28 February 2015

La traviata - English National Opera

Exciting times in the world of the West End!


As you all have seen, a typical week for me involves a lot of musical theatre.
And while I love this type of art more than my little heart can hold,
it's great to branch out and experience the other types of performance that is offer.
And experience that in London? Absolutely the best of the best.

That's why when the English National Opera offered the chance to see one of their shows,
there was no hesitation in my "YES! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR PRODUCTION!"
Sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of me...

I'll be seeing their current running production La traviata.
The show tells the story of a young woman forced to sacrifice her own happiness for the reputation of her lover.
I have heard of this show before, as it is one of the most reproduced operas out there,
but definitely underestimated the intensity of it before watching the ENO's trailer.

 
 
Excited may be an understatement for my feelings.
 
I'll be seeing the show this coming Thursday, so expect a little review of my experiences after.
 
After checking out a preview for La traviata, I took a peek at what's coming at the ENO.
And I think most people already know the show people are already buzzing like crazy about,
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
The show is star studded with Emma Thompson, Bryn Terfel,
and two of my favorites, Matthew Seadon-Young and Rosalie Craig.
Understatement: It's going to be a big one. And a good one.
 
Another show that I'm excited about is Between Worlds.
This is a world premiere that is inspired by the events of 9/11,
so it, quite literally, hits pretty close to home for me.
I think this will be one of the most moving productions I'll ever see, and I am so excited for it.
If that doesn't convince you, check out what else is coming to the ENO.
It's a pretty packed full season of incredible shows.
 

27 February 2015

Fab Four Friday


A nice little post with a nice little song.

This one comes from the movie Help!
If you haven't watched it, I'll put all judgements aside (no I won't),
and just say - WATCH IT.
They are way too cute in this to not watch it.


FUN FACTS:

- Ringo falls through a hole during this song in the film. Like, it's just so great.
Just another reason why you should watch it.

- The majority of this song was completely recorded in a day.
ONE DAY.

- And I'm obsessed with the backing vocals on this. Just thought that was a fun fact too..

 
 

24 February 2015

A Weak Travel Tuesday...

SORRY!

Travel Tuesday is a little dim on this page today.
I am currently working on my dissertation proposal that is due on Thursday.
Let's all say a quick prayer for me...

So while I am trying not to gauge my eyes out to keep from reading,
why don't you check out my favorite post from last weeks linkup?

Kaelene lives in Iceland - ICELAND!!
Jealousy: begin.
 She moved there to be with her hunky Icelandic viking of a boyfriend.
Jealousy: continue.

She talks about why you should visit Iceland in the winter
- as if we needed any convincing to visit. Hellooooo GORGEOUS -
and if for some unknown reason you are skeptical, just check out her pictures.


Also - link up this week below!

Happy travels!

http://unlockingkiki.com/visit-iceland-winter/ 

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22 February 2015

Sunday Lovin'



1. I was placed at #16 for the IX15 Top 100 International Blogs - pretty exciting to get a little recognition for this thing.
Thank you to everyone who sent a vote my way!


2. I am seeing the Carole King musical, Beautiful, on Tuesday.
This is ABSOLUTELY important enough to be on this list because I really cannot even explain my excitement.
Carole King AND musical theatre - in one night?
Say a prayer for me. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle this.


3. Sticking to musical theatre, I saw Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory (again) this past week.
This was a bit different from the past time I've seen it,
because the household favorite, Aaron Tveit, has departed.
A big part of this show's audience were superfans -
so you can imagine the negativity when he announced he was leaving early.
Michael Xavier stepped into the role for the remaining month, and if you don't know him, you should.
This guy's been nominated for TWO Olivier Awards.
(Basically the British Tony Awards)
He was born in Liverpool - and you know my feelings towards Liverpool.
And if that's not enough. Just Google the man. You'll see what I mean.

He's about 12 feet taller than Aaron, but plays the role just as beautifully...if not better.
Yea. I said it.
But that's just one reason why you should see the show.

I'm not kidding when I explain how phenomenal this cast is.
I've seen great actors connect together so well to create an amaizng show,
but acting-wise, I have never seen such a talented.
There is not a single person who outshines the other.
Literally - I can't even explain one that I was so impressed by,
because I'd just go on until I had talked about the entire cast.
Everyone is so god-damn incredible I really just can't get over it.

Anyways - the show is sold out, but they've got a returns-queue that basically always gets you tickets.
And people are throwing theirs on social media when they can't make it.
So if you want to see it,
and believe me - you want to see it -
you will be able to.


4. We're still sticking to musical theatre.
I saw The Scottsboro Boys this afternoon, which was also their final day before closing.
I'll have a review up here, but I figured I should add it in here because I am absolutely loving it.


5. Spent yesterday wandering all over London again
and just want to say again how in love I am with this place.
It's pretty much the greatest city in the world. That's about it, really.


16 February 2015

An Exciting Travel Tuesday

Hello old readers and new!


It's Tuesday - which usually means a post from me.
But this Tuesday is a little different.
Because rather than posting with the Travel Tuesday link-up as I usually do,
I am CO-HOSTING it!

I've been nominated by the lovely previous co-hosts to take on the link up
with the amazing Amanda, Marcella, and Michelle,
and I'm prettttttty excited about it.

I wanted to use this post just as a little introduction to those of you who may participate in this link-up, but haven't stumbled on this page.

I'm Caity - I am currently an American expat making a life for myself over in London.
After a study abroad semester, I fell in love with the other side of the world.
Naturally, as all people do, I up and moved back.
....All people do that, right?

Anyways - it took three years,
but last August I made the move back to London and have been here ever since.
And if I can just say - it feels GREAT to be back home..

I use this page to write about my life in London.
This normally includes guides of areas around London, some stagey theatre reviews, and a few nights out.
I've got a few travel posts here and there as well as some tips that may help you
if you're taking a big trip or, like me, planning a big move.
Oh, and I talk about The Beatles quite a bit.
Usually every Friday.

There's a few of my favorite posts I linked below that will give you a better idea about myself and my life.
Hope you enjoy it here and stick along for the ride!

A little bit about myself:

About Me

On London: Looking Back & Looking Ahead

Stagey-ness: How I Got Into Theatre

My Favorite City In The Entire World
 
Travel Talk: My ABC's
 
My Beatles Series: Fab Four Friday


Some of the weird things that happen.... a serious emphasis on weird:

That Time I Was Homeless

Jumping On German Freight Trains. Accidents Happen?

Meeting Paul McCartney
 
 
A few tips and guides:
 
London EatSeeDo Latest Guide: Sohottenhamborn

Thoughts On Traveling With My Best Friend

Why I Love Hostels, and Why You Should Too

My Travel Bucket List: What Have You Always Wanted To See?

Your Very Own London Weekend Itinerary 


And, of course, my life in London:

Life In London: In Photos

Mastering Gin in Piccadilly

A Master's Degree from an Expats Point of View


Excited to be here with you all for the next few months.
Happy Travel Tuesday!



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10 February 2015

EatSeeDo: Sohottenhamborn

Yes - Sohottenhamborn is actually an area of London.
 
  
Central London has the amazing quality of everywhere being within a moderate walking distance.
This also makes it incredibly overwhelming because there are SO many places to go!
 
This area may be the worst of them all.
And by worst, I mean the best. So many things to do - a pretty great problem to have.
 
And who better to help you out when you're caught in the dilemma of what to do and where to go other than the greatest and most helpful, and also totally attractive tour guide?
YES - we're talking about me, of course.
 
I see this being one of multiple guides regarding this area.
There are just so many places to explore!
But today, we're in the London Borough of Sohottenhamborn.
Yes. I said Sohottenhamborn.
A little bit of Soho, a little bit of Tottenham Court Road, and a little bit of Holborn.
 
Shout out to the Greater London Authority - I've got this whole city mapped out for y'all.
Ever heard of Charbanksquare Garden? Angisling Cross?
Yeaaaaa - there's plenty more brilliance where that came from...
 
Okay, okay. Let's get into what you came here for.
Just a few of my current favorite finds below!


**********************

Eat
Amalfi
This is an incredible pre-theatre dinner spot. And a perfect mention in this post since just about all of my "see's" are theatres. What did you expect?

Anyways - Amalfi's a very tiny but verrrry cute restaurant that serves a great range of Italian food.
Which also means wine. Lots of wine.
I think my work here is done.


Ed's Easy Diner
An American 1950's style diner - of course this is getting a mention!
Burgers, hotdogs, fries, MILKSHAKES.

Think Johnny Rockets in England.
Or just think of anything that is absolutely perfect - this is just like that.


Byron Burger
Another burger joint.
But is it really possibly to have too many burgers and fries?
Sorry ... chips.

Byron's got locations all over London - so if you're interested in it, just check out where it is on their website.


Neal's Yard
This is one of those 'Pinterest pictures.'
You know - that picture you see EVERYWHERE and are just all 'Where the F is that place?!'
Well, it's here - in Sohottenhamborn.


Amorino Gelato
When you're disgustingly full from eating all of the above,
pop into Amorino for gelato.

Let's be real - not even a full stomach can keep you from gelato.


See
Prince Edward Theatre
Currently playing Miss Saigon.
I saw this with my parents a few months ago and posted a review here.


Soho Theatre
If you're looking to stray off the commercial West End path,
Soho Theatre's got three stages presenting a range of theatre from new works, to comedy shows, to cabarets.


Soho Square
Paul McCartney's publishing company, MPL Communications, is located here ... could I really leave that out?


Phoenix Theatre
This theatre is playing Once The Musical.
An amazing story with some of the most beautiful folk music to make you cry on spot. I mean it.

Oh, and you can go up and order from the bar on stage before curtain while the cast is jamming around the stage - how cool is that?  

The show is closing March 21, so get going!


Palace Theatre
 The Commitments has been playing here for over a year.
It's a great musical playing some of the greatest soul music created.
Mustang Sally, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Try A Little Tenderness -
The list goes on...

I saw this show last year and had a great time - I even got the chance to do a bit of my own singing.
Terrible, terrible singing, I will add.
Review here!


Shaftesbury Theatre
Oh Shaftesbury. Sweet, sweet, Shaftesbury.
You hold my musical heart, and keep me coming back again and again.
And again and again.

Memphis is playing here, and I cannot recommend this show enough.
And 90% of my recommendation is because of the cast.
You know when a cast just 'works'? They just mesh so well together, and work a show better than it's ever been performed?
This is that cast.
Yes, the leads are spectacular. But it's every single person in this show. Incredible.

Anyways - if you didn't catch my drift up there, GO SEE THIS SHOW.


Do
Pop Boutique
Looking for some vintage goodies?
This is the place to go


The O Bar
A recommendation from your favorite blogging side-kick, Heather.
A cute little corner pub to grab a pint from after a long day.


Music and Goods Exchange
We've just spent the weekend celebrating our new record player,
and is there any better way to do that than go shopping?
We popped around to as many record stores within our distance, and Music and Goods Exchange was the gold mine.
So many great finds, and a bargain area of 1pound records in the basement!
I'm going back tomorrow. But really ... I'm going back tomorrow.


**********************


The closest station to this area is Tottenham Court Road, but any surrounding station is a short walk away.
Taking the Circle/District lines to get home, I'll normally get out at Embankment and walk from there.
Depending on which way I go, I pass through Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden,
which are all great areas to stroll around in - and outside is better than underground.
So I'll always recommend walking.
 



  

 
 
I've been nominated for ix15's Top 100 International Blogs!
Throw me a vote if you're enjoying it here...
IX15 - Vote for this blog!
 
 

08 February 2015

Sunday Lovin

 
1. I was nominated for the Top 100 International Blogs at Lexiophiles.
I've seen this award pop up on a few other bloggers, and wasn't sure what it was,
but I got the email last week that someone threw my name out there, and now I get to be in a fun little contest!
Pretty cool, hm? It's nice when you get little reminders like this that people do pay attention to the things you do.
So if you do happen to read this little blog, and you do happen to enjoy it,
why not throw a vote my way?
IX15 - Vote for this blog!


2. I've booked a flight home this week...
TO VISIT - get real.
I'm still disgustingly in love with life here. I'm not leaving anytime soon!
...well, I don't plan to.

I'm over-excited for a quick visit home to Florida to see my family though.
AND I will be popping up to my hometown in Kentucky for an old friends wedding!
I haven't been to see friends in two years, so I'm pretty much off the walls about it.


3. This is basically the greatest video to hit the Internet this week - maybe all time.
Jimmy Fallon reunited the Saved By The Bell cast on his show.
I spent my mornings growing up catching the show 7AM every morning with breakfast before school,
so just like my trip home - I was off the walllllllls when I saw this.


4. MY PARENTS GOT US A RECORD PLAYER.
I'm not even kidding - this is top 10 greatest days of my life.
We have about 15 records here that have just been sitting so sadly on our shelves until we could afford to buy one,
and my sneaky little parents decided to mail me the greatest 'miss you' gift in the entire world.
I'm spoiled with the greatest duo that could ever raise me - I am seriously so lucky.

We spent last night celebrating.
I'm serious - we went out record shopping and bought a bottle of champagne.
It's THAT big of a deal to us..

And I'm also never leaving this place.


Happy Sunday!

06 February 2015

Fab Four Friday

Today's all about George.


I read that Feb 6 was the day that George said was the first time he had seen The Quarrymen play.
(the first band John put together that pretttttty much started it all)
I'd say Georges introduction to John and Paul's playing is a legitimate factor in The Beatles history, wouldn't you?

Anyways, because of that - we're going GEORGE today!

He is a seriously underrated songwriter, but when three out of four members
(sorry Ringo)
of a group are some of the most badass lyricists in music history, that's bound to happen to someone.

A lot of Georges songs are absolute classics,
but possibly his most known creation is Something.

Frank Sinatra called it the 'greatest love song 
and it's literally been covered by every single person known to man, including Frank himself.

My favorite versions, though, are of course with George involved.
And I say versions because there are so many!

I've already included this recording on a previous Fab Four Friday,
but it's just so damn good I had to post it again.
It's a very stripped down and raw - just George and a guitar.


Like I said before - I almost prefer it to the original.
I just love it.

*************

There's also another version of the song that's been deconstructed.
I seriously commend you if you take the time to listen to this entire video.
But you should.

There are few things better than a song that ever track within it is awesome.
Listening to is this way, you find things you never noticed.
For example - did you notice the little Hammond organ perks during the chorus?
I never really did. But after hearing it deconstructed and on it's own,
it's something I hear every time the song comes on now, and one of my favorite parts.

And do you hear, in the Vocals track, Paul humming along during the guitar solo?
I'm obsessed.

And the drum track.
 And the bass melody.
And the harmonies.
And that goddamn heart-melting guitar solo.

And George. Just him. All of him.


But really - the guitar and drum track from this song are on my list of learns.
Know anyone who could teach me both?
Like tomorrow?
I just want to jaaaaaammmmm

*************
And the of course, there is the recording on Abbey Road.
That classic that nobody will ever get sick of - for good reason.
Have you seen the music video for it?


So scruffy and so in love.


I've been nominated for ix15's Top 100 International Blogs!
Throw me a vote if you're enjoying it here...
IX15 - Vote for this blog!

03 February 2015

EatSeeDo - St. John's Wood

One of, if not my favorite area in London.
And NO - it's not becuase there is Beatle history here..
..but that may help just a bit..


St. John's Wood is more of a residential area,
minus the crowds upon crowds that come to Abbey Road Studios.

There is a lot to the area though.
It makes for a great day out of the crazy city life, to just relax in such a calm and peaceful area.

Again, there is definitely more around here that I haven't been able to explore yet.
But these are my favorites so far.

**********************
Eat
Richoux
This is literally Heather and my go-to restaurant.
A great range of foood with DELICIOUS desserts!
We'll actually be there next week celebrating Heather's birthday...
....then back next month to celebrate mine.
Yes. We like it a lot.

The Duke of York
A cozy little pub right in the heart of the area.
Go for a pint and some fish and chips.
Y'know, be all British like that.

Harry Morgan
Heather and I just ate here last week.
Yes - it's just as it sounds. We come up here a LOT.
Anyways - Harry Morgan comes off to me as American style diner food.
Burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, etc.
Basically heaven - I don't know how else to describe it.

OH, and they have milkshakes. MILKSHAKES!

Beatles Coffee Shop
Right outside the St. John's Wood Tube Station,
this little coffee shop is full of Beatles goodies.
This was actually where we got our Beatles coloring book to pass the time
when we slept on Oxford Street. LOL yea, that happened.

Gelato Mio
I don't even know if I need to give a description of this.
I mean, it's gelato - do you need any more convincing to go?
I wouldn't be surprised if you were already on your way there right now.


See
Abbey Road Studios
This is what most people come to St. John's Wood for.
Abbey Road is known for that iconic album cover from that little band I happen to talk about a lot.
The zebra crossing you are so familiar with is there, along with a zillion people holding up traffic
as they try to recreate the album cover.
 Have you seen the Abbey Road Crossing Cam?
Enjoy the sights of people posing and sounds of cars honking.

I'll mention that Paul McCartney also lives right around the corner from Abbey Road Studios.
He's owned the place since the early 60's, and still uses it as his home.
Girls used to camp out outside the house and try to jump the gate when Beatlemania was going on.
I'm crazy about him, that's for sure - but I'm not THAT crazy.

Do
Primrose Hill
 This is one of my favorite places in all of London.
You get an entire view of the London skyline when you walk up the hill.
Not to mention it's a dog-lovers heaven.
If I recommend spending a day anywhere, it's here.

London Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
If you are craving more furry friends after dog-watching at Primrose Hill,
just walk across the street to the London Zoo.
Who doesn't love an afternoon at the zoo?

Regents Park
This is a short walk away as well.
Another peaceful space of greenery,
as well as a great place for some Summer theatre - you know I like that.
Regents Park Open Air Theatre is an outdoor space
where you can find some amazing productions put on from May to September.


**********************

It's a not a bad walk from nearby stations Swiss Cottage, Baker Street, and Chalk Farm,
but the easiest way to get here is using the Jubilee Line
that runs through the St. John's Wood Tube Station.

01 February 2015

Sunday Lovin' ... WITH CHOCOLATE

February already?

Wasn't I just writing about Christmas creeping up on us?


1. I'm diving into the new year head first with some new internships and things.
While I'm still going crazy, and my anxiety is over the roof,
it feels better to know I am making moves that will hep towards staying here.
Because I've been here for six months and I'm still hopelessly in love with this city...
which means leaving is simply not an option.


2. Heather's birthday is TOMORROW!
We're doing a celebratory dinner at our favorite restaurant, Richoux.
I was thinking of getting her Paul McCartney,
but all she's said is 'I just want to blow out a candle'
.. whatever.
Check out Heather's post from a few weeks back and give her a Happy Birthday shout!


3. I got the cutest little valentine in the mail last week from Cupid at Hotel Choclat ..
Turns out, my secret valentine is the lovely Anna at Anna in Wonderland!
I came home from a run to a massive box of chocolate,
and let me tell you,
there's nothing better than coming home feeling like death and sweat to a box of sweets.

There are all types of treats with all types of fillings - champagne, caramel, cream, gin, lemon.
I'm both proud and very surprised that I didn't eat them all that night.


Happy Sunday!