Chinese House in Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, Germany

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Chinese House in Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, Germany

The interesting thing about chinoiserie is that most of the people involved had never been to Asia, much less China. Certainly Frederick the Great hadn’t. However, the rococo period was characterized by fantasy and China was not the only source of inspiration for their escapist fantasies.

Your showtune for August 9 is

“Carpe Noctem” – Dracula

Music and Lyrics: Christer Johansson & Jacob Mülrad

Make the most of your evening tonight with this song which translates from Latin to “seize the night” from this Swedish musical version of Bram Stoker’s ultra-popular tale of the famed night stalker.  Incidentally, “Carpe Noctem” is also the title of a song in an Austrian, German-language vampire-themed musical entitled Tanz Der Vampire*, but it has nothing to do with the story by Bram Stoker.

*There is a significantly revised English-language version of this musical called Dance of the Vampires which was a notorious flop on Broadway.

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Your showtune for August 8 is

“Seize the Day” – Newsies

Music: Alan Menken   Lyrics: Jack Feldman

Make the most of your day today with this song which is the English translation of “carpe diem,” the oft-quoted Latin phrase that encourages one to live for the moment.  At this particular juncture which occurs shortly before the end of act one, the titular protagonists rally together in this musical based on the famous 1899 newsboys’ strike in New York City.

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Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany

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Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany

Schloss Charlottenburg was designed by Johann Arnold Nering. It is baroque and fascinating in its own right, but like many palaces from this time period, the gardens are the thing to see.

Your showtune for August 7 is

“August Winds” – The Last Ship

Music and Lyrics: Sting

The Last Ship did not last long on Broadway, but one should not discount it for that fact.  Take this lovely song, for example.  Apparently theatregoers were not swayed by this musical about the diminishing shipbuilding industry in a small town in England, even though it was written by Sting.  Just as the august winds offer a respite from the summer heat and a hint at what’s to come, if this beautiful song is a hint at what’s to come from the distinguished musician, then we ought to be on the lookout.

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Meissen Laughing Buddha, Meissen, Germany

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Meissen Laughing Buddha, Meissen, Germany

Meissen is world renowned for its porcelain and one of the most famous of those is the laughing buddha. That said, I am not sure if this statue is supposed to refer to that. Hm? Questions wrapped in enigmas.