The Hungarian operetta Die Csardasfürstin is virtually unknown in the United States. That’s a shame—judging by the production I saw at the Deutsches Theater last night (on tour from the Budapest Operetta Theater), it would be a hit on Broadway. This musical comedy has it all: annoyingly catchy tunes, jaw-dropping dance moves, and a feel-good happy ending. My review for Bachtrack is here.
I got a fan e-mail (from a blog reader) this morning complimenting my taste. I’m afraid I might get a retraction as soon as I publish this post, because it’s time for me to confess to a guilty pleasure. I don’t only like opera; I also like musical theatre. And not just “legit” musical theatre of the R&H variety (though I adore that). Not even just Sondheim or Schwartz (though I love them, too). But super-repetitive, schmaltzy pop-rock messes. Phantom of the Opera. Les Miserables. Elisabeth.
If you’re across the Atlantic from me, you probably haven’t heard of Elisabeth, but it’s a sensation here. This Viennese musical about the life of Empress “Sissi” has been touring worldwide since 1992 to sold-out crowds and standing ovations. According to Wikipedia, it is the most successful German-language musical of all time. (I wonder whether they’re counting operetta? Maybe even more people have seen it than have seen Die Fledermaus. Now there’s a terrifying thought.) I saw it last year in Vienna and was swept away. Lucky me—it’s now on tour in Munich! So I went back last night. Continue reading Kitsch!: Elisabeth in Munich