amelia_petkova: (Default)
Almost two decades later, I'm still annoyed that there's no cast recording available of the 1997 Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella with Brandy and Whitney Houston.
amelia_petkova: (lenore)
I just read a review of "Sisi", the newest novel about Empress Elisabeth by Allison Pataki. Near the beginning, the review says, "She was the Princess Diana of her time, a storied beauty who longed for more than the trappings of royalty. So why has Sisi been largely lost to history?"

Um.

The musical "Elisabeth" has been around since 1992, it's been translated into multiple languages so that it can be performed in multiple countries, and has been seen by millions of people. I wouldn't consider Sisi as being "largely lost to history".
amelia_petkova: (Labyrinth peach)
With Jacky's love of theatrics and time spent in Paris, I now desperately want an x-over with Phantom of the Opera. The ALW musical takes place in 1881, so it's too late for Jacky herself to turn up, but she and Jamie could have a grandchild who's into acting and ends up at the Opera. He or she could team up with one of Lisette's grandkids! Hijinks ensue.
amelia_petkova: (pre-raph Persephone)
For those on my f-list who aren't familiar with non-English language musicals, Tanz der Vampire is a German-language musical about--you guessed it--vampires. Despite the fact that I've never yet listened to a full recording or seen a performance, I like it a lot. (The original cast included Steve Barton as the male lead, who was also the original Raoul in Phantom of the Opera.)

Somebody put together a vid of clips from various performances with hilariously unrelated audio clips. I think my favorite might be when the vidder used that famous music bit from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's tons of fun, even if you aren't familiar with the musical. Via yukinojou, thanks for posting!
amelia_petkova: (pre-raph Persephone)
Today a co-worker told me that there are plans to make Pan's Labyrinth into a musical. I'm torn between "I guess that could work" and "WHAT THE EVERLOVING HELL". I was a tiny bit reassured to learn that Guillermo del Toro is involved, since he was the film's director. If this musical ever does get made, I'm waiting to hear about the parents who took their kids to it because "Oh, Pan like Peter Pan and musicals are all okay for children!" Ahahahahaha, NO.
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Today is Stephen Sondheim's birthday and there's a quote from him that says, "I prefer neurotic people. I like to hear rumblings beneath the surface."

I feel this explains a lot about Into the Woods.
amelia_petkova: (Sleeping Beauty icon)
The first time I ever heard of Into the Woods was attending a production at the high school where my mother works when I was about 12 (my brother who is three years younger than me was also present). Fortunately for my parents, I was a clueless kid who didn't pick up on any of the innuendo. I don't have any memories of the production itself.

A few months ago I found a CD of the original cast recording and had fun listening to it. The other day, I found out that Netflix has a movie of the original production. My mother and I had a great time watching it. As we got farther in, she thinks her school probably performed only Act 1. (In my opinion, a production of Into the Woods using only Act 1 makes as little sense as watching only the first season of Princess Tutu.)

Some other reactions:

Can't stop laughing at the the Wolf’s costume; (besides the obvious) did the actor have trouble singing around that snout?

Bernadette Peters!

The "Agony" songs will always make me laugh.

I love this musical.
amelia_petkova: (Default)
My mother and I got home from our road trip through western NY and the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania yesterday. Overall it was a good trip. The only bad part was when I hit a television while driving on the expressway. From a distance it looked like just a patch of tar and once I realized what it was, we were too close to avoid it. Fortunately, it bounced away from the car instead of going under it and I didn't cause a multi-car accident. The only damage seems to be a dented license plate, but we're having our mechanic take a look to make sure none of the TV parts got lodged up beneath the engine.

I mentioned the Carnegie Museums earlier. It's actually four museums but two of them, the museums of Natural History and Art are in connected buildings and you only have to pay one admission fee! I've been there several times but I hadn't been able to visit in at least three years. This time I spent about four blissful hours wandering around the museum and still didn't see anything. I managed to resist buying anything in the gift shops, although I almost caved in when I saw they had black and gold plushies of Bast and Anubis!

While driving, we mostly listened to CDs. We have a tradition that's been going on since I was about 8: when we're on a road trip, we listen to Phantom of the Opera, analyzing the crazy characters and the plot. We've been doing this for so long, I can't always remember what's canon and what's our own personal fanon. For your entertainment, here are some of our conclusions this time around:

spoilers behind cut )

I also have the soundtrack for Disney's Sleeping Beauty. I have many issues with Disney and their fairy tale movies, but I'm in love with the music. (Tchaikovsky fangirls, unite!) We do the same thing to this movie, although not as often. Reactions during this listening:

more spoilers! )

As my mother likes PotO, I thought "Why not?" and had her listen to Elisabeth for the first time. Neither of us knows German, but I've read enough English-language synopses to know the basic plot and I thought she'd enjoy the music. (My recording has Maya Hakvoort as Elisabeth and Mate Kamaras as Death. I also just want to say that I will be forever grateful to people on my f-list for introducing me to awesome foreign-language musicals.) It's also more of a highlights collection rather than the whole musical. I really got Mom's attention when I said, "You know that while dress they put Christine into in PotO during "Think of Me"? That's based on a dress the real Elisabeth wore!"

(I did take one semester of German when I was in college but the professor annoyed me so much that I purposefully forgot almost everything I learned. I probably would've been more invested if I had known about Elisabeth and Tanz der Vampire.)

I was able to provide a fairly good summary of what was taking place as we listened, though a few times I had to say, "[Character] is singing but I don't really have an idea of what's going on in this song." I also gave a running commentary on the historical background and what parts made it into the musical. While talking about Elisabeth's marriage, her family, and her love/hate relationship with Death, Mom asked at one point, "So is Death Rudolph's father?" I laughed really hard. I also had to say often, "Look, these people have issues."

I also want to introduce her to the German-language musical adaptation of Rebecca, because she loves the original novel and Hitchcock film. Any suggestions on websites or Youtube clips?

There were a few rough moments (aside from the near-car crash) but overall it was a good trip.
amelia_petkova: (Default)
A very nice person has posted the DVD of Dracula: Entre l'amour et la mort on YouTube. Now I finally get to see it, more than a year after buying the cast recording. The YouTube audio fizzles a bit but I'm just glad that it's finally posted!

I suppose there might be spoilers. Or for people to skip who aren't interested in French-Canadian vampires )
amelia_petkova: (Labyrinth peach)
I've been going through YouTube and bookmarking videos like it's nobody's business. Some of the goodies:

Baby Britain by Elliott Smith.
It's hard to find PotC music videos that I like, but I like this song.

Cowboy Bebop and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
What isn't good about this combination? The world needs more fun music.

And to feed my musicals fixation:

Totale Finsternis with the original Tanz der Vampire cast
Silly me, for not trying to see Tanz when I was in Europe. But I got to visit Wales so it's all good.

An Elisabeth music video with the song Dark Waltz by Hayley Westenra
I found this one today. Watched it several times and it still gives me chills.
amelia_petkova: (Labyrinth peach)
Y'know, I'm almost willing to make a bet that I can get my mother hooked on German-language musicals. We're Phantom of the Opera fans/phans, and I've already told her that Steve Barton (the original Raoul; silly character but great voice) was in a musical in German. She likes musicals. I just need to remember to have her watch clips of Tanz der Vampire on YouTube. And mention that it's about vampires.

I've just told her that Rebecca was made into a musical. (I didn't learn about this until recently, though I've read the book by Daphne DuMaurier and seen the Hitchcock movie. I haven't gotten around to listening to the musical yet, partly because I don't love Uwe Kroger.) Still waiting on her reaction.

Now I just have to explain fan fiction.

This is going to be fun.
amelia_petkova: (lenore)
Some odds 'n' ends to mention.

I'm still surprised at how quickly the news is spreading that J.K. Rowling said Dumbledore is gay. (If nothing else, this proves how powerful the Net is.) The HP books aren't my favorite, but I've been laughing my head off all day.

It seems fitting that I heard this after going to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show last night. My school's performing it and they're doing great. The actors for Janet, the Crimonologist, and Dr. Frank 'n' Furter are my favorites. Rocky was very nearly naked; I thought my eyes were going to fall out. I'm very impressed at how well all the guys walked in heels.

Oh yeah, my parents came to this! I didn't sit with them, of course.

The only thing that's even better (for me) than the Dumbledore announcement is The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, retold by lolcats. I love those cats so damn much.

(goes off to laugh some more)
amelia_petkova: (Sleeping Beauty icon)
This semester, my college is performing Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dracula AND the opera Hansel and Gretel. (You heard me, there's a children's opera for Hansel and Gretel. One of my friends will be playing a gingerbread woman!) How can you not enjoy this?
amelia_petkova: (lenore)
I'd forgotten this incident until a couple minutes ago.

When my parents and brother were visiting me in Spain, we went into Valencia's Museum of Fine Arts, which contains a lot of religious artwork. (I was most surprised by an image of the Virgin and Jesus that I hadn't seen before: a very well-endowed Mary, breast-feeding baby Jesus. I was never told about that icon when I was attending Catholic elementary school!)

Mom calls me over to one painting. As many words in Spanish are similar to words in English, she was able to mostly translate the title of a painting. It reads something like, "St. Augustine and the Visition from the Angel of Music."

Mom: I've got this translation right?
Me: And you've never taken Spanish, too!
Mom: So...the saint was visited by the Phantom of the Opera?
Me: It would seem so.

And who says religion is without humor?
amelia_petkova: (Default)
This will be amusing for the musicals people on my friends list; everyone else probably won't care.

So yesterday morning I'm poking around through one of the markets, and come across a stand with various movies. I know I won't buy anything, but I'm looking through them anyway. All of a sudden, "Huh? Did I just see'Sissi?'" It was an old animated movie about Elisabeth of the musical with the same title! I didn't have much time, so all I could glimpse from the Spanish on the back of the VHS cover were the phrases "Max," "unhappy with Franz Joseph...goes off looking for love, etc." I'm sure there was some other entertaining though very inaccurate plot included, but I didn't catch it. And what was my first thought upon seeing the cover? "Damn it, she's not kissing Death!"

So far IMDB hasn't been any help on finding information about this, but I'm far too amused to give up so easily.
amelia_petkova: (Default)
I don´t know how this came about in my mind, but I started thinking about Death from Elisabeth and Frida Kahlo. Frida had so much death-related imagery in her work and so much of it connected to her life, and according to Elisabeth canon, Death turns up to meddle whenever anything related to his "job" happens. Now I have this amusing mental image of Frida Kahlo recovering from one of her many operations and pretty-boy Death turns up, which makes Frida go, "Wait a minute--you mean to tell me that Death is a gringo ? Oh, hell no!" Death is now spluttering because he´s confused and Frida threw tequila at him.
amelia_petkova: (Default)
These following things:

--being at home on vacation
--being the only person in the house, therefore
--having the computer to myself

mean that I'm currently playing clips of "Totale Finsternis" and "Die unstillbare Gier" from Tanz der Vampire on YouTube very loudly. (GRIN)
amelia_petkova: (Default)
"There is a king of drawn-out music in Russian speech that comes from the great distances of the Russian steppes. This cello-like note resounds in the lengths of our names--in our surnames and patronymics. Language is the music of thought; it is what our ancestors called the soul....Russian is especially suited to the transmission of psychological states; the mood landscapes that it can evoke are unique and untranslatable."
--Andrei Voznesensky

This quote comes from a brief biography about Voznesensky in an anthology of poetry. When I read it, all I could do was stare and let the words settle in my mind. I think this is a wonderful and accurate description of how a language and its people are connected. Myself, I speak only one or two words of Russian but I know a bit more Bulgarian and I've been told those two languages are very similar. I have also taken French and German (remembering only a tiny bit), and am now studying Spanish, hoping to become fluent. My question is: How would you describe your language or any others you know? How do you feel your language?

Last night I had Molly's company all to myself as we did laundry and hung out. I played Elisabeth and Dracula for her, since I had been babbling about them for so long. Of course, this included my explaining the plot of Elisabeth and how Death is a character not based on Sisi's history (as far as we know!) and that yes, it is actually Death. Which leads to Death and Sisi's relationship. I'm afraid I weirded her out a great deal by explanining how Sisi and Franz Joseph were cousins, interactions with Death, and how Rudolf killed his mistress before committing suicide. I didn't even mention the slash possibilities between Death and Rudolf. (Molly, if you're reading this...now you know!)

I talked less during Dracula , as I haven't found a detailed description of the musical or lyric translations. This is driving me crazy. I'm a book junkie and English major--I have to know how stories end! I can guess at a few things that happen during the performance from reading the translations of characters' bios, but I'm dying to know how it all ends! Anybody out there who speaks French and would be kind enough to translate?
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Ahh, this long weekend away from school was exactly what I needed. I got to relax at home, enjoy lovely weather, go places in a car, eat a pomegranate, henna my hair, and when I got back...

MY CDS HAD ARRIVED!!!!!!

You are now reading the Livejournal of the gleeful owner of Dracula: Entre l'amour et la mort and Elisabeth. It will be very hard not listening to the CDs when I'm in classes. But now I have the kick-ass music! Also, this weekend I bought The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova in paperback! (Lots of exclamation points in this entry, no?) I think it's safe to say that my supernatural cravings have been satisfied for this Halloween season. Now I just have to come up with a Halloween costume. It has to be something I can wear to class, seeing as how the holiday is on a Tuesday this year.

Success!

Sep. 25th, 2006 04:22 pm
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Molly is the best!!! She helped me figure out what I did wrong on the Sound of Music ordering form and was able to help me fix it. Now I've ordered Elisabeth (the Wien cast) and Dracula. Now I just have to wait for them to come in. (sits in front of the mailbox and Stares)

Just in case you didn't catch it: Molly rocks my socks.

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