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Theatre / I Am from Austria

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A Jukebox Musical featuring the music of Rainhard Fendrich, with an original plot telling the story of an internationally successful Austrian film star, Emma Carter, who returns to Vienna to attend the famous annual Opera Ball. Her supposedly secret stay at the Hotel Edler gets leaked to the press via Twitter by an overeager bellboy, and when the Edlers' son Josi decides to apologize to the special guest with one of their famous Edlertorte, sparks begin to fly between Emma and Josi. Meanwhile, the Edlers - Romy and Wolfgang, owners of the hotel - desperately try to get the final half star in order to make their hotel a five-star organization and worthy of the elite, as well as fix their marriage as Romy is Married to the Job and Wolfgang seems to have eyes on younger beauties. Emma's manager Richard Rattinger tries his best to keep her successful and safe.


The musical had its world premiere at the Raimund Theater in Vienna on September 16, 2017 and closed on June 16, 2019, starring Iréna Flury and Lukas Perman as Emma and Josi. The Takarazuka Revue production ran from October 10, 2019 to December 28, 2019, with Tamaki Ryou as Josi and Misono Sakura as Emma.

This musical provides the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Well, he's already a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing in the Austrian, but the Takarazuka version inserts a scene in which Richard tips off the paparazzi about Emma and Josi's Alpine excursion.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Richard acts in a campy manner and dresses flamboyantly. Emma suggests that he take Pablo Garcia to the Opernball, but she is also fed up with him at the time. With Pablo coming out at the finale, it's reasonable to doubt Richard's orientation. Richard also waxes rhapsodic about Pablo during "Macho Macho".
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  • Ambiguously Bi: Pablo doesn't have a girlfriend, he has a boyfriend named Diego waiting for him in Buenos Aires. He either doesn't mind women fawning over him, or he's just a great actor. The Takarazuka version has him publicly confessing at the ball that he's attracted to Felix, and giving the bellboy a bone-cracking hug.
  • Appeal to Tradition versus Appeal to Novelty: The Edlers' approach to running the hotel. Romy and Wolfgang want to keep it elite and old-fashioned (they don't even have a Facebook page because Romy thinks it's vulgar), whereas Josi has to convince them to open a gym to cater to the "work-life balance" and actually showing the gym in the brochure.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Takarazuka version has a character named "Servus", which is the first thing Josi says upon seeing him. "Servus!" is an Austrian variation of "Hello!"
  • Bear Hug: Takarazuka Pablo is fond of giving these to people, followed by the sound of bones cracking.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Richard. He starts out nice and concerned for Emma. Cue act 2, and he's revealed note  to be dealing in blackmail (to suppress her underwear paparazzi pictures, which he caused by breaking Emma and Josi up), and willing to have Emma fake an engagement with Pablo Garcia as damage control.
  • Blatant Lies: Elfie constantly refers to having affairs with famous men - Enrico Caruso (with Maria Callas supposedly coming in between them), Orson Welles, etc. Then she talks about remembering herself waltzing with Johann Strauss. Both the elder and younger, like it was yesterday. Said Strausses were alive 180 years before the show takes place.
  • The Beard: Emma nearly became this to Pablo.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The helicopter scene. In-universe, it's supposed to be sitting outside of the Hotel Edler waiting for Emma and Josi. Since no such building exists, video footage is shown... of the leads entering a helicopter parked outside of the actual Raimund Theater. With all of the I Am From Austria-related signage.
    • When Emma and Josi run from the paparazzi, the audience sees footage of the actors running into the house and out the door, shot and streamed live in the theatre.
  • Brick Joke:
    • After sleeping in a chair for a night, Josi says he'll be able to feel his feet an hour or two after waking up. Later, when they spend the night together in the Waldvogels' cabin, Emma says he'll be able to feel his feet in the morning... because they're sharing a bed. It's implied they had sex, since they woke up in their underwear.
    • "As a concierge, I practically ooze discretion." Emma's top-secret stay at the Hotel Edler turns out to be not-so-secret. And then her little trip to the alpine cabin gets leaked to the press. In Elfie (the concierge)'s defense, neither time was her fault.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: According to Elfie, this is what some people watch sports for - seeing two men get beaten up (boxing), or a pile-up (car racing), etc.
  • Coming-Out Story: Pablo, inspired by Emma's heartfelt declaration of love for Josi, outs himself on camera.
  • Cool Old Lady: Elfie.
  • Costume Porn: The scene at the Opernball, with the creme de la creme of Viennese society decked out in tailcoats and dresses. Special mention goes to Emma's pink dress, which glitters gorgeously under the stage lights. The Takarazuka version turns it into a costume ball, bringing out costumes from many of their historical musicals, especially those that have to do with Austrians and/or Habsburgs (including Marie Antoinette note  and Mozart note ).
  • Dances and Balls: The luxurious Opernball.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Pablo. Although they never made the engagement official, and there's no love triangle between him, Emma, and Josi.
  • Dramatic Irony: After the fiasco with Emma, Josi says he wants to get into his car and crash into a tree. Which was exactly what Felix did to his sports car.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Emma's career picked up after she went for the peroxide.
  • Fanservice: Josi and Pablo get a Shirtless Scene each, and Pablo also wears a form-fitting tank top. The press catches photos of Emma in her underwear after a night in the cabin with Josi.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Hotel Edler is the Hotel Sacher in all but name (and half a star short until the finale) - luxurious hotel in Vienna, with a famous cake made from a top secret recipe. Romy Schneider note  stayed at the Hotel Sacher during the filming of the Sissi trilogy, paralleling Emma Carter.
    Emma: (about the cake) I thought it was called a -
    Josi: (stopping her before she can say Sachertorte) Don't say that name. They're our rivals.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Romy breaks this out after Josi takes the fall for Felix's tweet. His full name is Franz-Joseph Edler.
  • "Good Luck" Gesture: Pablo crosses himself and invokes Jesus before announcing that he has a boyfriend.
  • Gratuitous English: The Austrian version has Josi shout "Home is where the heart is!" during the helicopter ride, and Emma repeat the phrase at the Opernball. The Takarazuka version goes all out, with Josi, Emma, and Richard peppering their songs with English.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The blondes in this show - Josi (blond when he's Oliver Arno), Emma (light blonde, dyed), Elfie (platinum/silver), and Romy (blonde when she's Elisabeth Engstler) - are all perfectly lovely people.
  • Happily Married: The Edlers used to be this, and seems to be on their way back to this as of the end of the show.
  • Heart Is Where the Home Is: Of a sort. Emma breaks off the deal of announcing her engagement to the Argentinian soccer star Pablo Garcia - who doesn't have a single line of dialogue with her - in favor of announcing that she found the love of her life in Austrian hotelier Josi Edler. Funnily enough, Josi actually shouts "Home is where the heart is!" during the helicopter ride.
  • How Dad Met Mom: "Strada del Sole" seems to be the story of how Wolfgang's girlfriend ran away with an Italian guy when they were on holiday, so that he ended up meeting and marrying Romy later. Romy is that girlfriend. She came back because after her little adventure, she realized that she doesn't want to be with anyone but Wolfgang.
  • Imagine Spot: "Blond", which is Emma telling the story of how she got her big break in Hollywood: dying her hair. Lampshaded by her exiting the set piece of the freezer, while Josi is left banging on the glass (which presumably doesn't exist in-universe but is for the audience's benefit) until Emma leads him out.
  • Latin Lover: Pablo Garcia is popular with the ladies. Even Elfie gets in on the action by copping a feel of his biceps. (He was complaining about the tailcoats not being able to fit his muscles.)
  • Locked in a Freezer: Josi and Emma accidentally get locked in the vault containing the Edlertorte for two hours.
  • Lonely at the Top: Emma is a world-famous Hollywood star, but she's not happy, because she's surrounded by nothing but people who wants to take advantage of her.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: The woman who showed up while Emma was missing and acted overly friendly to Wolfgang? Not his mistress, but a travel agent. He had secretly booked a holiday back to the Strada del Sole to rekindle his relationship with Romy.
  • Money, Dear Boy: An In-Universe example. This is the reason Richard turned down a collaboration from Quentin Tarantino, because the kind of crap - ahem, romantic comedies - Emma has been making keeps giving them money. Emma, on the other hand, wants to change her image and make good movies for once.
  • Meaningful Name: Felix the bellboy brought a fair amount of luck to the cast. His catastrophic tweet leads to Josi personally apologizing to Emma and getting to know her better, kicking off the rest of the plot, and bringing everyone - well, except for Richard - a happy ending.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Josi. Takes the fall for Felix after the bellboy committed a mistake that might have ruined the hotel. Personally apologizes to Emma for the publicity fiasco, with a cake to boot. Organizes a soup kitchen to give away the hotel's leftovers to the homeless. Doesn't get upset after Felix crashes his expensive sports car, saying "that's what insurance is for". His first concern is whether Felix was hurt. Doesn't care about the "Emma Carter" persona or her fame and fortune, but just wants her as a real person.
    • Pablo Garcia seems down-to-earth and sweet, despite being famous enough to pair up with Hollywood top star Emma Carter.
  • Named After Somebody Famous:
    • The Edlers: Wolfgang, Romy (Schneider, actress whose claim to fame is the role of Empress Elisabeth), and Josi (short for Franz Joseph, Elisabeth's husband).
    • Pablo Garcia's boyfriend is named Diego, presumably after Maradona, given that Garcia is an Argentinian footballer.
    • Elfie Schratt, after Emperor Franz Joseph's longtime confidante Katharina Schratt. Elfie claims that Katharina is her mother.
  • No Antagonist: The only force causing conflict is Emma's fame. And then it manifested in Richard in act 2.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Felix rescuing Emma and Josi from the mob and taking them back to his place.
  • The Reveal: Richard called the paparazzi on Emma and Josi.
  • Running Gag:
    • Felix may be old enough to drive Josi's car, but the car isn't.
    • Elfie's constant name-dropping, which just gets more ridiculously improbable as the show goes on.
  • Scenery Porn: The gorgeous shots of Austrian scenery as Josi and Emma go on a helicopter ride.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Because of sanitary reasons, Josi isn't actually legally allowed to give out the hotel's food to the poor and homeless of Vienna. This is not mentioned in the show, but it's probable that there's no such law in-universe, or that the Edlers would campaign to have that changed.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Elfie says that Orson Welles was The Third Man in her life. Welles wrote the screenplay for and played Harry Lime in that movie, which was set in postwar (and partially filmed in) Vienna.
    • Emma got her success in Hollywood because Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
  • Stage Names: Emma Carter's real name is Adele Waldvogel. Given that Josi burst into laughter after she told him, it's an Unfortunate Name.
  • There Is Only One Bed: After being rescued from the mob and sheltered by Felix, Emma sleeps in his bed, Josi in a chair, and Felix under the bed.
  • You Must Be Cold: Josi gives Emma his jacket when they're trapped in the freezer, leaving him shivering in his shirt.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Richard is very concerned for Emma's wellbeing, raises hell to find Emma when she's missing, and sounds distraught when mentioning an incident in Chicago where she nearly died. He rescues Emma from the mob of paparazzi outside of the Waldvogel cabin when it seems Josi is yet another person using her for the camera. Then along came The Reveal - Richard was the one who tipped off the paparazzi, to break up the budding relationship and teach Emma a lesson: she cannot lead a life like normal people.

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