Hinterrm Horizont (Beyond the Horzon) is a musical based on the songs by very popular German rocker, Udo Lindenberg. It's built a sort of Romeo and Juliet story around them, set during the time of the Berlin Wall with a fictitious Udo as the main character. I saw the show last year, which I wrote about here, and it was extremely enjoyable, even though I didn't understand a word, and a bit odd in its staging. I also happened to have been there on the night of its 1,000th performance, which works out to about 2-1/2 years -- and the original stars were happily still in it, Serkan Kaya and Josephin Busch. (Alas, Udo Lindenberg wasn't there to join in the end-of-show party on stage. But I suspect that was only due to scheduling, since I was told afterwards that he often would stop by during curtain calls and perform with the cast during the finale. Now, that would have been fun to see...)
Well...Hintern Horizont is still playing, a year later. So, they're now up to over 1,400 performances. And as far as I can tell (though can't swear to, but all the promotion seems to suggest), the two leads are the same. That would be unprecedented on Broadway, where the stars tend to have at most a one year contract and leave to other things. But I suspect the difference is that on Broadway, there are many dozens of shows opening each year, and national touring companies, not to mention the bright lights of Hollywood. I'm guessing that in Germany the options are more limited. In Berlin, there are two major shows right now -- Hinterm Horizont and the Blue Man Group. I'm guessing that casting for the later is pretty limited. So, if you're the star of a big hit, you probably stick with it.
(And yes, some of the elves back at the homestead are having a good laugh...)
My guess is that after having run so long, a large portion of the Germans who wanted to see Hiniterm Horizont already have by now. So, they probably figure figured out that to attract a new audience they likely need tourists. And since English is the international language, that's why they have added the electronic "subtitles" like has been done in opera houses for years, displayed off to the side. So, the point here is...if I had waited until this year to go, I'd be able to tell you a WHOLE lot better what was going on. But I'm still glad to have gone when I did -- I didn't know if it would be running a year later, nor if the original stars would be in it. And even though I didn't understand the specifics, a lot of the fun was seeing it in German. Of course, I could go again and see it this time with the English subtitles, but I suspect I'll pass. I followed the plot well-enough that I feel covered.
By the way, the link above has a couple of videos from the show live on stage, and are well-worth watching to give you a sense of the whole thing -- enjoyable and very odd as it was. And here is the wonderful music video they made of the beautiful title song, with Udo Lindenberg himself in the lead and the show's two stars, Josephin Busch singing with him, and Serkan Kaya as "young Udo" in the dramatic story portion running through.