2012 – A look back

31 Dec

With 2012 coming to an end I thought it was time to look back at the past 12 months and sum up my theatre related highlights of the year. And what a year this has been! I have had the opportunity to discover new shows, keep re-visiting my favourite shows, spend time with some amazing people, travel to places I haven’t been to before and – thanks to this blog – share my views on shows and theatre in general with all you guys.

It’s impossible to name each and every fantastic theatre moment – there are just way too many. But I want to mention a few that have had a special impact for various reasons. Lets start with my show highlights.

First of all one of my all time favourites is still going strong: Jersey Boys. That show has been a huge part of my theatre life since 2008 and I’m happy I got to visit the boys and girls in Jersey a lot during 2012. Obviously I have my favourites in every part but all in all the whole cast of this show is doing such an amazing job. They are the reason I will never get bored of the show. A special thank you goes out to Ryan Molloy (you are totally mad but I love you for it), Jon Boydon, Ben Wheeler, Mike Conway, Matt Wycliffe, Eugene McCoy, Mark Isherwood and TeeJaye. You guys are amazing!

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Another show that has had a huge impact on my 2012 is Les Miserables. Thank’s to (mainly) Ramin Karimloo I ended up seeing that show around 25 times between January and March 2012. Ramin’s Jean Valjean was quite simply one of the most stunning things I have ever seen in a show – breathtakingly fantastic all around. And his final show is definitely in the top three of my favourite theatre performances of 2012.

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Next up is a show I wish I could have seen more often than just twice. But sadly a limited run (clashing with the Olympics as well) prevented me from that. It is, of course, Mack and Mabel which was staged at the Southwark Playhouse this summer. This show was such a perfect production, from set and choreography right through to the cast (led by the wonderful Norman Bowman and Laura Pitt-Pulford).

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A show that restored my faith in musical theatre was Singin’ in the rain at the Palace Theatre. Shows like this are the reason I fell in love with musical theatre in the first place – from the dancing to the story to the amazingly talented cast, there’s no weak link in this production. I adore that show and it’s on my list of shows to see a lot more often in 2013.

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One of the smallest yet most enjoyable shows I have seen this year is Boy meets Boy at Jermyn Street Theatre. My reason to book tickets was Stephen Ashfield who I always enjoy to see on stage. I ended up loving this gem of a musical and would be thrilled to see it get another run sometime in the future.

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There were so many other shows I enjoyed (and still enjoy) watching. I can’t name them all but if you’ve been reading my blog and maybe even follow me on Twitter you probably have a basic idea anyway.

I’ll go on with some gig highlights of 2012.

The ones that had the biggest impact on me (and my travel diary) are Ramin Karimloo’s Road to find out concerts in May 2012. Without this tour I would never have ended up visiting cities like Newcastle, Cardiff and Birmingham. The tour consisted of 10 concerts and I am proud to say I managed to attend 7 of them – not bad considering I was flying over from Germany all the time. Was it worth it you may ask? Oh yes! I had a brilliant time. It was wonderful to see Ramin explore this new chapter in his career and I hope he continues to be successful with what he enjoys so much – making music.

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Some slightly smaller but still memorable concerts were the Bloomfield Avenue gigs at Roadhouse, Covent Garden on various Sundays throughout 2012. If you haven’t heard of that band I urge you to check them out: http://www.bloomfieldavenueband.co.uk/. They are currently looking for a new London venue for 2013 so watch out for any upcoming gigs.

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And finally some personal highlights that will remain a special memory of 2012 for me.

I still remember how thrilled I was when Dean Chisnall was promoted to playing the lead in Shrek the musical. I have known Dean for several years and I am proud to call such a wonderful and talented person my friend. And trust me when I say: Dean is by far the most dedicated performer you will ever meet. He so deserved to have a lead part in a big West End show and this year he finally achieved just that. It fills me with joy to see Dean on stage in such an iconic theatre as Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Here’s to more fantastic parts in great shows in the future!

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Tim Howar taking over as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages is yet another highlight of 2012. I first saw Tim on stage in Tonight’s the night (the Rod Stewart musical – some of you may remember it) in 2003 and fell in love with his voice straight away. Tim has to be one of the kindest people on this planet. I feel privileged to know him and I’m beyond happy that he is back on stage in the West End where he belongs.

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My charity auction in aid of The Brain Research Trust was by far the most challenging theatre related project this year. Lots of emails, walking around the West End collecting posters and programmes and generally a lot of organisational work – but it was all so worth it. I couldn’t have done it without all the support from various lovely people (thank you again – you know who you are). It was great to see what a wonderful community the theatre world really is.

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So, all that’s left now is a look out for what is to come in 2013. There are so many things I’m already looking forward to. In no particular order:

1. Once the musical
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
3. Book of Mormon
4. Seeing MiG Ayesa and Jenna Lee James in the We will rock you arena tour
5. Seeing my lovely friend Björn Klein play Emmett in Legally Blonde in Vienna
6. Seeing Peter Johansson as Stacee Jaxx in Stockholm
7. Finally seeing Ben Whishaw live on a theatre stage
9. Watching The Bodyguard again (slightly addicted I fear…)
10. Generally continuing to support my favourite performers

… the list goes on…

With that I will leave you for 2012. Thank you for sticking with me throughout the year. I really appreciate your support for my little blog. Hopefully I’ll manage to keep you entertained with more reviews and other theatre related posts in 2013 (watch out for my review of The Bodyguard which is coming up as soon as possible).

Happy new year everyone! I hope 2013 brings you all you ever wished for. Keep in touch – comment, tweet or email me. I love to hear from you guys. x

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9 Responses to “2012 – A look back”

  1. Michaela December 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Hallo Steffi,
    ich wünsche dir für 2013 viele unvergessliche Theatermomente!!
    Danke, das du uns bisher und hoffentlich auch in Zukunft daran teilhaben lässt!
    Liebe Grüße, Michaela

    • theatregirl December 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Alles Gute für das neue Jahr Michaela! Danke dass du meinem kleinen Blog treu bist. Ich er mir Mühe geben in 2013 halbwegs interessant zu sein. Hehe. 😉

  2. Sarah Forrester December 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    What a fantastic round up…and spookily reminiscent of my own 2012 Theatre journey ! Oh how I love those Jersey Boys, as you say it is a show and cast that you can never tire of! Ramin in Les Miserables was a revelation – he was without a doubt the best JVJ I have ever seen! What can I say about Boy Meets Boy … it was absolutely delightful and so glad I went back for seconds! I agree it really should get a further run ( I think Charing Cross would be perfect for it) I too am a big Stephen Ashfield fan and he was superb in the show but Ben Kavanagh was outstanding also .. so deliciously loathsome but you could not help but love his character ! I too am looking forward to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have to admit I have some reserves about the subject matter of Book of Mormon but to not see Stephen in a show is unthinkable so I will go with an open mind !! Happy New Year Steffi – I look forward to reading about your adventures in 2013 !!

    • theatregirl December 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      I agree about Ben Kavanagh in Boy meets Boy. A “bad guy” you just had to love. 🙂
      Hope you will enjoy Book of Mormon. It’s all good fun in the end and from what I’ve seen so far the show is very clever. Plus it has Gavin Creel playing one of the leads. Such a treat (beside seeing Stephen on stage again, of course)!

      Happy new year to you too. 🙂 x

  3. Nele Hähnsen January 2, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    Tolle Zusammenfassung! So viele schoene Sachen, die du erlebt hast.
    Danke, dass ich an einem Theater-Tag von dir teilhaben konnte.
    Bis hoffentlich bald! 🙂 Frohes Neues Jahr! x

    • theatregirl January 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      Es gab noch so viele andere tolle Theater-Erlebnisse. Unmöglich die alle aufzuzählen. 🙂
      Danke für die Gesellschaft! Wir sehen uns bestimmt mal in London im Lauf des Tages. 😉

  4. shez January 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    I still really need to see ‘Singing in the Rain’ and I’m really looking forward to ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’!

    • theatregirl January 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Singin’ in the rain is amazing. I’ll be watching it a lot post cast change. With Joe joining the cast it’ll be even more appealing. Haha.

      Can’t wait for CATCF either. Just hope they don’t mess it up. A certain Mr. Molloy isn’t too sure the people in charge know what they are doing. :-/

      • shez January 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

        Oh really! it’s the kind of show that they’ll need to get right the first time and what with being such an iconic film too! I hope it’s not a big disappointment.

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