maanantai 30. maaliskuuta 2020

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tampereen Teatteri, 12.3.2020

I saw the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame and I loved it. The singing was great, as was the orchestra and the chorus. This was my first time in Tampereen Teatteri, and I was pleasantly surprised how good the theather was. It was smaller that I thought, but because of that I was quite close the stage and I liked that. My only complain would be that there was a spot in the stage that I could not see to, but it was okay, since the characters spent so little time there.
Petrus Kähkönen was Quasimodo in the show, and he left me with mixed feelings. I did not like him as Alfred in the Finnish version of Tanz der Vampire, and even though he was better cast as Quasimodo, I felt that he over-acted. But Quasimodo is quite difficult part to play and he has a nice singing voice, so I left liking him.
My favorite was Josefin Silén, who played Esmeralda. She was just amazing, her singing was great and her acting as well was superb. Her version of God Help the Outcasts became easily my favorite version of the song. I did not mention it yet, but the translation was new. I grew up with the Disney version, so the new words were confusing at the beginning, but I got used to them quickly. I liked the new translation of God Help the Outcasts, and Bells of Notre Dame was translated well too.
Ilkka Hämäläinen played Frollo, and he also left me with mixed feelings. He lacked power I thought Frollo should have, and times to times his singing was not that great. But I still liked him, and one of my favorite scenes was Hellfire that he sung. The translation of the song was pretty bad, the original  definitely has more power, but the way he carried a giant cross and then whipped himself was just amazing.
I also liked Lari Halme as Phoebus, Antti Lang as Clopin and Risto Korhonen as narrator. They all acted and sung well, especially Antti Lang's version of  Court of Miracles.
The sets were amazing, as the stage had bells above it, and chorus was masked to be stone statues.
The chorus was one of the best things in the musical, it was powerful and they sang high notes, but sometimes the chorus overpowered the main casts voices and I could not hear what they said.
The show I saw was the last one, since Finland has banned gatherings of over 500 people because of the Coronavirus. I had tickets for May, but unfortunately cannot see the show again. Overall I really liked the musical, and would have gladly watched it again. 

Some pictures I took from the program. The program had lots of text from the musical and some very nice pictures. Unfortunately the program is in Finnish, so not everyone can read that. The program cost 8 euro, which was a nice cost for a program of this quality.

perjantai 28. helmikuuta 2020

Babymetal, Kulttuuritalo, 26.2.2020

I finally saw Babymetal and it was a very good show. I heard of Babymetal first time back in 2013, when they released their song Gimme chocolate!!.  Back then I did not like their music, but when they got famous, they started to make more serious songs. Their song Megitsune is one of my favorite metal songs of all time.  
My friend Melina came to my house and she gave me a ride to the show. We had a lot of fun in the concert, and we both enjoyed the show. Yui-metal (Yui Mizuno) had left the band, but when I saw the show live, I did not miss her. The other girl, who's name I don't know, danced and sung well. 
They started with DA DA DANCE, which is one my favorites from the band.  They also had a very nice screen behind them, which showed all kinds of things, from obscure shapes to singer of Sabaton during the song Oh! MAJINAI.
If I have to give a little bit of criticism, I have to say that Su-metal (Suzuka Nakamoto) did not sing that well. Her singing was not bad, but I have seen her singing better live. But the band was amazing, and their dancing was fun to watch.
They played many of their good songs, including Karate, Starlight, PA PA PAPAYARoad of Resistance and Headbangeeeerrrr!!!!. Megitsune was my favorite, and Gimme chocolate!! was pretty catchy live.

 My look during the show.

A video of Megitsune that I filmed.

A video of Gimme chocolate!! that I filmed.

 Live version of DA DA DANCE.

Live version of Road of Resistance.

 I did not mean to buy anything, but since Melina also bought this shirt, I wanted it too. It cost me 35 euro, and even though it's not the best quality it has a very nice print in it, and I like its colors and the picture of the fox.

perjantai 14. helmikuuta 2020

My thoughts about Cats the Musical

I decided to compare the music of stage version of Cats and the 2019 film.
I saw the movie and I'm not sure if I liked it a lot. For most part it was okay, not good or not as bad as the reviews say. Some scenes, like Grizabella the Glamour Cat, Old Deuteronomy and Jellicle songs for Jellicle Cats were executed pretty well. I wanted to make this post to compare the songs from the musical and the movie. Unfortunately not all songs from the movie are published, so I cannot link a video from those. I've previously talked about Cats, you can read it here.

 Let's start with the opening song, Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. This was made pretty well in the movie. The singing is not that great, and I don't like how foolish they made Mr. Mistoffelees, but overall I liked this song, especially the disco beat at the end. The chorus was not perfect, but still pretty good.

 The movie version.
First part of the stage version.

Second part.

I personally prefer this version. The singing is so much better, and the dancing as well. The costumes are made from fabric and not from CGI, which did not bother me, but this still looks a lot better. I still like the movie version, but this version will always be the superior one for me.

Then we come to the scene I hated the most in the movie. Old Gumbie Cat is a very fun and nice song in the musical, and the movie just murdered it. Rebel Wilson cannot sing at all, and the cockroaches and the mice looked pretty disturbing - and her eating the cockroaches, ugh. The movie also completely skipped the tap dancing part, which is the best part of the song. The only positive thing I can say about this scene is that Robbie Fairchild at least sounds pretty good here.

The movie version.

 The stage version.

This version, once again, is superior to the movie. Michael Gruber is an excellent singer, and his Munkustrap is fun to watch. Susie McKenna is a way better singer and performer. Also this scene has the tap dancing scene, which is one my favorites from the musical.

 The next scene is not one of my favorites in either the musical or the film. That of course is Bustopher Jones. Even though I liked the song's melody, the whole scene seemed a bit silly for me.

The movie version.

 The stage version.

This version is one of the few scenes that are comparable to the musical version. Even though I did not like what was happening in the screen, I have to say, James Corden is one of those few people in the whole movie that could actually sing. 

The next song is Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. Their scene in the musical is one of my favorites, as it is fun and the melody is great. I also love the double cartwheel they do in the end. The movie version used the melody from the original London production, which was little bit confusing, since the new melody is a lot better. The scene itself was okay, even though it was just Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer messing with Victoria.

The movie version.

The stage version.

Like I said in the beginning, Old Deuteronomy is one my favorite scenes in the movie. The melody is just beautiful, and the chorus was just beautiful and when I watched this in the theather I actually sung with it. The only part of this song I don't like is Judi Dench's singing, as she is not that great.

The movie version.

The stage version.

Even though I liked the movie version of this song, the stage version is just perfect. The chorus sounds angelic, and the singing by Munkustrap and Rum Tum Tugger is just beautiful.

Mr Mistoffelees is one of my favorite songs from the musical, and even though I liked the movie version, I did not like how insecure and clumsy they made Mr Mistoffelees. But I did like how Mr Mistoffelees sung his own song, in the musical that is usually sung by Rum Tum Tugger.

The movie version.

  The first part of the stage version.

The second part.

I really like the musical version of Misto, even though he does not sing himself. If you ever manage see Cats live, you will see over 20 a la seconde turns from Mr Mistoffelees, which was unfortunately cut from the stage production movie. 

Now we go to my favorite scene from the movie, Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat. This scene was extremely well made, even though ballet dancer Steven MacRae was asked to tap dance. The scenery of this scene was just great and I love the energy that this song was done with.

The stage version, part one.

The second part.

This scene is one of my favorites in the musical, and even though I enjoyed the movie version, I find this version better. The singing is better and the scene is more fun, even though the movie version is fun as well. 

Then we come to my second least favorite scene in the movie, Macavity. I absolutely loved the stage version, the strong singing, the background music, the dancing, everything. I hated the movie version. I'm not saying that Taylor Swift is a bad singer, but she sung badly here. The song is supposed the to be sung with power, and her way almost whisper the song did not please my ears.

The movie version.

Part one of the stage version.

The second part. This is my favorite scene in the whole musical.

I did not like the movie version of Rum Tum Tugger. I did not think that Jason Derulo is the best person to play him, but at least the song isn't rap. Rum Tum Tugger is supposed to be a sexy cat, and the movie did not execute that very well.  

The movie version.

The stage version.

John Patridge's Rum Tum Tugger was a lot better version, his singing was better and I still love how he moves his hips. 

Now we'll see the last song on my list, Memory. This is the most well known song from the musical, and for a reason, it is so beautiful. I absolutely loved Elaine Paige's version, but this is the only song that I need to link someone who is not from the 1998 recording, Betty Buckley. Her version of Memory is just so powerful, that it gives me goosebumps. I did not think that Memory suited Jennifer Hudson's voice that well, but turns out she was only one of the musical who could actually sing. I liked her version of the song, even though I did not like how she cried throughout the whole song. 

The movie version.

 Elaine Paige's version.

Betty Buckley's version. 

I hope you liked this comparison between the musical and the movie, and thanks for reading. :)

torstai 16. tammikuuta 2020

Cats the Musical, Hartwall Arena, 21.-22.10.2017

This is a translated version of this.
I saw Cats the musical live in 2017, and though it's been three years, I still remember the show with great warmth. I absolutely loved the West End production what came to Finland. I wrote about it back then, but as I did not wrote in English, I decided to translate what I said about it back then.
At Saturday I got  a seat from the upper row. It was far away from the stage but I saw the group dances very well, and there was a screen that I could watch when I needed to see the cats faces. 
At Sunday I got a better seat from front of the stage. This time I was not alone, as my mother was with me. 
From the Overture and Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats I got massive hit of euphoria. The orchestra played perfectly, chorus was amazing and from the group dancing I could see that the performers could really dance. I've watched the DVD so many times that I know the dance numbers and what cat sings what part from memory, and it was interesting to see that the musical had changed in 20 years. 
Choreography was pretty much the same, but some of the dance movements were done by different cats and the singers were partly different from the DVD.

The only thing I did not like from the musical was that Old Gumbie Cat's stepping music was changed. I tried to look for a video about it, is this an old thing I was not aware of, but could not find anything. The music was not same as the DVD or the soundtracks that I own, so I was little bit confused about it.

Rum Tum Tugger had an excellent actor this time (John Brannoch). He played Tugger amazingly, the sung his title track right. His movements were fun to watch, and he was a pretty good singer. This time Tugger had his original look, as few years ago there was a trailer where he got extremely bad look. Funnily both show's had the same flaw, as the microphones stopped working for few seconds during Tugger's song. It was also interesting to see, that the transition from Rum Tum Tugger to Grizabella the Glamour Cat works just as badly live as it works when recorded.

One of my favourite scenes from the musical belongs to Mungojerrie (Joe Henry) and Rumpelteazer (Meg Astin). Their song has a very fun melody and they perform an amazing dance. The double cartwheel is one of my favorite parts of the musical, which I'm never tired of. 

Scenery from the musical. Sorry for the bad quality, my phone's camera does not work well in the dark.

Old Deuteronomy has never been my favorite part from the musical, but when I heard it live I really liked it. The melody of the song is really beautiful and the cat chorus sounded angelic.
There were some changes of the songs, some of the songs were shorter and the Gus the Theatre Cat scene was made longer. Gus also sung Munkustrap's part from The Awful Battle of Pekes and Pollicles. I was not sure if I liked it, since Munkustrap one of my favorites and Gus is not.

Macavity and Mister Mistoffelees are both one of my favorite scenes of the musical, and they were done really well. Mistoffelees (Robbie McMillan) was  casted very well and did over 30 a la seconde turns which I watched both times mouth open and I dare to dream that I will do even 10 foettes which will never happen 
Macavity is one of my favorite numbers from the musical and I fell in love with Bombalurina (Charlie Johnson) a who danced her sexy moves perfectly and and was just amazing. The same could not be said about Demeter (Agnes Pure). Demeter is one of my favorites from the musical, and this version of Demeter was not very good. In all its simplicity she could not sing. Her voice was hoarse, weak and nothing like musical of this scale should have. She danced well, but I still did not like her. 
Memory is the most known song from the musical, and Joanna Ampil sung it well. She sung it so well and I had goosebumps.  Even though  I loved this version of Grizabella, I felt like Joanna Ampil was little bit too young for the role, but that's probably just me. 

Joanna Ampil's version of Memory.

Munkustrap was not played by Matt Krzan, but understudy Robin Lake. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of understudies, I liked his version of Munkustrap. Munkustrap is the protector of the tribe and the second highest of the hierarchy, usually the character has authority, but this version of Munkustrap was very relaxed and soft, but commanded the cats. I've always liked this character and I like that different actors make different interpretations. 

I'm ashamed to admit, but when Journey to the Heaviside Layer came, I sung with it. The musical is so captivating and I know it from memory, that I just had to. 

At Sunday I watched the show with my mother, and at the end we stayed listening the orchestral music. They of course played an instrumental version of Memory. I wanted to sing it, but could not remember the words, and my mother said I should learn the song, since it would fit my voice so well. :D

At Hartwall Arena there was a lot things on sale. For example there was the flyer program, Broadway recording from 1982, and the poetry book what the musical is based on. The flyer program costed 15 euro, and was better quality what most flyer programs are. The program had many beautiful pictures, description of the plot of the musical, and an interview from Andrew Llyod Webber. 

sunnuntai 8. joulukuuta 2019

Berlin & Cologne, Germany, 29.4.-3.5.2018

This is a translated version of this this.
My family had planned for a while a trip to Germany. My father have visited Germany a few times, and my mother had never been there. I had visited Germany once, and really loved it. 
Flight left at 7:50 AM, so I knew, if I took my sleeping medication I would miss the flight, so I decided to be awake the night. We arrived at the airport at 6 AM, and it was surprisingly easy. My contact lenses had 12 hours of use time, so I could not wear them the whole day. That meant that I had to arrive to the airport without my false lashes, as they did not fit behind my glasses. It was awful, I look horrible without false lashes, but I survived. Next time I'm going to wear contact lenses that can be worn for 24 hours. 

The flight itself was easy, only about two hour of flight. We were at 10 AM at Berlin, and went to the hotel right away. At the hotel I changed my clothes, I had been planning that my father would photograph me. I changed into my corset, miniskirt, Demonia's Charade 100 shoes and stay-ups. Unfortunately my father hadn't gotten any pictures that I would have liked to post to the Internet, and I did not get any selfies that I was satisfied with, so unfortunately you will get no pictures of me that time. 
The same thing that happened last time happened again - people wanted to get pictures with me. :D 
They were so fast that I could not count how many there were, but about ten people wanted to get a picture with me. I also get multiple comments how tall I was, which was funny.

Saturday passed pretty much of us walking around, but I was so tired from the night, so I could not walk a lot. I had visited most of the attractions of Berlin, and I saw new things. We visited Brandenburg Gate, and it was still really great looking. 

The next day we went to a boat ride, and saw a lot of Berlin's attractions. The same thing that happened last time happened again - everyone around me was German. At the ride the announcements were in German and in English, but we sat at the middle of the boat so we could not hear anything.  We saw a lot of attractions, much more than at the bus ride I was in the last time I visited Berlin.

After the boat ride we went for shopping, but only shops at the city center were expensive specialized shops. Unlike in Finland, there are no shopping malls at the city center, and we did not want to get on a bus since my father did not know where malls are. 

Some picture I took front of cathedral. 

The Cologne Cathedral is beautiful. 

The third day was the departure for Cologne. The train travel was interesting, since the train was hour and half late. So the trip lasted for five and half hours instead of four. I was in the hotel for a while, until it was the time to see Tanz der Vampire, my reason to go to Germany. I heard about Tanz when Seinäjoki here in Finland had it's own production. My mother was reading about a review about the musical, and the review said "goth musical". Because words "goth musical" hit Trixena 14 years old very strongly, I demanded to see the musical. By just luck we got places from the first row, and the experience was just amazing - I still remember how in Finale one of the vampires invited me to the stage and how the dancers seemed to dance right in front of me.
At the first Cologne show I sat at the third row, on the side of the stage. Pretty good place, I saw and heard everything well. Actors were Pamina Lenn as Sarah, David Ansperger as von Krolock, Tom van der Ven as Alfred, Victor Petersen as professor Abronsius, Sara Jane Checchi as Madga and Christian Funk as Herbert. The casting was same the next say, but Sarah was played by Maureen Mac Gillavry
The musical itself was great, and I was not irritated at all that the journey to Cologne had been so long. The orchestra was tremendous, the musical was visually beautiful and imposing, great chorus, great actors. I noticed that both of the Sarah's holded back their voices, and started singing properly at Draussen ist Freiheit. I don't know if they were asked to do so, since they both had pretty nice voices. Both of the Sarah's could sing, but Maureen Mac Gillavry sung a lot better.  
The only thing I was disappointed of the musical was Alfred. Alfred is one of the main characters of the musical, and usually he has a good singer to perform him. Tom van der Ven was not a very good singer and was not at the level Germany's Alfred usually is. I still liked him, he looked young enough and he acted well. 
As my favorite - surprise surprise - was David Ansperger's von Krolock. I did not know him as an actor and I did not know what he sounded like, but his version Unstillbare Gier gave me goose bumps. His versions of Unstillbare Gier and Totale Finsternis were just amazing. 
I liked both of the Sarah's, but I liked Maureen Max Gillavry more. She sings very beautifully. 
I was surprised when Sara Jane Checchi was a soprano. I had never heard Madga as a soprano, and  it sounded really good. That's the reason why she sang Tot ist zu sein Komisch bit higher than usual.  She sung better than both of the actors for Sarah, which was bit strange, considering that Madga is a lot smaller role. 
I also liked Christian Funk's Herbert, because his Herbert was bit different what I have seen in Germany. Germany's Herberts are usually bit nice for a vampire. Funk's Herbert was a little bit scarier and dominant that I'm used for Germany's Herberts, and he got an awesome voice (listen Christian Funk's cover for Unstillbare Gier, you will not be disappointed). 

The musical itself was pretty much the same as the DVD. Tanz der Vampire was revised in 2000, and and since it has been the same, except I noticed that some of the background vampires have different outfits. I found odd that when performed live things happen very fast, and if I did not know the musical from memory I would have trouble to keep up with the musical. 
Also both show's had scenes, where it seemed like the actors could not hear the music and sung "guessing". Parts like this was with both of the show's, so that was bit confusing. 
Even though I've watched the DVD and bootlegs multiple times, listened all four German recordings, the musical was really a different experience when live. The musical comes to Berlin again in few years, and I have to see it again. 
At the end I have to tell you what happened during Draussen is Freiheit Reprise. I was sitting at corridor seat, and during the song Sarah and Alfred run through the corridor. Alfred's coat hit me in the face :DDD That was an experience. So thanks Tom <3 

Poster was so nice, so I had to take a picture. 

All the programs I have. On the top there's Seinäjoki's program, then there's Cologne's program and then Helsinki's program. 

The CD's I own. First four are from Austria, and then there are Russia's and Belgium's recordings. I started to collect these, I'm still missing recordings from Hungary, Japan and Poland.

In Cologne's theater there was a mug for sale, but I did not like it. So I decided to buy this one instead. There are three different Tanz der Vampire mugs far as I know, and I liked this one the best.

I'm going to see Tanz der Vampire again but this time in Denmark. I'm going there in March to see their version. Super excited, and looking forward to see it and write about it.

Bonus pictures:

Here are some of the pictures I forgot to add to the original post.

tiistai 10. syyskuuta 2019

Tracon, 7.-8.9.2019

Tracon was once again and it is still the best con in Finland. Tracon is located in Tampere, which is a nice city to have a con. It is not far away from where I live, and the hotels and railway station is near the place the con is held, Tampere Hall. Tracon is also the biggest con in Finland and viewed to be the best con here. I totally agree to that statement - even though Desucon is a nice con, Sibelius Hall is kind of far away from everything and there are no grocery stores nearby than just one, which is always sold out during the con time. There are also no other eat than Kotipizza, which is always full. But back to Tracon. This time I did not have to go there by train, because my friend Tiia asked me if I wanted a ride to the con. The person who took me there is called Karudoge, and he was super nice. He had his phone connected to his car so we could listen music from Spotify. We listened Rammstein half of the journey, which was super fun, and it was probably educational for him, since he only knew two songs from the band, Du Hast and Amerika. We arrived to Tampere in Friday even though the con started at Saturday, and I slept the first night at my friend's house. My friend is called Taru and she is super nice. She and her boyfriend helped with my corset, which I had no time to test before the con. I was really tired from Friday, so I woke up later than I wanted - I woke up at 12 PM. At 4 PM I was at the con, so I was little bit late from what I imagined to be there. There were some lectures at the morning, but they were so early I did not even try to go to them. Saturday did not have any lectures that I really wanted to see, so I pretty much just hanged there. I went to see the counter hall, and for once, I bought more than one thing. I'm not really a shopper in cons, and I usually buy just one thing or nothing. I bought a headdress from Restyle, a second hand figure and a handbag from Banned. I saw the handbag first in Desucon, I but did not buy it, since the size is bit strange to me - I usually wear big handbags normally and small handbags when I'm in bars and parties. The handbag from Banned is middle sized - it is not as big as my everyday bags but bigger than the bags I wear to clubs. But I hope I find a place to wear it. I also saw a beautiful wallet there, but as I do not need a new wallet I did not buy it. At the evening I went to bar, to an evening party arranged by the con. It had nice techno music, but I did not stay there quite long - I had been wearing my corset over six hours, and as it was as tight as it could be, it started to feel bad. Also the queues to the bar were ridiculous - there were 20 meter queue at the bar sometimes. Eventually I stayed there for an hour, and went to the hotel to sleep. I woke up at 8 AM, a lot earlier than I did at Saturday. I went to the con by 11 AM and hanged there, until I went to see a lecture about older cosplayers and their experiences about cons. They were have been in cons longer than I have - for 15 and 16 years. What they talked was interesting, they talked about the very first cons in Finland and how things have changed, and also showed their old cosplay pictures. The lecture was fun, but unfortunately they ran out of time. I went to see the counter hall again, but did not buy anything. Overall the con was fun, and nice ending for the year. Next time I'm going to Desucon, if I'm not going to Desucon Frostbite. 

Things that I bought:

 All the things I bought. 

Usako from Hoshizora no Babylon. I bought her for 50 euro, so I did pretty good deal. She's my third bunny girl figure, and she's super cute.

Handbag from Banned. I bought it for 30 euro. I really like the print, reminds me of Notre Dame. 

Headdress from Restyle. I have been looking for this, since this is sold out from Restyle's website. I bought it for 25 euro, which was a pretty good price for this. 

tiistai 27. elokuuta 2019

Rammstein, Ratina Stadium, 10.8.2019

This was the fourth time I saw Rammstein live here in Finland and that band does not leave you cold. Rammstein is my favourite industrial metal band and for a reason. Their songs, especially their older songs, are pure gold. I have already seen them few times like I mentioned, but this show was the best of all shows I've seen. I really liked that they played their old songs - I like their newer ones as well, but the old Rammstein songs hold a place in my heart. They played songs like Links 2-3-4, Mein Hertz brennt, Mein Teil, Du Hast, Sonne and Ich will, all are my favourites from this band. And the explosives! I was pretty close to the stage and really heard the exploves and felt them - I felt the heat from the fire and that really gave me adrenaline. 
Rammstein and I go pretty far - I first heard from them over ten years ago, and first saw them live in Provinssirock in 2010. I was 13 years old back then, and I've loved their live perfomances ever since.
I saw them again in Provinssirock and in RockFest, but like I said, this concert was the best I have seen. Rammstein's support band was called Duo Jatekok, which I'm not sure if I liked even though I'm a fan of piano music. They did not play on the main stage, which was strange, and honestly I did not even see them that well. They played piano covers of Rammstein's songs, which sounded good but I felt like they were a odd choice to play before a metal band. In the end they played an acoustic version of Engel with Duo Jatekok, and five members of the band surferd with inflatable boat, with Till Lindenmann meeting them with a Willkommen sign.  This was the first time they've done this with concerts I have been in, if I remember right. Apparently guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe kissed at the end of Ausländer, like they did in Russia, but I managed to miss that. Overall, the concert was amazing, and the best I've seen of Rammstein. I really want to see them again - next year they would go to Estonia, and even though Estonia is not far away, I'm not propably going there. I'm hoping they will go to Finland soon again.

Unfortunately I did not manage to get a lot of pictures but here are few I took.

Here are some videos from the concert in Finland:

Du Hast. One of my absolute favourite songs from this band.

Ich will. Also one of my favourites. 

Here you can see almost the whole show.