Posted by: Chelsea Novak | February 17, 2003

All things Czech and musical

This past weekend M and I got our culture on. It all began on Friday night, when we had press passes to see the new Janek Ledesky musical Galileo. It was, well, interesting and the seats in the theatre were really comfortable, so it made it a bit easier to stomach the lack of acting talent on the stage. I had an interesting take on it, not understanding a lot of the words, I was really reliant on the props, singing and dancing. The language barrier really didn’t work in my favour, as I lost all willing suspension of disbelief and sat there thinking “don’t these people look stupid dancing with telescopes.” The songs weren’t very catchy (save one, but once M explained what the song was about I liked it a whole lot less), and it was really silly to use modern rock songs in a historial piece without giving it any sort of context. It was, however, neat to see some Czech TV personalities on stage and in the audience. One of the joys of living in a small country. Technically the show was really interesting. They used a revolve fairly well, and had a great skrim/projection thing going on. All in all I have to say that I was glad that it was free.

Saturday night, (I only saw half of it) we watched a Czech musical on TV, by a man who’s name escapes me, about the building of the tower of Babel. Being a peice about the biblical creation of languages, the show had a very tribal feeling to it. I was able to understand the gist of it fairly well, but even if I hadn’t I would have been happily entertained by the staging, costuming, singing and really great choreography. It’s called (fittingly enough) Bablyon. If you ever find yourself in Brno (sounds like the beginning of a country song) and it’s on, get a ticket. I don’t think it will disappoint.

Finally, last night we saw an interesting collective creation peice called The Labryinth of the world. You can read a preview piece here, written by someone you might know. While I entered the show thinking I really wasn’t going to like it (given my aversion to all things clown), I ended up having a good time. The show was enjoyable and the performances were good. Once I let go of the idea of trying to understand all of the languages being spoken (I had the English part down, got most of the French, some of the Czech, some of the German and none of the Slovak or the Serbo-Croat or Hungarian (couldn’t really tell what it was) I really started to get it. It was also interesting to hear the reactions of the audience to different languages. Like the Slovaks would laugh at the Slovak parts, the English speakers to the English, etc. It was nice that some things were universally funny.

We’re trying to get all the culture we can while we can still get our hands on press passes and all things complimentary. I imagine when we return to the new world, we’ll also have to return to the paying ticket line. Indeed, we will have to have a moment of silence for all the comps we’ll no longer have access to.*sniff*



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