Following 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.
Today 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.
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.
When 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.
Based 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 from 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.
After 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!
All right, I know I’ve been writing about this show for a while, but I figured since I’ve done two characterstudies 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
As the opening day of La Reconquista draws nearer, the cast is making more and more appearances to promote the show. At a recent event, fans finally got to hear two of the new songs and see the cast in performance: