London: In Photos

5.19.2015


I'm off this week for a dance with the devil dressed as a finance exam. Wish me luck with that one..

Oh, look - pictures!










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Miss last week? Check out my favorite post from Jacqueline's adventures in New Zealand's glow worm caves.

You know what to do - link up below!




Gypsy: Savoy Theatre

5.12.2015


Gypsy is based on the actual memoirs of the famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee,
but this particular story makes a focus on her mother, Rose.

Rose, who I like to describe as a 'momager' to the extreme,
will stop at nothing to bring her children, June and Louise, to fame.
Choreographing a few [terrible, but hilarious] musical acts, she grabs a couple of outsiders as well as Lousie
to make up an ensemble to center around Baby June, who, in her eyes, is the 'star of the family.'

June becomes frazzled with the constant pushing and takes off.
An unfortunate circumstance for Rose to realize she has a second daughter,
but nonetheless, she grabs Louise and seizes the opportunity to make her into a star.


There is always a buzz about big shows coming to the West End,
but I have never heard so much praise for a performance than for Imelda Staunton as Mama Rose.
Obviously I had to see for myself to make sure they were right.

And yes. They were right.

Imelda Staunton is loud, raucous, and determined.
She lit up the stage with energy and carried the show beautifully.
Her performance of  Rose's Turn is one of my favorite performance I've seen.
STUNNING.

Lara Pulver takes on the role of Louise
and makes the beautiful transfer from a shy and untalented daughter
into the fierce, confident, and grown-up Gypsy Rose Lee.

The ensemble was fantastic as well.
It was a different set up than I had seen,
where each of the ensemble only made a major appearance in one act.
The show was extremely centralized, with Imelda and Lara on stage more on their own
than with others.

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This is possibly the hottest ticket in town right now,
and I think it's going to stay that way for a while.
They are pretty pricey, but day seats are available for £25 at the box office.
I was a little weary - I will admit, I am a stalls lover when it comes to the theatre.
I like to sit on the floor, and normally quite close.

These seats are in the upper circle, so I was very hesitant.
BUT the seats were absolutely fantastic!
I enjoy sitting close because I love the connection you can get with the performance;
you can see facial expressions, little movements and things you may not catch from farther away.

In the Savoy Theatre, though, I didn't miss a thing.
I did not feel as far away as I initially thought I was, and felt right in the action.
Which is very telling of both the theatre as well as the performers.
Simply wonderful.

To sum it up,
SEE THIS SHOW!

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Gypsy runs at the Savoy Theatre.
Performances run Tuesday - Saturday 7:30PM with matinees Wednesday & Saturday 2:30P.
The running time for this show is approximately 2 hours 50 minutes with one interval.


Matilda the Musical: Cambridge Theatre

5.05.2015


Matilda the Musical is based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl.
I'm going to hope that you had a childhood and already know this classic story;
five year old Matilda, blessed with a magical brilliance beyond belief,
shows that you can be small and still have the power to stand up to the bullies that are knocking you down.

The musical opened when I lived here in 2012, and for some reason I put it off
until I was headed back to the states and missed it completely.
Very similar to my Sweeney Todd horror story - which really just sums it up to that being my year of stupidity when it came to good theatre.

 This show had a lot of hype when it came out - both in the West End,
and when it made it's debut on Broadway.
It's still got a great reputation, which only told me that I needed to FINALLY get to it.

All that I expected was children. A lot of children.
And that's exactly what the show was.
A ton of insanely adorable, and freakishly talented children running around
and making this show absolutely incredible.

 
 
Anna-Louise Knight was in the role of Matilda for the performance,
and I swear this girl can't be any older than 8.
She was SO tiny, but full of spunk and ferocity - such a joy to watch her jumping around on stage.
 
The ensemble of kids gave off just as much energy -
you could really tell they were dancing their little hearts out, having the time of their lives.
It's one thing to see a group of actors who are so solidly talented,
but to see children with that kind of ability is something else. Amazing, really.
 
Will Kenning was on for Miss Trunchbull,
and I didn't even realize he was the 1st cover until I was told after the show.
He was everything you'd want for the role - hideous, psychotic, child-abusing,
and a ridiculous riot to watch.
 
Adding to this was some of the sharpest choreography I have seen,
which I think is what really sold the show for me.
That, and the witty and hilarious score supplied by the brilliantly clever Tim Minchin.
To put it simply - these songs are catchy as hell.
 
I knew it was going to be a great show, but it really exceeded all of the expectations that I had.
There aren't many shows that can completely nail it - story, set, score, cast - and this show did just that.
If I could recommend something to become a priority on your to-do list, Matilda is definitely the show.
 

Matilda runs at the Cambridge Theatre.
Performances run Tuesday 7:00PM, Wednesday - Saturday 7:30PM
with matinees Wednesday & Saturday 2:30PM & Sunday 3:00PM
The running time for this show is approximately 2 hours 35 minutes with one interval.

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You know the drill.
Link up below!





Selfies & Happy Meals

4.28.2015

Friday night, I was invited to sample the new drink/food menu from Foundation Bar.
I was sold when they told me there were Happy Meals.

Located right in the heart of Covent Garden, it's convenient to pop in whether it's after a day in the office or a night on the weekend.
Looking like a 'night out bar' with crazy cocktails being their centerpiece, though,
I wasn't sure what to expect of the food.
But with pizza, fries, burgers, and grilled cheese, it just wouldn't be like myself to say no to this.


The menu was full of delicious things - all laid out to your appetite.
There were sharing plates, nibbles, and full meals to choose from.
Heather decided on the Veggie Burger & I went for the Hand Rolled Pizza,
because, well, it's me. And pizza.

While waiting, we decided to start with some drinks.
Now, I've seen some weird drinks, but Foundation has got to be the front-runner for this.
So many mixtures of liquors, beers, and ciders I hadn't heard of,
all served in a mixture of tin cans, mugs, and teapots.
Most coming with an extra addition that may be a jaffa cake, marshmallows, or cheese and crackers.
My first drink came with jelly beans in it, so I needed no convincing that I was going to enjoy it.


The best part about the night was that everything we ordered came out within less than ten minutes,
even the food. Which never happens, ESPECIALLY in London!

It was all a delicious mix of great eats - all served in a hefty portion,
but don't think any less of us - we destroyed it.
Way too good to let go to waste.


As time went on, more people came and you could see the shift from a casual happy hour
to crazy crowds ready to rage,
which really makes it a 'best of both worlds' type of place.

And if you're looking for great cocktails mixed with a feast of comfort foods.
Which, let's be real - who isn't?
This will be your place.

Thank you to Foundation Bar & PRandEverythingInbetween for a great night out!

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Happy Tuesday!
http://unlockingkiki.com/day-itinerary-iceland/

Miss last week's link up? Don't worry, I've got my favorite read here.
A Three Day Guide To Reykjavik from Kaelene at Unlocking Kiki!
I pretty much just stalk her blog hoping someday my dreams will come true
and I'll finally go to Iceland.
IT WILL HAPPEN!

Link up below!






Sweeney Todd: Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop

4.25.2015

It was the season of Sweeney!


London had two productions of Sweeney Todd playing within the past few weeks.
A huge production from the ENO starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel,
and a smaller fringe transfer with Jeremy Secomb and Siobhan McCarthy.

The last time I was in London, Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball starred in a production
at the Adelphi Theatre, that for some reason I just 'decided I didn't feel like going.'
......???????????
I'm still working on forgiving myself for that.

SO, with that traumatic experience of stupidity looming over my head, I knew I had to see at least one of these.
With ENO's production prices in the hundreds and Tooting Arts Club's all sold out, though,
I was pretty sure Sweeney himself was blatantly holding this show just out of my reach.

Luckily though, I stumbled on the website one day to find a single seat returned for Tooting Art's Clubs production - and yes. I JUMPED.

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Sweeney Todd ran at Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop down in Tooting,
and to much praise, it made a short transfer to the West End
in an exactly replicated shop right on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Look closely though, because you might miss this little door smacked between the massive Les Miserables and Thriller marquees.
Once inside,  you'll be taken downstairs into a lobby filled with photos and descriptions of the old shop
that will lead you to where the show will be played.

There are a few, narrow rows of tables to sit at, as well as a back line of chairs.
Very small and intimate - and in my opinion, the best kind of theatre.
You'll get cast members literally in your face, on your table,
shoving you down the rows.
I even left with a bit of shaving cream on my dress,
which makes you feel much more like you aren't just watching the show,
but apart of the show.

This small cast of only eight is incredibly strong as well.
As with most smaller scaled shows I've see, they are always packed with a solid group of talent.

Jeremy Secomb led the cast as Sweeney, and gave the room the eery chill it needed for this show.
He was stiff, upright, and always tense with a bit of insanity - just as I would imagine Sweeney to be.
He was vicious to the audience with his death stares and shouts.
that created only a mildly terrifying atmosphere...

Siobhan McCarthy brings a great spirit as Sweeney's right hand lady
with just the right bits of comedy that Mrs. Lovett needed, as well as a beautiful voice.

Nadim Naaman and Zoe Daono play the young lovers with a great ease; Daono has the necessary
balance of ferocity and wit as Joanna to match the handsome and honest Naaman's Anthony.

Joseph Taylor is also not one to be missed, with an incredible presence on stage and off.
I noticed him before the show began with his warm welcome to different member of the audience,
 and absolutely loved his cheeky little interval tune to get the audience back into the shop.
Beyond this, he absolutely throws himself into his role of Tobias with a warm and playful demeanor as well as a subtle side of youth and innocence.

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It's a great night of fun - raw, chilling, intense fun, that is.
If you're looking for a show to keep you on your toes, this is it.


Sweeney Todd runs at Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop until May 30.
Performances run Monday - Saturday 7:30PM with matinees Thursday & Saturday 2:30PM.
The running time for this show is approximately 2 hours 40 minutes with one interval.
The show is currently SOLD OUT, but keep checking the site for returns to pop up, as I have seen plenty come.