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Posts Tagged ‘musical’

3/14/2014 – New York, New York. Musical “Heathers” performing at New World Stages in New York. Photo by Chad Batka. Source: TIME

Shut up, Heather!

Sorry, Heather!

If dark comedy is more your flavor of horror/thriller than ghost stories, Heathers (1988) is on both Netflix and Hulu right now. I decided to revisit the movie after listening to the musical, which I found by chance on YouTube. Major spoilers for both the movie and musical.

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There is in existence a film in which Robert Englund (yep, Freddie) plays the iconic movie monster the Phantom of the Opera. The 1989 Phantom of the Opera is a hilarious, half 80s AU retelling that I saw on Hulu sometime in fall 2014 (doesn’t seem to be there anymore). It was the bad movie I needed and deserved.

On her series Loose Canon, film critic and producer Lindsey Ellis reviews this gem as part of a two-part discussion of Phantom, in which she dissects the character of Erik (The Phantom), as depicted in the novel and ensuing adaptations, pre- and post-Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera musical.

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Cover image for Lindsey Ellis’s Loose Canon: The Phantom of the Opera Part 1: Before Broadway [red background, features Lindsey Ellis looking to the left, thinking, and an image of Lon Chaney’s silent film version of Phantom]

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Image from Toho Stage

どんなに強く拒んでみせてもいつか俺を求める
No matter how fiercely you reject me, one day you’ll seek me out

I’ve written before about Elisabeth, my favorite musical when I saw it at the Imperial Theatre in Sept. 2010. That review was primarily a review of that run of the show and its actors since Elisabeth is an incredibly dense work with 20 years’ and multiple countries’ worth of shows; I’m convinced one could write several dissertations on any of the facets of the show, which is why I love it: it provides both the pleasure of consuming and the pleasure of producing analyses.

This year, I decided again to travel to Tokyo to see the 2012 Toho run show because, in addition to the excellent Sena Jun reprising her role as Elisabeth in a double cast with Haruno Sumire (my first Takarazuka love!), Toho brought on Hungarian actor Máté Kamarás for the role of der Tod, whom he had played in the Vienna revival run. Given my unenthusiastic feelings on Yamaguchi Yuichiro’s interpretation of the role, I was thrilled to be able to see an actor I actually knew I liked as der Tod on stage.1

Warning: this review has spoilers for Elisabeth the Musical as well as discussions of the musical’s themes of depression and suicide.

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Elisabeth the Musical
帝国劇団 (Imperial Theatre, Tokyo)
Sept. 23, 5:30 pm

Starring Sena Jun (瀬奈じゅん) as Elisabeth, Yamaguchi Yuichiro (山口祐一郎) as der Tod, Ishikawa Zen (石川 禅) as Franz Joseph, Irei Kanata (伊礼彼方) as Rudolph, Takashima Mashiro (髙嶋政宏) as Luigi Lucheni, and Kotobuki Hizuru (寿 ひずる) as Sophie.*

The Story
The musical begins in the land of the dead, in which Luigi Lucheni, an Italian anarchist, has been resurrected to explain why he murdered the Empress Elisabeth of Austro-Hungary. He replies that he’s explained over and over—un grand amore! She was in love with Death, he claims. She wanted to die! And so, to give his testimony, Lucheni resurrects the Hapsburgs to illustrate his story: Elisabeth, her husband Franz-Joseph, her son Rudolph, her mother-in-law Sophie—and the key witness: der Tod, the king of the dead. The musical follows Elisabeth’s life from the fall that sent her to the land of the dead, where der Tod falls in love with her, to her troubled marriage with Franz, to Rudolph’s revolutionary activities, and eventually, to the fall of the Hapsburg empire and Elisabeth’s assassination.

Although Elisabeth has been performed for over 20 years, those not wanting spoilers about the details of the show should stop reading here.

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