Wednesday, April 01, 2009

London Theatre Week-March 2009

Royal Academy of Arts-Exhibition from the Arthur Miller Collection--Sculpture of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1st president of the Royal Academy

Piccadilly Circus

March 28, 2009-Demonstration in anticipation of G20 Summit-Demonstrations continued daily. President Barack Obama was due to arrive on the 31st.

I saw 8 shows in all, all at discount prices except for one--Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Ironically, this was the show that I liked the least....lots of glitz, glittery, elaborate staging, loud, noisy music, but the audience loved it! The 4 that I enjoyed the most were Billy Elliott, Oliver, Blood Brothers and Spring Awakening. Jersey Boys (the story of Frankie Valli), which is coming to Boston in July with a great deal of advance publicity and anticipation, was good, but for me it did not compare with the 4 that I have mentioned. I also attended La Cage Aux Folles for the 3rd time and Les Miserables for the 4th time.

On Saturday there was a huge, very well organized, orderly demonstration in anticipation of the G20 Summit. All the major roads in Central London were closed, but I was not affected because I walked to the theatres. The weather was cold, windy and there were showers every day except for my last day and the day I was leaving. I stayed at the Cavendish London, a lovely hotel extremely well located on a quiet street, Jermyn St., parallel to Piccadilly, just behind the famous upscale store Fortnum Mason, yet within walking distance to Piccadilly Circus and to most of the theatres. I had arranged online for a transfer from/to airport/hotel, which went very smoothly and was far less costly than a taxi. I highly recommend their service. Their website: dot2.com. Indeed, I arranged the whole trip online....air, hotel, transfer. I flew Virgin Atlantic Premium, which I did not consider worth the increase in price as the seating was still cramped. I am very happy that I did not purchase theatre tickets in advance as most shows were available at a discount.

August 2009

I just attended in Boston the National Touring Company production of Jersey Boys, and this performance was every bit as good as the one I saw in London in March. Although there are a few sad scenes, it is a fast-paced, upbeat musical with lots of comedy, singing and dancing.

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