Friday, 17 March 2017

Tom of Finland Stage Musical, Full of Love

This is a second part to our Tom of Finland experience. In this part we'll take a look a stage musical played in Logomo theater Turku. 
This was my first time to see stage musical and thus naturally I was really hyped!

We absolutely loved it! It was such a good experience. 
Briefly remind you that just like the movie musical was dramatized biography. We actually thought that musical would be harder to follow storywise but in fact it was other way around! 
Dramaturgy was so clear and polished.
The musical was raunchy in a good way and very gay. There was a lot muscles and half naked men on stage. It was almost like male stripper show at some points.
We bought a leather covered play catalog. It contains information about play and Touko / Tom of Finland in general. I love it!

Unlike the movie, musical started from Touko's childhood even though it might have been just few scenes long. About the very beginning, the first scene to be exact, we should mention that it was the only scene we thought was little a part from the main story.
It was about imaginative mind of a young artistic boy.
We get this now afterwards but yeah at the time it was odd.

Only thing that benefited us for watching movie first was that we knew specific information from Veli's fate which was left unknown for the stageplay's audience.
In addition we liked musical's characters (and casting) more. 
Kake/Mike: amazing once again! 
We also bought this patch; Tule kaupungin teatteriin, Kakekin tulee. 
Eng. Come to teather, Kake comes too. 
I think one needs no explanation for that.

Fun fact: Musical took a stand why Tom's drawings are so exaggerated. It's because photography was rising art form at the time and thus photorealistic painting/drawing style was fading out.
It made room for more cartoony style which sounds quite logical to me who's not an art scholar.

Here's an interview from a composers.
Subtitles in English.

Let's talk about songs. Oh, they were so good and catchy! 
Composers Jussi Vahvaselkä and Jori Sjöroos did phenomenal work.
We loved almost every song. Songs were mainly comedic but in places very emotional and touching. 
I loved Kaija's song (Anna Victoria Eriksson) "Sisällään" and Touko's (Olli Rahkonen) "Elämänviiva". They had good subjects and how they were presented in a clever way.
Mika Kujala's song (he played role of Markus Palin) "En ole niitä" was amazing! It was our favorite song hands down. It was such a Disney performance, I mean this only in a good way!
We also liked the "theme" that repeated in places through the whole musical. It was cleverly put together and included sound of scratching pen. Nice!
Only one complaint about the songs was how live music was little too loud compared to singing. Luckily, there were English subtitles so we could follow the lyrics.

We would love to own every song from the performance! I hope they would sell them at some point. You can listen one song at spotify.
It's end theme song which plays in this press conference clip also.

The costume design was even better than in movie in our opinion. It fit perfectly into the leather incited dance choreographies, which were enjoyable to watch.
Staging and lighting was something noticeable; it was great!
We both loved how much impact it had on the mood and atmosphere.
I personally would love to be part of designing such ambientic lightings for a stageplay (along with writing one of course)!
Another enjoyable show was the lumberjack "log riding" scene, inspired from Physique Pictorial magazine. It was executed perfectly! It was great that they had selected and dramatized such iconic picture.

The logs looked amazing on stage!

Musical was long but far from boring. What good musical needs is songs that support structure and create an engaging story.
It was brilliant how performance was assembled technically.
Middle point climax was something expected by me but great to see it in practice. It had been so long since I was in theater before this. Sadly... 

In the end we noticed every similarities between movie and musical.
For example both had elder man who was a closet gay.
We think this is based on someone close to Touko 
but is chosen to left nameless.
Probably, because conservative relatives wouldn't want to stain reputation of a war hero by saying he was gay. 
Ugh, people sometimes. 
However, we're glad to be part of this experience.
Musical is still running in Logomo Turku.

Thank you for reading!

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