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Where in the world? Guess the musical!

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 24 January 2021, Last Updated 9 February 2021

Check out our mystery map above and see if you can name the musical based on the location around the world!

 

When you’re ready, scroll down to find out the answers, along with 5 fun facts about each place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Baltimore – Hairspray

A collage of the cast of Hairspray including Michael Ball as Edna, Marisha Wallace as Motormouth Maybelle, Paul Merton as Wilbur Turnblad and Lizzie Bea as Tracy Turnblad

  • Baltimore is a harbour town, famous for its delicious seafood – hence the title of Miss Baltimore Crabs!
  • Famous gritty noughties series The Wire is set in Baltimore, with each series set in a different institution around the city.
  • Snow cones – the precursor to slushies – were invented in Baltimore during the industrial revolution.
  • The first successful balloon flight in the United States set off from Baltimore in 1784, manned by a 13-year-old boy named Edward Warren.
  • The Corny Collins Show in Hairspray was based on a real teen dance show in Baltimore called the Buddy Deane Show, which was protested against in the 60s for not allowing racial integration in their broadcasts.

 

2. Buenos Aires – Evita

The company of Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

  • Evita is based on the life of pioneering Argentinian actress, campaigner and politician Eva Perón, who campaigned for women rights and the rights of trade unions.
  • The President’s Mansion in Buenos Aires is called the Casa Rosada – the pink house!
  • The Presidents’ Mansion in Buenos Aires is called Casa Rosada, or Pink House. It is exactly what it sounds like, a massive pink mansion with gorgeous architecture.
  • Buenos Aires holds a Tango Festival every summer, which attracts over 600,000 visitors each year from all around the world.
  • The capital city is famous for its publishing and literary history too. Buenos Aires has more bookstores per capita than London and New York combined!

 

3. Gander – Come From Away

The West End company in Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre 2020. Credit Craig Sugden

  • Even before the true story of Come From Away took place, Gander is a town with a rich history of aviation and aerospace technologies, and a crater on Mars is named after Gander in recognition.
  • Nearly all of Gander’s streets are named after famous aviators, including the Wright brothers, John Alcock and Athur Brown, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and Canadian astronauts Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar and Chris Hadfield.
  • The island of Newfoundland was one of the last to join the Canadian Confederation and was still an independent country right up until 1949.
  • Because of its position, Gander used to be an incredibly important refueling stop for America-Europe air travel. For a while it was the world’s busiest airport and on it’s completion in 1938, was the world’s biggest airport too!
  • Enthusiastic work dog Pal used to work at Gander airport towing fuel to aircraft. He was adopted by the Royal Rifles of Canada in World War Two and they renamed him Gander. When he died saving soldiers from a grenade, he became the only Canadian dog to be awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. He was, of course, a Newfoundland!

 

4. Sheffield – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

  • Jamie’s hometown Sheffield is the only city in the UK to have part of a National Park inside its boundaries. About a third of the city is actually inside the Peak District!
  • The city is one of the greenest in Europe – about 60% of it is green space and it has over two million trees; four trees to every person!
  • Sheffield’s famous Crucible Theatre hosts the World Snooker Championship, and is supposedly cursed: no player has ever successfully defended their first title win there.
  • Sheffield has its very own Walk Of Fame outside the Town Hall, full of famous people from the city. Plaques include Sean Bean, Sebastian Coe, Grace Clough, Jessica Ennis and Michael Palin.
  • The Guinness World Record for most people tossing pancakes at the same time was made in Sheffield in 2012 – 890 people flipped pancakes non-stop for 30 seconds to achieve the record!

 

5. Greek Islands – Mamma Mia

  • Mamma Mia is set on Kalokairi, which is a fictional island, but the beautiful scenes you see in the film are actually Greek island Skopelos!
  • Greece has over 5,000 islands, but only about 200 are populated.
  • If you’ve ever wondered why so many houses on Greek islands have the same blue and white look, it’s because according to old beliefs, that particular shade of blue – called kyanos – wards off evil.
  • Mykonos, one of the many Greek Islands, has an official mascot – a pelican called Petros.
  • The Greek capital of Athens actually has the most theatrical stages of any city in the world. With nearly 150 stages, it has even more than Broadway or the West End!

 

6. Anatevka – Fiddler On The Roof

Andy Nyman and the cast of Fiddler On The Roof

  • Anatevka is a typical shtetl – a small town with a large Jewish population – in the Pale of Settlement in the Imperial Russian Empire, a region where permanent residency of Jews was allowed.
  • The 1971 film was mostly filmed in Buckinghamshire. The exterior shots were taken in Yugoslavia, in areas which are now Croatia. As it wasn’t snowy at time of filming, they had to ship in marble dust to use as snow!
  • In Fiddler On The Roof, when forced to leave the village, the characters have plans to emigrate all over the world – Jerusalem, Chicago, Krakow, New York – the end of the play symbolises how they will remain connected to their community through tradition, even though they are physically scattered.
  • Real-world Anatevka is less than 20 miles outside of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. It was founded in 2014 as a refuge for Jewish families – it didn’t exist when the musical was written!
  • Referencing the story-telling nature and the sense of place that runs throughout the musical, other titles Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock considered calling the show ‘Where Papa Came From’ and ‘The Old Country’ before settling on Fiddler On The Roof.

 

7. Pi-Ramesses – The Prince Of Egypt

Luke Brady and Liam Tamne in The Prince Of Egypt. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

  • We can assume that The Prince Of Egypt is set in Pi-Ramesses, the capital city that Pharoah Rameses II built, about 70 miles north-west of Cairo.
  • Pi-Ramesses was one of the largest cities in ancient Egypt, with a population of over 300,000, which flourished for over a century after Rameses II’s death.
  • The newest archeological discovery of Pi-Ramesses was as recent as 2017, where a team found children’s footprints and parts of a painted wall, believed to be part of a temple.
  • The Red Sea, which is parted by Moses, might have been called the Rea Sea because it contained a bacteria that turned the water a reddish-brown. Other historians think it might be a corruption of the ‘Reed Sea’, as in Hebrew it’s called the Sea of Reeds.
  • King Rameses II’s mummy was found in 1881, and is currently on display in the Cairo museum. In 1974, he was flown to Paris to be treated to preserve it further, and Rameses II was issued an Egyptian passport, which listed his occupation as ‘King (deceased)’!

 

8. Kenya/ Tanzania – The Lion King

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the cast of Disney's The Lion King perform Circle of Life

  • While The Lion King isn’t set in a specific country in Africa, most of the kinds of animals in the story can be found in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • You can visit Simba Rocks in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania – an ecosystem famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded wildebeest.
  • According to the live-action Lion King’s production designer, James Chinlund, lots of the scenes and inspiration for the film were shot in Kenya, though the team also visited Tanzania, Namibia and Ethiopia.
  • Kenya is home to the world’s largest tropical lake – Lake Victoria – and the world’s largest desert lake – Lake Turkana – which is known for its huge pink flamingo population.
  • The earliest human skull ever discovered was found in Tanzania, dating back 2 million years.

 

9. Ho Chi Minh City – Miss Saigon

  • Ho Chi Minh City – formally Saigon – was renamed in 1975 after the Vietnam war, and before it was called Saigon it was Prey Nokor, which means forest city!
  • Even though it isn’t the capital, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. Even though it makes up 0.6% of the country’s land area, it makes up for nearly 30% of their industrial output!
  • Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its coffee! Vietnamese coffee usually comes with sweetened condensed milk, but you can also get egg coffee – which contains beaten egg yolks in both the coffee and the milk, making it taste custardy!
  • The train that runs from the capital Hanoi in the north of Vientam to Ho Chi Minh city in the south is often called the Reunification Express. The route spans over 1,700 kilometres and has 200 stations.
  • Motorbikes are the favourite method of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City – there are about 25 motorbikes for every car in the city.
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come from away everybody's talking about jamie evita fiddler on the roof hairspray mamma mia miss saigon the lion king the prince of egypt

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