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Non-English musicals?

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:06 pm
by 23623
After posting in the POTO thread, I realize that I (hopefully some others as well) need a place to legitimately ramble on about Tanz der Vampire and everything else that is not in English. So here it is :wink:

Just curious: what non-English musicals have you listened to/watched? What are your favorite non-English musicals?

I'll start with my personal favorites. Actually just some common ones because I don't know a lot of musicals. Also, as a person with really poor language ability, I only watch German and French musicals besides English ones. But feel free to recommend everything from every language!

:arrow: German musicals
- Tanz der Vampire.
Not long after I got addicted to the POTO OLC, I discovered TdV by chance while googling Steve Barton. He was still the equivalent of "Raoul" for me back then, so my first reaction after reading the TdV wikipedia page was "Mein Gott this is like Raoul playing phantom which is extremely OOC. Why wasn't he Alfred?!" I soon realized how wrong I was. Words cannot describe how I like the original Vienna production. I loved it the instant I heard the first note of its overture (which has been the ringtone of my phone since I don't know when). The plot can be either interpreted in-depth or just considered as funny entertainment. I laughed at the beginning and cried at the end. Everyone was too adorable to not like. Barton is still my favorite Von Krolock. Now I always wonder why he wasn't the phantom on the OLC :lol: I wish he could play VK on Broadway but :cry: and I think he could be a great Javert! I've imagined the original Alfred as Marius, Anthony and Dickon countless times because he is the cutest cutie among all musicals I've seen so far and I believe I would reserve the title of best Marius for him if I could see him play that role.

- Elisabeth.
This show has an idea which is similar to Evita but presented in a better way. The fact that the 2005 DVD was the first version of this show that I watched makes me firmly believe that Elisabeth should be played by two different actresses in act 1 and 2 respectively. That ridiculous idea hasn't changed even after I knew Pia and other Elisabeths who are more physically convincing than Maya. My ideal combination is to have Maike as the younger Sisi and Maya as the older. In addition, this show really needs an English translation but I don't want it to suffer the same fate as TdV.

- Dracula.
I like Wildhorn musicals because they have incredibly good music. Personally I find Dracula is weaker in plot and acting than the previous two but the music can partly compensate for the weakness. I guess maybe seeing someone else as Dracula and Van Helsing also helps because I'm tired of Thomas and Uwe.
A random funny thing: I once recommended it to a friend who got addicted to Zu Ende immediately, but she didn't realize that the song was sung by TWO people until I told her :lol:

:arrow: French musicals
- Notre Dame de Paris.
My introduction to French musicals. It has some great songs that have gone famous independent of the show itself. Even a friend who knows nothing about musical theater came to ask me one day "what is that song from Notre Dame de Paris that keeps going up?" I love everyone in the original cast except Helene (sorry if you're her fans). However, I don't like it as much as other musicals in this list, because I think it is weak in acting which, at some points, makes it look like a concert rather than a musical.

- Romeo et Juliette.
It's hard to decide whether I like the original or revival more. They are both wonderful! I watched the show at about the same age as the actress of Juliet in the original cast, so I was deeply impressed by her talent. This may be the reason why I actually prefer her to the older Juliet in the revival even though the latter sings better. I also prefer some details and the finale of the original to revival. But in terms of visual experience the revival is certainly better.
BTW, am I the only one who find the English lyrics of this show terrible? :roll:

- Mozart l'Opera Rock.
I love the music and the plot. The first time I listened to "Vivre à en crever" was actually out-of-context, i.e. without any knowledge of the plot, but it made me cry :cry: After watching the full show I like it even more. My favorite character is Salieri and he has some of the best songs in the show. The only two problems I have with this musical are the exaggerating makeup and overacting. BTW I'm referring to the DVD recording; I don't know if there are other versions or bootlegs of this musical.

Emm...well, that's all I can think about right now. I'd like to know your opinions :D

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:28 pm
by Chantefleurie
_23623_ wrote: :arrow: French musicals
- Notre Dame de Paris.
My introduction to French musicals. It has some great songs that have gone famous independent of the show itself. Even a friend who knows nothing about musical theater came to ask me one day "what is that song from Notre Dame de Paris that keeps going up?" I love everyone in the original cast except Helene (sorry if you're her fans). However, I don't like it as much as other musicals in this list, because I think it is weak in acting which, at some points, makes it look like a concert rather than a musical.


My introduction to all musicals, and to French literature (actually, my parents were watching the filmed version, and I tagged along. I can't even remember what I understood from there, but since my parents liked it I decided I liked it too). In the last couple years I thoroughly revisited this musical in French and Russian. Overall, I like the French version better in terms of actors, voices, lyrics, aesthetics, etc, but there are a few exceptions. For one thing, I like the Russian Esmeralda better. Secondly, the Russian lyrics to Belle are infinitely better than the French ones (which are in turn infinitely better than the English translation). To give you an idea, rather than turning into a second Phoebus, like he does in the other musicals, the Russian Quasimodo is represented very well in the song; one of his lines, the one I like best is "I am ready/[desperate enough] to take pity for love". Beats the French "je pose mes yeux sous sa robe de gitan" (I turn my eyes to beneath her gypsy dress). :roll: The lyrics to the opening song are very different in both languages, and I can't decide on a winner. However, nobody can sing it as well as Pelletier. And in general, I love his singing throughout the musical. It's worth watching just to listen to him.

_23623_ wrote:- Romeo et Juliette.
It's hard to decide whether I like the original or revival more. They are both wonderful! I watched the show at about the same age as the actress of Juliet in the original cast, so I was deeply impressed by her talent. This may be the reason why I actually prefer her to the older Juliet in the revival even though the latter sings better. I also prefer some details and the finale of the original to revival. But in terms of visual experience the revival is certainly better.
BTW, am I the only one who find the English lyrics of this show terrible? :roll:


I have recently seen that one too. I think I saw the original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBHpl_QMIl8 I think that's the original...) I haven't seen the musical in other languages. Maybe I should. But if you say the English is terrible... It has several really nice songs, both music- and lyric-wise. I never bothered to read Shakespeare's play, so I can't complain that the book was better like I do for other musicals, but it certainly kept the Shakespearean spirit of dramatic irony. I think my favourite actress was La Morte. It's true she doesn't make a sound the whole musical, but she's darned good at filling in the backdrop of doom and fate.


What about Les Mis itself in French? I wasn't able to find the whole play on Youtube, but there are videos of just the soundtrack and of specific songs/parts.

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:20 am
by deHavilland
If you like Wildhorn and also foreign-language musicals, you should give Rudolf a try. It's my go-to favorite whenever foreign-language shows come up. Based on Prince Rudolf and his affair with Baroness Mary Vetsera, it can be a little odd at times, but is a lot of fun. Wildhorn took the poorly placed "It's Only Love" out of the Scarlet Pimpernel and slapped it into Rudolf where it makes noticeably more sense and plays as a beautiful act one finale. (Plus, it was professionally recorded, which makes it easy to watch!)

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:56 am
by 23623
Wow, I should have known earlier that you are a huge NDdP fan, Chantefleurie! I never watched NDdP in Russian but I've heard of it. Despite that, I do believe Russian Esmeralda is better than Helene because, honestly, I can't imagine anyone worse than her. She is beautiful, but she just can't sing or act, which kind of ruins the show for me. They really should cast the other girl as Esmeralda; she performed way better than Helene!

Forgot to bash the English recording of NDdP yesterday. I totally agree with you on the Belle lyrics. I was expecting something elegant and graceful in that song but all I could hear were something that didn't make much sense and some guys having their lustful imagination :( In addition to that, the singing of certain characters (can't remember it's Frollo or Phoebus) was worse than the original French production. But I think the English lyrics of LTDC is OK.

I join you in the Pelletier fangirling (obviously I assume you're a girl here, please tell me if I get your gender wrong!) He is absolutely the best thing about NDdP!! I heard that he also played Dracula (which was different from the Wildhorn one) in France but I haven't found the lyrics, so there will be some time before I can finally watch it (just for him, since I already said that I don't like the whole Dracula story :wink: )

Yes, the link you post was the original R&J. There was an English production but I never watched it. My judgment on the English lyrics was based on the audio I listened to. In fact the translation of some songs were OK (e.g. Le balcon), but others were just not acceptable even to me, a non-native speaker of both languages (e.g. Les rois du monde).

And thank you for reminding me about La Mort! I have to point out that I watched R&J earlier than Elisabeth, so actually it was the first time that I came across the personalization of death in a musical. This concept totally blew my mind. I thought it was very creative. She didn't have a single line in the musical, but she set up the atmosphere and pushed the plot forward. In fact, I think she is an even better and more difficult role than her German counterpart, Der Tod in Elisabeth. He's got many great songs but somehow I find him a bit annoying, especially when the actor overacts :oops:

And I was just wondering whether Death would be played by a female if Elisabeth were translated into French. As already proven by the Takarazuka, female Der Tod (shall we just call her La Mort instead? :wink: ) would be really interesting to see!

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:57 am
by Chantefleurie
_23623_ wrote:Wow, I should have known earlier that you are a huge NDdP fan, Chantefleurie!


Heh, I suppose so. I was blown away by my reread of the book a couple years ago, and no musical can compare, but book stuff aside it's still a good musical overall. (But book geeks will know where my screen nickname came from - it's a, hmm, professional nickname of a character who didn't make it to any of the adaptations as far as I know).

_23623_ wrote:I never watched NDdP in Russian but I've heard of it. Despite that, I do believe Russian Esmeralda is better than Helene because, honestly, I can't imagine anyone worse than her. She is beautiful, but she just can't sing or act, which kind of ruins the show for me. They really should cast the other girl as Esmeralda; she performed way better than Helene!


Well, to be fair, Belle lyrics and Esmeralda are pretty much the only things I like better in the Russian version. Most other songs either give about the same (not too impressive) feel, or are even ruined by translation. Florence is a horror in Russian, and I'm kind of afraid to remind myself how Lune sounds. I'm just afraid it will be messed up like Florence was.

_23623_ wrote:Forgot to bash the English recording of NDdP yesterday. I totally agree with you on the Belle lyrics. I was expecting something elegant and graceful in that song but all I could hear were something that didn't make much sense and some guys having their lustful imagination :( In addition to that, the singing of certain characters (can't remember it's Frollo or Phoebus) was worse than the original French production. But I think the English lyrics of LTDC is OK.


I haven't seen the English version aside from Belle. One taste was enough. :D I might be prejudiced against English translations in general, but it just didn't seem worth it.

I'm not sure which role you might have in mind. I thought singing-wise, the French Frollo was hard to beat. Even though they butchered his role shamelessly in the adaptation, his voice sounds like what his character should feel like, I think. The French Phoebus was decent enough, but I don't recall thinking that he's anything spectacular.

The one actor who impressed my most was Quasimodo. I was so shocked to find at the end, when they all bow, that he's so tall that I had to replay that part a couple times before I believed my eyes. He's easily the tallest person in the whole cast when he stands upright, half a head taller than the other tall guys and a good two heads taller than Fleur-de-Lys. But throughout the play he was so scrunched up he was of a height, if not shorter, than the ladies. It's amazing how he made the image: his posture, mannerisms, facial expressions, even his timbre. I think he was the best Quasimodo from those that I've seen, image-wise.

_23623_ wrote:I join you in the Pelletier fangirling (obviously I assume you're a girl here, please tell me if I get your gender wrong!) He is absolutely the best thing about NDdP!! I heard that he also played Dracula (which was different from the Wildhorn one) in France but I haven't found the lyrics, so there will be some time before I can finally watch it (just for him, since I already said that I don't like the whole Dracula story :wink: )


You know, I haven't ever been interested to meddle with any Dracula stories, but now that you mention it... I might just do it for Pelletier. (And yes, I'm a girl, and though I don't often go into fangirl mood... I would for Pelletier as Gringoire. Not for Pelletier himself, but his NDdP character image. I just fall in love with characters, not their actors. :().

The changes in his role are the only ones I don't grudge at all in that musical. He was just so meant to be that guy that they made him that I only have praise for that character. And music-wise, pretty much every song that I like in NDdP (except for Belle) has him singing a major part.

As characters go, though, I'm a little annoyed that they made Phoebus such a likable character. I gave up on Frollo being done well some time ago, but Phoebus is an egoistic jerk, and it's really not that hard to keep him so. "Dechire" indeed. He didn't think twice! He took advantage of Esmeralda and dumped her to be hanged, on his account! He certainly didn't have any qualms about being engaged at the time. He's made into this nice understandable love-torn man who wants to be loyal to all sides. He's not, he'd fit perfectly in the male company from Tess of the d'Urbervilles. He doesn't deserve to be the object of the audience's pity (especially while Frollo is a self-contradicting maniac).

_23623_ wrote:Yes, the link you post was the original R&J. There was an English production but I never watched it. My judgment on the English lyrics was based on the audio I listened to. In fact the translation of some songs were OK (e.g. Le balcon), but others were just not acceptable even to me, a non-native speaker of both languages (e.g. Les rois du monde).


Would you recommend watching the remake as well to compare?

About Les Rois du Monde... heehee... Well, I liked that song when I first heard it. The music is catchy and sits well with me. All I could tell apart from the lyrics was "Les rois du monde... ... ... rois!", especially since they go at a million miles per hour in the chorus and swallow half the syllables. So during the time it took me to find the lyrics, I had ample opportunity to imagine out all kinds of great philosophical and character-revealing scenarios to match the music. And then it turns out that it's just basically Romeo and company having a "Friday night out". :lol: Still great song musically, though! I was thinking of using it next summer during camp to stage a dance with my campers.

_23623_ wrote:And thank you for reminding me about La Mort! I have to point out that I watched R&J earlier than Elisabeth, so actually it was the first time that I came across the personalization of death in a musical. This concept totally blew my mind. I thought it was very creative. She didn't have a single line in the musical, but she set up the atmosphere and pushed the plot forward. In fact, I think she is an even better and more difficult role than her German counterpart, Der Tod in Elisabeth. He's got many great songs but somehow I find him a bit annoying, especially when the actor overacts :oops:

And I was just wondering whether Death would be played by a female if Elisabeth were translated into French. As already proven by the Takarazuka, female Der Tod (shall we just call her La Mort instead? :wink: ) would be really interesting to see!


I've never seen Elizabeth, but I was super impressed by La Mort in R&J. First of all, just all the acting - every movement is telling. Every blink is perfected to match the mood that she sets. She is so eloquent, and her meaning is so clear, when all she does is fling her arm or turn her face. She's freakishly good. And the concept itself is essential to the musical, I think. She ties everything together, and enhances the overhanging feeling of tragedy. It's almost like there's a sadistic force making things happen the way they do. At first, until Benvolio presented her at the end, I thought she was actually supposed to represent Fate. She definitely has a death aspect to her, but she's also quite meddlesome with people's lives. However, knowing that she's the personification of death makes her role even creepier. Man, she was a great addition!

The only other piece of fiction I read/seen where Death had a role/personality is The Book Thief. There, Death's job is to pick up human souls when they die, and he complains about his job. He hates it. And he's appalled at what humans do to themselves, at how ugly they make their lives. His only consolation is distracting himself with the life story of an occasional beautiful human. That book is terrific, I highly recommend it just for its own value, but it also puts Death in a very interesting position, which is why it came to mind with this talk about La Mort.

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:08 am
by Prisoner 24653
There are quite a few non-English musicals I adore. I've been hugely into Tanz der Vampire for several years. Steve Barton's my favorite von Krolock (naturally), but I also quite like Kevin Tarte and Robert D. Marx, and liked Thomas Borchert when he was first starting out; not so much when he started getting bored with the role. And I also quite liked the Polish, Dutch, and Russian Counts I've heard. For Sarah, Lyn Liechty's my fave, though there have been others I liked a lot as well (including Jessica Kessler, Nele-Liis Vaiksoo, Marjan Shaki, and Lucy Scherer. I was sadly rather underwhelmed by the Japanese cast album and a boot of that same cast -- good lyric translations, but I found the leads generally "meh." Oh, and Steve Barton did get to play the Phantom, as well -- there are recordings. Like this one. ^_^

Elisabeth is also lovely, though I've kinda been sticking to the main songs for that one -- seriously need to sit down and watch a video with English subtitles one day. I like quite a few of the casts I've heard and/or watched clips of; in fact, I don't think I've heard a cast I disliked. And 23623, I quite like your idea of having different actresses to play the younger and older Sisi! Wonder if any company would try that. :D

Also on the Kunze/Levay track, I quite liked their Rebecca (which I don't think anyone has mentioned here yet). It's adapted from the novel by Daphne du Maurier, but in some cases, it takes more inspiration from the 1940 film. Susan Rigvava-Dumas, the original Mrs. Danvers in Vienna, is by far my favorite in the role, though I also liked Pia Douwes in the Stuttgart cast and Ock Joo-hyun in the Korean production.

I quite like Wildhorn's Dracula, though it was performed on Broadway before the German productions opened, so I'm not sure if I'd count it for this topic. (Then again, the foreign productions have been much more popular and successful than the English ones and made some pretty big improvements to the score and book.) Would definitely love to see more productions of this one. (By the way, Chris Murray has played the title role in one production of this show a couple of years ago, as well as playing Van Helsing in the St. Gallen cast in 2005.

I echo the Takarazuka appreciation! I would be quite interested in seeing them do Les Misérables someday (assuming the copyright holders allowed it). But yeah, their takes on Elisabeth, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and other shows were great fun to see. :mrgreen:

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:32 pm
by 23623
Coming back to check what I've missed :D

@Havvy: Thanks for reminding me of Rudolf! I discovered it after Elisabeth. I found a video but never watched it because, after POTO, Dracula and Rebecca, I don't think I want to watch anything in which Uwe has a role... Really sorry if you're Uwe fans but I'm probably one of the most devoted Uwe-bashers ever. Since you recommend it, I'd better try to find another cast and watch it.

@Chantefleurie: Obviously, I'm not a NDdP book geek :oops: I read it when I was in primary school but never returned to read it again. To tell the truth, I wasn't deeply impressed by the story. Probably because I was too young to comprehend it. And so glad to know that you've read The Book Thief! I went to read it (a translation) after my friend told me it was tear gas. I was shocked by the idea of Death as narrator and that he actually has feelings. But I only read part of the book because I couldn't find a complete version on the Internet then :( Well that was about 5 or 6 years ago, which might explain why R&J failed to remind me of the novel. I may re-read it in English someday...if only school assignments were not so annoying and I had more free time!

Wait what? The Russian NDdP dares to ruin Florence and Lune? Now I'm more than happy about my ignorance of Russian. In fact I only listened to an album of the English NDdP. I haven't watched it, and don't think I want to do so either.
Since I now have forgotten many details of the book, I don't think it's wise for me to comment on the faithfulness to the original, but I do love the French Frollo! In addition, he also played the pilot in the musical adaption of Le Petit Prince. That musical was rather cute and had some lovely visual effects. I kind of like it but am not crazy about it. I watched it with translation so I didn't know what the French lyrics was. I don't know if you'll like it either.
I like the actor of Phoebes because of his voice and acting but I don't pity the character himself. But I don't know how someone who knows nothing about the book will think of him after seeing the musical. Actually myself is a perfect example of being misled by musical adaptions; at first I liked Éponine so much and firmly believed that she should be with Marius...until I read the book.

I second all the Quasimodo and La Mort compliments. I felt exactly the same way when I saw Quasimodo was in fact that tall! And I totally agree with your interpretation of La Mort; seriously, she should go to Germany and teach some Der Tods how to decently play a supernatural being. I really can't express how much I adore these two because I will soon run out of adjectives. In fact I'm always running out of adjectives when I post here...which suggests that I need to concentrate on my essays and learn English.

I think the R&J revival is worth watching. There are some changes but nothing exceptionally great or bad. And your expectation of LRDM is quite funny. I watched the show with subtitles so I knew exactly what was going on, but still, the English translation is just... :roll: And did I mention Aimer last time? Another example of translation that doesn't make much sense (though I don't think the original French lyrics is really excellent, either)

BTW for French LM, personally I prefer the 1980 OFC but many others like the 1991 PRC as well. I haven't watched any French LM video either.

@Prisoner 24653 Haha I've expected that you might show up! I never thought that you would like Kevin Tarte and Thomas. Honestly I can't stand their VK (please don't feel offended, just my personal opinion). I know many people like the Russian VK (if I remember correctly his name is Ivan) but after watching two clips of him I found that I didn't like him either. By the way do you need something from Elisabeth to laugh at? Try Thomas' Lucheni. :lol:

For Sarah (cue Alfred singing :wink: ), I want to see someone with Marjan's appearance, Mina's voice and the original Sarah's acting. I think the original Sarah did a great job in acting but I don't actually like her voice. Mina's voice is more convincing as an innocent young girl. And I love Marjan because she's so cute! Well, I admit that I just love everything that is cute.

I've listened to some audios of Barton's phantom but he disappointed me a little. Nonetheless, I still believe he can be a good phantom. I have great confidence in his acting.

I count Dracula in because I think the English and German versions are different enough to be considered separately, just like TdV and ... (you know what I'm going to say :evil: ) Ahh Murray!!! Watched a clip of his Nosferatu the other day :D I want to see him as VH but I'm not so interested in him playing Dracula. Somehow I find the count a bit boring. Don't know whether it was just Thomas that made the role boring though.

Thanks for reminding me of Rebecca! I once listened to Pia singing the title song in English. I haven't seen her as Mrs. Danvers but I'd love to. I think this role suits her better than Elisabeth. She's powerful and ...intimidating (running out of adjectives again) enough to be Mrs. Danvers.

Oh my God...Takarazuka Pimpernel! My to-watch list is getting longer and longer. *Tries to imagine a female Chauvelin singing Madame Guillotine*

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:31 pm
by Acaila
Oh my goodness Takarazuka Mis! {fans self}
Though tbh they'd never get the rights I'm sure because of how they like to change musicals up to emphasise the romance and such and I can't imagine Cammack would stand for it.
Still, I'd love to see a Takarazuka confrontation for example.

I bloody love Takarazuka Pimpernel though!

Uwe doesn't have that big a part in Rudolf if I remember rightly. There is, however, plenty of delightful Drew Sarich woobying <3

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:39 pm
by deHavilland
He does play the "villain," though conceptually it's sort of man vs. self rather than man vs. man. Skipping out just because of Uwe Kroger is a big loss though, because then you lose Drew Sarich and Lisa Antoni and they're both wonderful. That's like not watching Les Mis with Philip Quast as Javert just because Alfie Boe is playing Valjean*.

*made-up example

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:37 am
by Prisoner 24653
Here's the Takarazuka Pimpernel for those who are curious . . . They added a new song for Percy at the beginning, as well.
Act 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB9ZyFGVdLs
Act 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-XpjJFGr6I

There was also a production of Wildhorn's Dracula starring Yoka Wao and Mari Hanafusa (former Takarazuka stars who had performed together in several productions including Elisabeth and Yeston/Kopit's Phantom). Wao played Dracula, yet it wasn't an all-female cast; there were still guys playing Harker, Van Helsing, Renfield, and Lucy's suitors. And interestingly, Dracula had "grooms" rather than "brides." And a new solo was added for Drac after "Zu Ende." I liked some elements of the production, but the acting was often rather nonexistent; and Wao's diction made some of her lyrics close to indecipherable for me even though I speak the language. :?
Here's a clip of the seduction scene between Drac and Mina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLYhIanVPU

I looooove the karaoke album they released for Rudolf. Mainly because I adore "Die Faden in der Hand," Uwe's main song... but with the karaoke track, I can have that song without him! :P

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:18 pm
by 23623
deHavilland wrote:Skipping out just because of Uwe Kroger is a big loss though, because then you lose Drew Sarich and Lisa Antoni and they're both wonderful. That's like not watching Les Mis with Philip Quast as Javert just because Alfie Boe is playing Valjean*.

*made-up example

Well, I heard a long time ago that there was a musical adaption of The Three Musketeers and nearly decided to give it a try yesterday...until I found Uwe was there again. My God, Germany is not short of talented actors! Why does he seem to be everywhere?
But your made-up example prompted me to (pretend that Uwe doesn't exist and) watch my Rudolf video. Will let you know my opinions when I finish :D

Acaila wrote:Though tbh they'd never get the rights I'm sure because of how they like to change musicals up to emphasise the romance and such and I can't imagine Cammack would stand for it.

Indeed, I don't like it that they focus more on (sometimes non-existent) romance. Elisabeth and Der Tod are not in love! But I forgive them for that since everything else they've done is indeed amazing :mrgreen:

Prisoner 24653 wrote:There was also a production of Wildhorn's Dracula starring Yoka Wao and Mari Hanafusa (former Takarazuka stars who had performed together in several productions including Elisabeth and Yeston/Kopit's Phantom). Wao played Dracula, yet it wasn't an all-female cast; there were still guys playing Harker, Van Helsing, Renfield, and Lucy's suitors. And interestingly, Dracula had "grooms" rather than "brides."
......
I liked some elements of the production, but the acting was often rather nonexistent; and Wao's diction made some of her lyrics close to indecipherable for me even though I speak the language.
......
I looooove the karaoke album they released for Rudolf. Mainly because I adore "Die Faden in der Hand," Uwe's main song... but with the karaoke track, I can have that song without him! :P


I was laughing hysterically while reading this. That production of Dracula deserves the title of strangest cast ever. Not that it can't be great (I have no opinion since I never watch it) -- I just find my mental image of that casting too hilarious.

*EDIT* Please prentend that the previous paragraph doesn't exist. I just watched the seduction video. I LIKE IT. A LOT. Why can these Japanese girls handle male roles effortlessly and brilliantly? And why do I always find them cooler than males in these roles? I'm quite curious what the full show is like!
And thank you very much for the Pimpernel video!

Prisoner 24653, you can speak Japanese?! You are amazing! I'm Asian myself but sadly I don't know a single word of Japanese.

And I love your last sentence! Made me lol in my classroom. *hugs Uwe-bashers*

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:29 pm
by Prisoner 24653
_23623_ wrote:Well, I heard a long time ago that there was a musical adaption of The Three Musketeers and nearly decided to give it a try yesterday...until I found Uwe was there again. My God, Germany is not short of talented actors! Why does he seem to be everywhere?
But your made-up example prompted me to (pretend that Uwe doesn't exist and) watch my Rudolf video. Will let you know my opinions when I finish :D


Heh, yeah... Uwe was getting cast in pretty much everything for a while. I know Elisabeth won him a significant fanbase, but seriously, German/Austrian casting folks? (And oh lord, his Phantom... :evil: ) Seems to have faded a bit, though; I haven't heard anything about him being cast in any shows after Rudolf. So maybe? (Though somehow, I didn't mind him as Javert in the Berlin cast of LM. Chris Murray and Christian Müller were better, but I found Uwe tolerable in that role. His Feuilly and Enjolras in the Vienna cast, on the other hand... *hides*)

*EDIT* Please prentend that the previous paragraph doesn't exist. I just watched the seduction video. I LIKE IT. A LOT. Why can these Japanese girls handle male roles effortlessly and brilliantly? And why do I always find them cooler than males in these roles? I'm quite curious what the full show is like!
And thank you very much for the Pimpernel video!

Prisoner 24653, you can speak Japanese?! You are amazing! I'm Asian myself but sadly I don't know a single word of Japanese.

And I love your last sentence! Made me lol in my classroom. *hugs Uwe-bashers*


Yeah, Takarazuka has an actors' training program where they teach their recruits from a young age -- generally, the women who are taller and have deeper voices are trained to play male roles, which they do quite excellently. I do have the full video of Dracula -- managed to download it from here: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/2RFMyeYo0Dk Also, random trivia... Yoka Wao became the third actress to perform in a show by Frank Wildhorn and end up marrying him (the first two being Linda Eder and Brandi Burkhardt).

Hehe, thank you! I'm semi-fluent in Japanese, since my mother is from Japan and taught me from an early age. :D I started a translation site for the Japanese lyrics for Phantom a while back, and then started to do LM as well... but then Weebly changed their policy and says I have too many pages there. :( So I've been looking for an alternative. Wondering if it would be better to use Wordpress, Tumblr, or something else for that. My page, as it stands now, does have a few mistakes... alas.

And woohoo! *hugs back* :mrgreen:

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:46 am
by 23623
I'm glad that I never listen to or watch anything of Uwenjolras. I don't dare to imagine. Who on Earth came up with the idea of casting him as Enjolras? Did they just consider being blond as the only prerequisite for that role? I do have a picture of him as Enjy though, which made a friend who refused to believe Enjy is handsome finally believe so. I was totally speechless about that.
Since the fact that I can't stop talking about TdV leads to this thread, I'd better shut up about Uwe now, otherwise I might start another Uwe-bashing thread somewhere in this forum...

Ahh I recognize that video sharing website! It's one of the most popular ones in China, but I don't know even foreigners are using it nowadays. Thank you for the link! Now I've got plenty of stuff to watch during holidays (which are still far far away...)

And good luck with your translation projects! :D

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:42 pm
by Chantefleurie
_23623_ wrote:@Chantefleurie: Obviously, I'm not a NDdP book geek :oops: I read it when I was in primary school but never returned to read it again. To tell the truth, I wasn't deeply impressed by the story. Probably because I was too young to comprehend it. And so glad to know that you've read The Book Thief! I went to read it (a translation) after my friend told me it was tear gas. I was shocked by the idea of Death as narrator and that he actually has feelings. But I only read part of the book because I couldn't find a complete version on the Internet then :( Well that was about 5 or 6 years ago, which might explain why R&J failed to remind me of the novel. I may re-read it in English someday...if only school assignments were not so annoying and I had more free time!


Well, this one looks complete: https://westernhs.bcps.org/UserFiles/Se ... sZusak.pdf But obviously I can't look up the Chinese version. :) Magnificent book. After you read it, you're going to start thinking in the most unlikely metaphors.

As for NDDP, I read it around grade 3 the first time, and it was a good enough story but fairly flat. But rereading in grade 12 was an absolute shock. I never realized how complex all the characters were. I couldn't think straight for weeks after reading it. It was so powerful that despite knowing the plot, each part was still a blow. There was one point especially where the book made me completely forget how it was going to turn out and pray for a different outcome. It's a really powerful book.

But to each their own - I know people who think the book isn't worth it. I just highly recommend rereading it when you're older if you've only read it as a kid.

_23623_ wrote:Wait what? The Russian NDdP dares to ruin Florence and Lune? Now I'm more than happy about my ignorance of Russian. In fact I only listened to an album of the English NDdP. I haven't watched it, and don't think I want to do so either.


Well, I'm not sure about Lune, I'm just afraid of listening to it after I looked up Florence. :oops: :P

_23623_ wrote:Since I now have forgotten many details of the book, I don't think it's wise for me to comment on the faithfulness to the original, but I do love the French Frollo! In addition, he also played the pilot in the musical adaption of Le Petit Prince. That musical was rather cute and had some lovely visual effects. I kind of like it but am not crazy about it. I watched it with translation so I didn't know what the French lyrics was. I don't know if you'll like it either.


I've seen a movie adaptation where Frollo had more depth to him, but I really like how the actor actually played Frollo, even if his lyrics were pathetic. Tu Va Me Detruire is decent enough, but Etre Pretre is a horror. I think the music makes the latter one worse.

I've seen a LPP musical with my class a couple years ago, but I'm not sure if it's the same one. It was decent enough, but once again - nothing comes close to reading the book.

_23623_ wrote:I like the actor of Phoebes because of his voice and acting but I don't pity the character himself. But I don't know how someone who knows nothing about the book will think of him after seeing the musical. Actually myself is a perfect example of being misled by musical adaptions; at first I liked Éponine so much and firmly believed that she should be with Marius...until I read the book.


I can relate to that. It took me a while to readjust Éponine in my head after I read the Brick. Took me some time to get accustomed to Marius too, but not as long.

_23623_ wrote:I second all the Quasimodo and La Mort compliments. I felt exactly the same way when I saw Quasimodo was in fact that tall! And I totally agree with your interpretation of La Mort; seriously, she should go to Germany and teach some Der Tods how to decently play a supernatural being. I really can't express how much I adore these two because I will soon run out of adjectives. In fact I'm always running out of adjectives when I post here...which suggests that I need to concentrate on my essays and learn English.


Haha! Well, they certainly are amazing beyond description, so I wouldn't blame your English. :wink:

_23623_ wrote:I think the R&J revival is worth watching. There are some changes but nothing exceptionally great or bad. And your expectation of LRDM is quite funny. I watched the show with subtitles so I knew exactly what was going on, but still, the English translation is just... :roll: And did I mention Aimer last time? Another example of translation that doesn't make much sense (though I don't think the original French lyrics is really excellent, either)


Thanks. I might look it up when I feel like a musical next time. :) I haven't seen any of the translations, though, and judging by your tone I think I'll just stick with the French. :P I watched most of it with subtitles or looked up the lyrics afterwards, which helped, but I don't think a translation would be ideal - unless there are specific songs that were done well.

I think Aimer is decent enough, partially because of the music. The lyrics are nothing special, especially Romeo's part, but I can see how this can quickly become another Belle.

Now I'm kind of curious about how they would translate Et Voila Qu'elle Aime. I'm surprised I've never heard that song outside the musical - or any song from R&J for that matter. You'd think good music would be a bit more popular.

Re: Non-English musicals?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:29 pm
by 23623
Thank you for the link, Chantefleurie! *Adds to to-read list*

More about Le Petit Prince. I love the book very much and actually have a bilingual edition of it. The main reason why I'm not crazy about its musical adaption -- don't know whether we're talking about the same thing either -- is the rose. I think it would be better if the actress were younger or even about the same age as the boy. In addition, she is supposed to be the dearest being to the Little Prince, the one he spends his time with and gives protection to, but I'm not deeply impressed by their interactions on stage. I prefer to think the flaws of the rose as part of her nature which, to some extent, makes her even more adorable, but the actress just plays her as if she were an affected, frivolous girl. :(

If you are looking for the English lyrics of R&J, you may go to this site: http://ndparis.narod.ru/eng/eugene/ridj/english.html#14
Speaking of Et Voila Qu'elle Aime...I love the song and La Nurse! Actually I think this kind of songs -- well, basically non-love songs -- make more sense than those love songs in the musical, as they each serves a different purpose and their lyrics is less repetitive. The English lyrics for that song is good enough imo, compared to some other ones.
Did I mention the instrumental music and singing last time? Beware if one day you're suddenly curious and want to give the English album a try :mrgreen:

*EDIT* So I finally finished Rudolf. It's really adorable and I like it a lot!! *Hugs Rudolf and Marie*
For me the biggest surprise was...Franz Joseph. I was a bit disappointed to find that in Elisabeth he was always a useless dumb guy. But in Rudolf he did have a brain and look like a leader (albeit a bad one). I like the bits of confrontation between father and son. When Rudolf told Franz Joseph that he was going to marry Marie, the old guy was like 'oh, young one, don't be foolish! I knew that feeling too well...when I was at the same age as you!' ... imo that was the BEST moment in the entire musical!
I don't know why I have an impression that Drewdolf=OFCMarius+Drewjolras...and this idea refuses to get out of my mind.
And Marie is making her way to my list of 'Most interesting female characters in musical theater'. :wink:
And I have to admit that Kröger was surprisingly tolerable when he wasn't singing...