Zu Ende

Apr. 12th, 2016 03:22 am
incandescens: (Kanzeon Bosatsu)
Spent a little while earlier looking at different productions of the Dracula musical on youtube. Quite interesting to compare the German, Korean, and Japanese versions on the "Zu Ende" number. (It's when Dracula has just been discovered with Mina, and confronts the men before fleeing.)

The Japanese version is the least physical of the three. (Not entirely surprising, given Dracula's being played by Wao Youka.) She stalks down from above as the men sing furiously below her, gestures dramatically and they're tossed aside, Bibles catching fire and crucifixes fallen, and exits dramatically. The German one is much scruffier and more physical, with people clutching their throats and being tossed around, and rolling round on the stage, and having holy water thrown on them, and so on, and ends with Mina being forced (by the men) to grab a crucifix and present it to Dracula, which causes him to retreat. The Korean one is both physical and pretty, with Dracula baring his chest to the navel (having earlier allowed Mina to drink his blood) and gesturing dramatically as the men are thrown round the stage. That one ends with Dracula about to finish off Van Helsing, but Mina throws herself in the way and he retreats.

(Sorry. That's the problem with developing a new enthusiasm/obsession. Even if it's not that brilliant a musical, it is quite entertaining. I promise to get back to more regular topics soon.)

---

With a nasty shock of surprise, Irene saw that there were what looked like police waiting. A dozen or so blue-uniformed men were checking passengers as they filed past, and behind them an entourage of men waving cameras and brandishing notebooks. “I have a bad feeling about this,” she muttered.

“It could be pure coincidence.” Kai sounded as if he was trying to convince himself, and failing. Irene would have been worried that their sudden low-voiced conversation might looks suspcicious, but fortunately – if that was the word for it – a lot of other passengers were suddenly slowing down and eyeing the waiting cops. It was a very Horatius-at-the-bridge situation, with those at the back trying to get forward, and those in the front doing their best to go back.
incandescens: (Kanzeon Bosatsu)
Spent a while this afternoon - after cleaning the oven, duty before pleasure - watching a DVD of Dracula which I'd had on the side for a while.

Ah, but this was a very interesting version of Dracula. It was a musical composed by Frank Wildhorn (also responsible for musical versions of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jekyll & Hyde), and it was the Japanese run of the musical, and it had a ex-Takarazuka actress, Wao Youka, as Dracula himself. Totally unsubtitled, but given I have some knowledge of the book, and given a summary of the plot on wikipedia, I was able to pick up what was going on.

... besides, come on, a fair number of the scenes were both somewhat iconic and rather straightforward. When Van Helsing is clutching people's sleeves and babbling about "nosferatu" there's only one way it can go.

Wao Youka was amazing. I must look for more Takarazuka stuff with her in it. The other actresses and actors (the show was otherwise on regular-gender-cast lines) were also very good. Mina was played by Hanafusa Mari, who I believe is also ex-Takarazuka and was Wao Youka's regular partner there. The two work very well together. The show in general was lots of fun, if occasionally a bit melodramatic... okay, well, what else could it be but melodramatic, but you know what I mean. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I tried looking up the English version on iTunes afterwards, as quite a lot of the music was pleasantly hummable, if not that distinguished. But I was let down - as I'd been afraid I might be - by the lyrics. They're... well, banal. Example:

I sacrifice my soul to be your bride,
I give into the feelings I can't hide...


I don't mind the first, but I draw the line at the second, and definitely at the two of them together. I ended up buying the German version of the soundtrack, which combined some excellent voices with more tracks than the English-language version (which was the original cast album). So now I can listen to it without having my attention drawn to any of the lyrics. I will be aware that the lyrics may be just as banal in German, but at least I can't understand them, so I won't know.

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