Friday, July 19, 2013

West End Live

Finally a weekend of not just laying around my couch and binge-watching episodes of whatever my intern supplied me with last (which lately has been Mad Men after I finished all of the supplied Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones is now officially over...OMG the Red Wedding).

What was I doing that weekend, you ask?

I was meeting DP Steve for a Saturday of West End Live, a free festival that gives you previews of a lot of the most famous Broadway shows (all of them were musicals I think). Gets all of the famous cast members and has them perform a song or two from their work, either in costume or not, and give the public an opportunity to see what they're missing (see if they're interested as well). DP Steve and I chatted that the TKTS tent was probably getting tons of business that day (TKTS is the booth where you can get discounted tickets).

Anyway, as it happened the weather was not so great that weekend (off and on pouring rain, which I had failed to plan for) so most people weren't up for going out and seeing free musical previews it seemed. Therefore DP Steve and I had really good views of the entire festival. Plus cider, lots and lots of cider. Also, luckily DP Steve had read the weather report correctly and brought an umbrella (what he refers to as a "brolly"...hilarious in my life).

As we cowered under his brolly sipping our ciders and judging which musicals we'd likely pay actual monies to see, I considered my theater-attending life up until that point.

Pretty good, actually, I'd have to say. My parents have always been very avid theater-goers (both the cinema and the live stage) and luckily most of my friends and people have been that way as well. I intend to continue this line of interest once I have another person and a family of my own. There aren't too many major performances at this point in my life that I haven't seen that I wish I had. Perhaps "The Book of Mormon," since it's getting such great reviews. I'm sure there are a few other ones that I've not yet seen that are incredible, but I'm not sure...I've seen pretty much everything I've ever wanted to see in this arena.

What did we see that day? Actually we saw snippets of a lot of things.

We started at "The Sound of Music" and stayed until the end. Pretty excellent considering it was completely free and each act played a song or two. Some of them were even in full makeup and costume (it's also possible that straight after they were going into their evening shows or had just come from their matinee showings).

Our favorite was definitely "The Showstoppers." They are basically an improv musical group that gets a subject and a location from the audience and makes a musical about it in the style of a famous director (also dictated by the audience). Ours was Mormons in the Forest in the style of Andrew Lloyd Weber. The musical was called "Mormons in the Trees." The story followed that a girl was in love with a man who only wanted to be with her (not wanting other, multiple wives) and her mom was against it because it was unnatural. They wanted to get married and run away with each other to be closer to Jesus, who resides in the trees. Not bad considering it was all made up on the spot.

Also excellent was Stomp, but that's probably because I recognized them from when I saw them years ago (and I do mean years ago...I saw them when I was in middle that was a long time ago) when they came through San Jose. Wonderful to see them again; they were just as good as I remembered.

Our least favorite was probably "A Chorus Line." DP Steve and I agreed that somehow that whole "razzle dazzle" lineup was just not our thing. Seemed oddly cheesy and out of place amongst the others. Maybe it is just the symbol of an era that we were never part of.

We watched the rest with entertainment and decided it was time to get some food by the time the music ended. We walked a few blocks away to a great Thai restaurant DP Steve had been to before and continued our drinking and chatting. The food was fantastic - definitely the best Thai food I've had since moving to London.

Great way to spend a weekend with a friend. Seems my New Zealand friends are all over the place here in London, and I'm glad of it.

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