Saturday, September 09, 2006

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Apparently by having a reality TV show to choose the next one.

I'm in London at the moment staying with Boo in her share house. Was staying with UK Mum & Dad for a while and UK Mum made sure that I got to see an episode of this show. It's about as horrible as every Reality TV Show I have seen (sorry) and added to it you have Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and guest singers who should be having words with their stylist. It's like an all-female Pop Idol show. These poor ladies are competing to perform as Maria in the new production of The Sound Of Music being produced, I think, by Sir ALW, hence his involvement in the judging proceedings.

Fortunately, I've not had all that much time to be watching British TV as after Logan and I left Shrewsbury for London we have been out and about either walking or catching the tube to our next destination.

We went out with Boo to her local pub which is staffed by Aussies (which is what you would expect from the Earl's Court/Shepherds Bush area) and on a Tuesday they have half-price wood-fired pizza. Because the weather had been so great (26 degrees) it was packed and we had a little difficulty grabbing ourselves a table. The pizzas took about 45 minutes to appear simply because of the high demand and they were definitely worth the wait.

I went to see Wicked on Thursday night and you should have seen the crowd! There were people dressed in green - dresses, ties, shirts, tops - or who had green hair for the occasion. One pair even dressed up as the main characters - Elphaba and Galinda - complete with black witch hat and a blonde wig. They were very excited!

The show was fantastic. It was fascinating to see how they dealt with the breakdown of some of the equipment - Galinda's "bubble" failed to appear and they brought down the curtain and started the show again, some furniture failed to appear for one scene (although I didn't notice) but that was insignificant and they kept going. It was full of references to L. Frank Baum's original Wizard of Oz as well as other musicals. It was funny, it had passion and great effects, the cast were wonderful (even a few Aussies in the leading roles!!), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We stood hopefully near the Stage Door afterwards but it seemed that there was a bit of a booze and schmooze going on to celebrate the first show with an audience so as it got colder and we got more tired we decided to call it a night.

Last night I went with Boo to see Jason Robert Brown's The Last 5 Years at a converted Chocolate Factory where, again, there was an Australian in one of the lead roles. Was impressed with the show and the staging. It was, obviously, different to the show I saw in Melbourne (twice). It was good to talk about the differences with Boo. Although I enjoyed this version I think they played it "angry" and it was a little more difficult to see why the two had developed and stayed in their relationship.

We're off to a market somewhere today and will try to get to Greenwich tomorrow. And hopefully more musicals!!