Theatre Thursdays: Sailor Moon Musical 2014

Sera Myu Petite Etrangere CastFollowing the success of last summer’s La Reconquista, Sailor Moon will once again take to the stage in an all new musical production. This summer’s presentation is titled Petite Étrangere (“Little Stranger”) and will focus on the Black Moon arc of the manga, which makes up the latter portion of the anime’s second season. The majority of the La Reconquista cast has been confirmed to return. So far the only replacement is Koyama Momoyo, who’s stepping into the role of Sailor Mercury in place of Matsuura Miyabi.

Personally, this news makes me very excited. For starters, the fact that Yamato Yuuga is returning as Tuxedo Mask implies that this will be another all-female cast, which is great. Additionally, I am anxious to see how the cast has improved now that they’ve had so much experience working together and being on stage.

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Theatre Thursdays: The LotR musical lives again!

Lord_of_the_Rings_musical_logoToday I have exciting news! The musical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings will soon play again! If you haven’t heard of this musical, I understand. It premiered for previews in Toronto in 2007, was edited and moved to London where it ran for a shaky year, and hasn’t really been talked about since then.

I was very interested in seeing this show, but since it never came to America I was unable to do so. As such, I was ecstatic when broke the news that the show will be launching a world tour in 2015!

There aren’t many details just yet, but according to the article, the show will be re-worked to accommodate various theaters. This is somewhat disappointing because the incredible stagecraft of the original was one of the main draws for me.

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Protip: Check out international musical theatre.

Rebecca das MusicalWhen one thinks of musical theatre, it’s easy to have a myopic focus on Broadway. After all, it is held as the pinnacle of the art form, and in American culture, the name is used interchangeably with “musical” (ie: people will refer to themselves as “Broadway fans” just as quickly as “musical fans”; someone might say he saw a “Broadway” show in Cleveland; etc.). Many fans will also know of London’s West End as well, as it’s a similarly prolific producer of musicals and there is such a frequent exchange of shows between the two.

What many fans may not realize, however, is that there is a whole wide world of musical theatre ready to be explored.

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Theatre Thursdays: Rebecca The Musical

Rebecca the Musical- Broadway LogoBased on the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name, the German musical Rebecca tells the dark tale of an unnamed young woman (referred to simply as “Ich” meaning “I” or “Me”) who marries a man she meets while on holiday. Upon returning to his stately home, Manderley, she finds the oppressive memory of his recently deceased wife, Rebecca, everywhere. Though most of the staff treat her with respect and are pleased that she is less demanding than the former Mrs. de Winter, the imposing Mrs. Danvers, Rebecca’s former employee and confidant, is always reminding the main character that Rebecca’s drowning does not change the fact that the house belongs to her and always will.

Mrs. Danvers, as we quickly learn, is devoted to Rebecca even after death and has kept Manderley in the exact state it was in when Rebecca was still living. Mrs. Danvers doesn’t simply inform the new Mrs. de Winter that she cannot live up to her predecessor; she insists that Manderley itself still calls for Rebecca and that her return Rebecca- Tytti Vanska and Kati Solehmainenfrom the misty realm of the dead is a certainty. Despite our main character’s insistence that the dead have no way of affecting the living, she is clearly unnerved by Mrs. Danvers’s unshakable belief in Rebecca’s presence. Mrs. Danvers may not be wrong in this belief, as Mrs. de Winter notices that her new husband seems preoccupied with his late wife and that every room in the house holds more than an echo of its previous owner.

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Review: La Reconquista

Sailor Moon- La Reconquista- PosterAfter months of anticipation I finally got to view the new Sera Myu, La Reconquista. Though the official DVD is not yet available for purchase, it was possible to buy a “net ticket” and watch a streamed performance. These net tickets were only available to Japanese viewers, but thankfully various fans were able to work together to record the stream and subtitle it. Full credit to those involved, as well as the video download, can be found here.

So, what were my opinions? They are to be found under the cut!

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Theatre Thursdays: Notre-Dame de Paris in English

All right, I know I’ve been writing about this show for a while, but I figured since I’ve done two character studies I may as well go all out and just discuss the show as a whole and how it has been received in different parts of the world. Since the production was such a success in France, it was quickly translated into English for productions to be mounted in Las Vegas and London’s West End. Neither production came close to replicating the success of the original, and there are various possible reasons for this. I’m going to look at what I feel to be the most likely of these reasons

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Who is ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ and what makes her so special?

So there’s this musical I’m currently obsessed with, and it goes by the name of Notre Dame de Paris. This musical, based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, opened in Paris in 1998 and took France by storm–quite a surprise for a country in which musical theatre is not a popular medium. Though the story is better known to English-speaking audiences as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the title actually translates to “Our Lady of Paris” and can be interpreted with a double meaning. It refers to the famous cathedral of the same name which is dedicated to the Blessed Mother and is the setting of the novel, and it can also refer to the character of Esmeralda, who exists at the center of the story.

NotreDamedeParis-HeleneSegara-EsmeraldaThe reason I say Esmeralda “exists at the center of the story” rather than calling her the central character of the story is because she is more of an object than a character. As the title implies, she is important to the story because the men around her feel possessive of her (“Our Lady of Paris”) and though she does have some amount of agency in the musical, most of her time on stage consists of things happening to her, rather than her making things happen.

[Warning: Spoilers for a nearly 200 year-old story ahead]

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In the name of the Myu, I will educate you!

AKA, “The Sera Myu Info Post”.

Since the Sailor Moon Musicals are coming back, I’m sure there are going to be new fans looking to get into them. As they have such an extensive history, however, this can be daunting so I thought I’d give an introduction to this wonderful incarnation of the Sailor Moon story.

I promise to be as coherent as I can, but even with all the restraint I possess I may just end up fanboying all over this post.

Sera Myu- Original CastFor starters, where do we get the title “Sera Myu”? It literally just comes from the term “Sailormoon Musical”, which in Japanese is pronounced “Seramuun Myuujikaru”, which fans have shortened to the term Sera Myu. Since the title of the series is usually written as one word (セーラームーン: Sailormoon) in Japanese, this term can be written either with or without the space between the two words. I usually put the space in since I’m used to the English standard of breaking the title into two words.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the musicals began in 1993 and were meant to end in 1997 when the anime concluded airing, as most anime musicals do. The shows experienced unprecedented success, however, and continued to produce 2–3 musicals each year before finally going on hiatus in 2005. These 2–3 shows usually consisted of one new musical, a revised version of that same musical (known as a “Kaiteiban”), and sometimes a special show like a concert or revue.

Since they ran for so long and mounted so many shows, the musicals are grouped into different “Stages” for organization purposes. The shows are officially divided into three stages, but most fans group the shows into four stages; one for each of the four actresses to play Sailor Moon over the course of the shows: Ohyama Anza (now known simply as ANZA), Hara Fumina, Kanbe Miyuki, and Kuroki Marina. By breaking down the Myu this way, they look like this:

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Sailor Moon Musicals Are Back!

Okay you guys, my computer was broken for about a week and a half at the beginning of June so I’ve been catching myself up on what I’ve missed out on in that time. Of course I ended up missing out on some of the most exciting news of the year:

Translation by Miss Dream

Translation by Miss Dream

I mean, do you understand? Do you understand? The Sailor Moon Musical will once again be a thing that exists, not just on YouTube and in crazily expensive memorabilia shipped in from overseas, but as actual live theatre! I just can’t even compose myself right now.

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