So yesterday brought the announcement of Sierra Bogess’ casting as Christine for The Phantom of the Opera in Paris. And so far I’ve seen posts of people who are disappointed and fed up to see Sierra in every anniversary production. And believe me, I understand but as a French girl who is going to see the show please hear me out.
Musicals in France have nothing to do with musicals from West End and Broadway. You have like five or six musicals that are really worth it. The rest ? It’s one producer, always the same (Dove Attia if you want to know), he always gets all the spotlight for his productions that are played in concert venues, not theatres. Yes, in France most of musicals are played in concert venues because the system is : some months in Paris and then tour all over France (plus Belgium and Switzerland sometimes). Musicals can stay at most, 1 year or 1 year and half-ish that’s it and you maybe have like 5 or 6, NOTHING like West End or Broadway. Dove Attia’s musicals are mostly pop/rock songs, the type of songs you can easily put on radio or on tv spot with a videoclip. See ? The system is CLEARLY not the same. And the biggest problems in musicals in France, for me, is that you always see the same faces. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Florent Mothe or Merwan Rim or anybody else, but it’s mostly the same faces.
Now, the Théâtre Mogador since its collaboration with Stage has brought West End/Broadway musicals in France, with varied and international casts for some (especially the dancers for Cats that is playing now). Even though the French translations can be a bit… failed ? I’m glad of what Mogador is doing. Because we DO NOT get to have some West End/Broadway musicals feels otherwise. And believe me, when you love musicals and that you are NOT living in the UK or in the US, whenever things are moving to have a bit of taste of that ambiance, of those feelings that you can’t get to experience unless you can pay for plane or train tickets, hotel, and tickets there, you are just happy. For real.
Of course, it could have been good to have someone else, a French singer or maybe another Christine from other productions (London, Broadway, Moscow, whatever). But at least, for people (like me) who are expecting a lot from this run in Paris, to see that Sierra will be there, it’s a bit reassuring. She may be not your favourite Christine, but I like her, she was my first, and I do love her voice (her acting could be better but still). And again, it adds to this feeling of having a taste of this world of West End and Broadway musicals. I assure you, musicals in France have nothing to do with those.
So to sum up. Yes we could have had someone else in the role, it could have been good to see someone else. But you know what ? I’m still happy about this casting. And I’ll enjoy the show if I get to see her (I’m going on a Saturday matinee) or if I get her alternate or understudy. I’m just a bit sad to see people confessing their disappointment or anything else, but I get it really.
This is a bit different from what I usually post, but I’ve been really busy with finals and can’t write as much as I’d like. This was just a fun little thing to do in what little free time that I have left. I wasn’t going to post it originally, but I figured that I might as well. Hope you enjoy :)
Jumin Han: Lavender, tulip-poplars, snow falling, pin
stripes, silk, the color blue, cats purring, the smell of cloves, half empty
win bottles on star filled nights, kind words disguised as harsh truths,
uncertainty, bottled-up emotions, strawberries in glass bowls, stars shimmering
through a skylight, whispers of reassurance, unexpected encouragement, awkward
laughter, cold nights spent in front of warm fireplaces, unspoken words, dawn.
Jaehee Kang: Lillies, the smell of old books, parchment,
roasting coffee beans, neutral colors, clean rooms, late nights and early
mornings, the steam rising off a warm drink, warm blankets, gentle breezes,
flowers blowing in the breeze, kind acts that go unnoticed, pen against paper, books stacked
in corners, pencils scattered across the desk, determination, sheets right out
of the dryer, comfy sweaters, watching plays on a Friday night, brochures from
theatres and museums.
Hyun Ryu (Zen): Roses, velvet, hot summer days, the applause
of an audience, soft music playing in the background, love at first sight,
crepe myrtles, spotlights, old theatres with grand flourishes, peacocks, sweet
nothings spoken between lovers, shooting stars, holding hands in the middle of
a crowd, random kisses placed gently on the skin, the smell of vanilla mixed
with cinnamon, late night phone calls, bubble baths after a stressful night,
dancing under the moonlight.
Yoosung Kim: Sunflowers, the laughter of children, the smell
of a home-cooked meal, puppy love, loyalty, cuddling under a large blanket with
a loved one, spring time, windowsill gardens, afternoon naps, game nights with
friends you rarely get to see, essays written at the
last moment, puppies playing outside, cool sunny days, playing on the beach,
butterflies sitting on flowers, birds singing in the morning, hot chocolate on
Luciel Choi (707): Zinnias, the tapping of keys on a
computer keyboard, a sweet smell that you can’t quite identify but it reminds
you of your childhood, bright screens in a dark room, lions sleeping in the
sunlight, the sun peeking through the clouds, hugs that last too long or aren’t
long enough, 8-bit versions of songs, vintage game systems, a kitten’s meow,
shy glances stolen at a crush, the warmth of a fire, the glint of metal in the
Jihyun Kim (V): Forget-Me-Not flowers, bright stars in the
dark sky, waves crashing against the ocean, the smell of rain, swans swimming
across a calm pond, camera film, the sound of rain on a tin roof, koi fish, plush
blankets large enough to get lost in, satin, camera flashes, cuddling for
hours, calm reassurances, little favors done without asking, the sound of an
acoustic guitar, Queen of the Night cactus, earl gray tea, soft lights in dark
rooms, white lilies.
Saeran Choi (Unknown): Orchids, cherry blossom trees, rainstorms,
the sound of thunder, dark colors, a leopard stalking its prey in the night, rock
versions of opera/classical songs, wanting something so badly
but knowing it will never come, Edgar Allen Poe poems, mint chocolate chip ice
cream, being outside at night, the sound of a ticking clock, the smell of
metal, sharp glares, that weird feeling you get when you’re awake at four in the