyrics are also clever and funny and I always appreciate that! I’ve always thought that it’s funny to look at the various things that trigger Fagin into his “I think I’d better think it out again!” mode. All-in-all, a great character moment for Fagin.

5. “You’ve Gotta Pick A Pocket or Two”

Disney gets a lot of praise for its villain songs. Well, this song is, in my opinion, the best villain song out there… or, at least, very close to it. Though it is hard to call Fagin the real villain of OLIVER! even if he is an antagonist and villain. Bill Sikes is too villainesque to not really steal the limelight there…

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But, anyways, this song is one of those that I’ve had stuck in my head forever. This song stuck with me the most when I watched the musical for the first time when I was about five years old. Not because of a positive message but because the scene was so clever and because the song is so catchy and fun. I think that this song, like “Reviewing the Situation”, really characterizes Fagin as a humorous villain really well. While the subject matter is dark, seeing as it involves thievery, there’s something so entertaining about how it’s executed. Though a lot of that might be due to Ron Moody’s brilliant performance! I can honestly say that I can’t picture anyone else as being such a perfect Fagin.

6. “As Long As He Needs Me” 

In my opinion, this is the “Totenklage” of OLIVER!. “Totenklage” means “death sentence” in German and I think that this song is precisely that for Nancy in this song. She knows how awful Bill Sikes is to her and knows that her life is in danger when she’s around him but she refuses to leave him because she feels that he needs her and that maybe she’ll be able to change him.

 

Except for the fact that the audience knows that that’s simply not true. Nancy’s fate is sealed with her decision to stick by Bill Sikes and yet also stick with Oliver whom she refuses to abandon. This song is one of the most beautiful and famous from the musical but I really didn’t understand it as a child. Now that I do understand it, it means so much more to me now and is certainly one of my favorite songs from the musical.

7. “Be Back Soon” 

This song is ridiculously catchy and is almost always stuck in my head. I think that it’s a wonderful song and I just love it so much! It’s a fun send-off song even though what they’re off to do is, by no means cheery business. Ahhh, but I can’t help but love this song and I probably sing it far too often for it to be normal…

It’s hard to know what to think of the song in context, though. Does Fagin actually care about the kids? I mean, I feel like he must, in some capacity, but at the end of the day, I think he mostly cares about what they can get him… This is especially sad, I think, because the kids definitely care for him in some sort of weird way and the fact that they aren’t loved in that same sort of way is sad.

8. “Oom-pah-pah” 

There are so many songs from OLIVER! that are always stuck in my head… clearly. This is just another one of them. “Oom-pah-pah” is one of the funnest songs of the musical and I do love it a lot. I really would like to see how this is done live.

An interesting thing about this song is that the lyrics of the song mean literally nothing to the story–unless I’ve missed something in my analyses–but the action behind the song, going along with it is so crucial to the end of the musical… the end literally can’t happen without this scene. And while this song is cheerful, it’s also the beginning of a tragic end for Nancy.

9. “Where Is Love”

Not the most memorable song from the show, but certainly one of the most emotional, I couldn’t just leave out Oliver’s solo “Where is Love.” Ahhh… this song is just so sad and I think that it’s just so beautiful. It’s not as energetic as the rest of the songs from the musical but rightfully so. The sadness and grief of this song is very, very necessary to the building of Oliver’s character as well as the audience’s attachment to him.

10. “Who Will Buy?”

This is the Act II opener to the musical and I think that it’s so stunning. It’s a beautiful way to start the second Act. Act II starts off on a much cheerier note than Act I and I’ve always thought that that was kind of interesting. The song is just really pretty and that’s really my main reason for loving it!


What are your favorite songs from OLIVER!? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

Some Time Spent in Tokyo | Japan Travel Diary #2

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

Aaand I’m back from my mini hiatus and, as promised, I’ve got a travel diary for you guys today! I actually did some stuff and have some actual pictures of little der Tod this time so hopefully this is a little more interesting than the last one! Anyways, I’m back from Tokyo, so barring anything unforeseen, I should be posting pretty regularly again.

Without any further ado, though, los geht’s!


There are two things that I never look forward to when I visit Japan and those are mosquitos and just overall really warm (and humid) temperatures. Mosquitos, I can kind of protect myself from. The heat, however, is pretty much unavoidable unless I stay inside all day, every day, and while I was in Tokyo, that wasn’t really an option.

However, before we get to the Tokyo business, I guess that I’ll touch base with one of the more exciting things that happened since my last travel diary, namely the little earthquake that I mentioned in a post a few days ago and in the title of this post! So… yeah. There was a tiny little earthquake on Sunday (I guess that it would have been Saturday still for those of you in the US) and it lasted maybe five seconds, if that. I remember thinking that my brother was just bouncing his leg on the ground really really hard and then, it was done. Of course, the possibility that an aftershock might hit was there so we scrambled under a table land waited for maybe a minute and, when nothing happened, I went right back to working on Clemency: This is No Nation of Gods. 

I later looked up the earthquake and it looks like the epicenter of the earthquake was in Kyoto–a little ways from where my grandma lives and we’re staying–and the Richter magnitude of the earthquake was only about 3.8. Because of this, there was really no damage–at least where I am–and everything was okay. Nothing broke, and it was just kind of exciting more than anything else.

Anyways, that same day, my family was going to head out to Tokyo on an overnight bus. We weren’t even sure if the bus would be heading out due to heavy rain, flooding, earthquake damage (there was another one a few weeks before we arrived), and some mudslides in other prefectures. However, we got the all clear and we boarded a little before eleven o’clock. I did get some pictures of little der Tod in the waiting room for the bus–my sister insisted on editing the one that has some light manipulation since, apparently, the glare in the background was so bad!

The bus ride was pretty uneventful. I slept most of the way to Tokyo and all I remember was that the footrests were in a pretty weird place–for my legs at least–but that wasn’t really too much of a hindrance to any sleep that I might be able to get.

We arrived in Tokyo at about 7:30 in the morning and got off of the bus and had a pretty simple breakfast. Since my siblings had never gone to Disneyland and really enjoy amusement parks, going to Disneyland and DisneySEA were kind of mandatory while we were in Tokyo. I’ve been to Disneyland in California before when I was a baby but remember nothing about the experience and am super bad at amusement park rides… I just don’t like the feeling of falling; it just doesn’t sit well in my stomach.

So, anyways, before we even got into the park at about 8:00, it was already really hot and humid out and I was pretty certain that the heat wasn’t going to let up as the day went on. However, I found that, while it was hot, it was fairly manageable throughout the whole day, especially while popping in and out of the shade. I really just enjoyed listening to various songs that I love playing throughout the park as I kind of just wandered around for the most part.

I did, however, promise my mom and my siblings that I would go on at least one rollercoaster-like ride with them and, since, I definitely didn’t want to do something like Space Mountain, I just decided to go on Splash Mountain throughout which I was screaming the whole time. Seriously, my voice was hoarse by the time that I got off of the ride and I was shaking. I survived, though.

Since I’m not a big fan of intense rides, I try to make up for that by going on some slower rides and one of the things that I decided to do was take the little ferry raft out to Tom Sawyer Island and just walk around. I managed to get everyone to come with me and I got some pictures of little der Tod while there. We went into a little cave that there was on the island which was shockingly dark and we all just had fun jump-scaring each other throughout that little trip through the cave.

Overall, I had a pretty good time at Disneyland even though I mostly just walked around. I really enjoyed Haunted Mansion–probably the most intense ride that I can actually handle without freaking out–and yeah, it was a lot of fun!

We headed to our hotel after a long day spent at Disney and I was immediately impressed by the view that we had from the hotel. I failed to get a picture that really showcased that well but I suppose that the one that I got is better than absolutely nothing at all!

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The next day, we headed out to Tokyo’s DisneySEA and that was really quite a bit of fun. I think that, in general, I liked DisneySEA more. There was more to look at–it was a lot nicer to look at too–and it was just really fun to walk around and enjoy the park. I watched the little Pirates of the Carribean show that they were doing twice and that was a lot of fun!

The layout of DisneySEA is actually pretty impressive and I really just loved looking at it. However, I got so invested in looking around that I failed to get as many pictures of DisneySEA… but I’ll show what I got as we go!

Upon arriving at the park, my siblings decided that they wanted to do Tower of Terror and so they grabbed a FastPass right away. I absolutely refused to go on that particular ride since falling is what I don’t like about most amusement park rides and Tower of Terror is all about falling.

I did, however, go on the ride based off of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and really enjoyed it. I was fun and it didn’t ever get super intense which I really enjoyed and appreciated.

As for my rollercoaster-like ride pick of the day, I didn’t have many options since the ride based off of Journey to the Center of the Earth was closed for maintenance. So I had to choose between the Indiana Jones ride and Raging Spirits, a rollercoaster with a 360-degree loop. And yeah, you guessed it… I went with Indiana Jones. I screamed the whole way through but ultimately turned out okay and even managed to go on it one more time at my siblings’ insistence.

However, by far my favorite ride that I went on at DisneySEA was Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. There was something so pretty and awesome about it. The song playing throughout the little boat ride was so awesome in true Alan Menken fashion and I immediately added it to my list of favorite Alan Menken songs. It’s called “Compass of Your Heart”, for those interested! I’ll leave a link to a video on the title of the song!

Another favorite part of the day was finding a George Washington picture at the place where we ate lunch. You guys know a little bit about how much I love George Washington and history in general so, of course, I got a picture of little der Tod with the picture.

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Like I mentioned, I watched the little Pirates of the Carribean show twice and the second time around, I managed to snap this picture!

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The next day–our last day in Tokyo–was especially hot and humid and we could hardly go anywhere without just feeling like we would probably get dehydrated and risking getting heatstroke wasn’t something that any of us were up for so we walked around for a little while and went to an art museum before eventually just resorting to riding around on the train in a loop for about four hours. Which, actually, was more fun than I was expecting. I did some history research on the train and I might have a new story idea!

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Not entirely sure who this guy is but… yeah! Can you spot little der Tod?

Anyways, the whole family was really exhausted so we mostly just walked around the city only come nighttime when it was cooler outside and more manageable. Since the bus back to my grandma’s house took off at about 11:45 PM, we had to kill a lot of time at the bus terminal but I got some pictures of little der Tod just hanging out!

Anyways, I slept most of the bus ride through and that takes us right through to this morning! This morning, we got off of the bus and I saw some leftover decorations from ひな祭り(hinamatsuri) and I decided to take a picture–albeit a bad one! Can you spot little der Tod hiding?

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Anyways, guys, that’s it for me today! It’s good to be back and I’m gonna start working on responding to all of your lovely comments ASAP! What’ve you been up to this week? Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

Hey, Guys! | A Little Update

Guten Morgen, Leute! Wie geht’s?Hi, guys! So, here’s the deal: I know that I said that I was going to try to preschedule posts throughout my trip to Tokyo but I only got through two so… there will be two or three days without posts. However, when I’m back, I’ll have a Tokyo travel blog up and I will be talking about my trip to Tokyo as well as a little earthquake that there was before we left for Tokyo!Anyways, I hope that you all are doing well and I’ll talk to you guys soon! Vielen Dank und tschüss! 

My Top Ten Favorite Songs From JEKYLL & HYDE

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut! Okay, guys! So, if everything’s gone according to plan, I’m in Tokyo when this post goes up so whether or not I’ll be able to respond to comments right away is a little questionable but I will try my best! I hope that you guys are all doing well and can’t wait to be able to talk to you all again!At any rate, the musical that I’m talking about today is JEKYLL & HYDE! I don’t think that there’s anything to really say aside from the fact that there will be spoilers in this post. So, without any further ado, let’s just hop right into it! Los geht’s!


1. “A New Life”

This song, I think, is probably what I would pinpoint as my favorite from JEKYLL & HYDE. I’ve always loved Lucy’s character and I think that this song is a huge part of that. It’s such a great, hopeful song but it so quickly becomes so sad and full of grief as Hyde hops on the scene and ruins everything…That being said, this song’s great. I think that it’s full of heart and really shows the type of person that Lucy is.

2. “Take Me As I Am”

As far as love songs go, this one’s definitely one of my all-time favorites. I love the lyrics and I think that it’s just really sweet. While Lisa/Emma–her name varies from production to production–sometimes feels a little bland as a character, I think that this scene really gives her a chance to shine and I really love that.This is one of my favorite moments from the musical because it’s one of the few genuinely happy moments in the musical and, of course, I really appreciate that.

3. “In His Eyes”

If I’m remembering correctly, it was this song that really got me hooked on JEKYLL & HYDE. It’s one of the few songs that I like the Broadway version better than the Concept Recording version of. The crescendo at the end of the Broadway version just has always felt so much more powerful for some reason and I really, really love that.I think that it’s one of those moments in musical theater that I wish we saw more of. Despite Lucy and Lisa–I’m just going to refer to her as Lisa–never meeting in the musical and kind of being rivals, this moment is tender and it’s a really great duet. I think that if we got to see something like this for Cosette and Éponine and maybe even Raoul and the Phantom, that would be super duper cool.

4. “Girls of the Night”

Despite this song not making it into the Broadway version, it’s one of my favorite songs from the concept recording and I think that it might’ve even been used in the German production(s). I do think that it would have been awesome if it had made it into the Broadway version as it does add another emotional layer to Lucy as a character. It shows her hopefulness despite her lack of any reason to be so hopeful.Beyond just that, I think that this song really transitions well into songs like “A New Life” and “No One Knows Who I Am” and adds more to them in so many ways.

5. “Confrontation”

This is easily one of the most intense songs of the show and I love that about the song. I think that it was probably the first song from JEKYLL & HYDE that I’d ever listened to and it’s really stuck with me. While this song is really easy to mess up, I think, it’s also one of the most powerful when done right.Anthony Warlow definitely delivers my favorite version of this song and I think that he does it so well. The song is intense and it’s exciting and just so unique in the realm of musical theatre. I think it’s especially awesome when Jekyll and Hyde are played by one actor.

6. “Alive”

I think that it was while I was listening to “Alive” that I really understood what makes JEKYLL & HYDE a gothic musical thriller. That feeling just rolls off of this song and it’s so obvious and clear in this song… it’s one of my favorites from the musical and I think that it’s such a strong song.Seeing as it’s the first time that we get to see Hyde, I think that it’s especially exciting and also, in its own way, scary. The final part of the song is chilling and I think that it’s so powerful when done just right. Jan Ammann and Anthony Warlow deliver my favorite performances of this song, I think!

7. “His Work and Nothing More”

Recently I’ve just been so hooked on this song… it’s so great. I don’t even know what it is about this song in particular but I think that there’s something so beautiful about it. This is one of my favorite songs from the musical though I’m not entirely sure why. It’s not a song that I ever particularly loved in the past but I’m super hooked on it now for some reason.In general, “His Work and Nothing More” really shows what Hyde is doing to Jekyll and I love that so much about the song! It’s just so well done!

8. “This is the Moment” 

Probably the most well-known song from the musical, ‘This is the Moment” is one of those songs from JEKYLL & HYDE that I’m certain I knew about prior to actually learning about the musical itself. It’s just a song that’s played pretty frequently, having kind of become somewhat famous.That being said, it really is a great song and I’m a huge fan of it! It’s a really pretty song and I think that it captures Jekyll’s emotions pretty well as we approach his eventual decision to take the experiment into his own hands.

9. “Façade”  

As you guys know, one of my favorite things about musicals is that it gives you the chance to look into people’s minds and understand their thinking through the use of song. Well, “Façade” manages just that but on an ensemble/societal level and I think that that’s super cool.While I wouldn’t exactly call myself a cynic, this song definitely appeals to the more cynical part of me and I really like listening to this song. It’s interesting and is easily one of my favorite ensemble numbers of all time!

10. “Murder” 

Finishing on an ensemble note, I had to bring up “Murder.” It’s a really exciting portion of the musical, opening up Act II and, now that I think of it, it really should have been in my Act II openers post from a few days ago!From JEKYLL & HYDE, I think that “Murder” might be my most-listened to song. I really loved listening to it when I was working out at the gym last quarter and I just think that it’s really epic and intense. Like “Alive”, it really pulls off that gothic musical thriller feel so well.


What are your favorite songs from JEKYLL & HYDE? Vielen Dank und tschüss!!