Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


New York has Broadway, Toronto has King Street (OK, so it's not world famous) and London has the West End. That's right, we're talking musicals! Stage plays! Sequins! Glamour! Drama! Showtunes! Vaseline smiles! Jazz hands!
In the last 2 months, I have been to 3 different productions, all very different and different levels of awesome.

1. Wicked, Apollo Victoria
Qas and I went to see this in July as part of our anniversary weekend. It was, in a word, spectacular. While it is very corny in some ways, you expect that from theatre so it's digestable. What makes it so great is the talent of the cast. The Wicked Witch's voice is just brilliant and Good Witch Glinda is the perfect mix of well-intentioned and selfish. The stage effects and costumes make this a brilliant watch. Fans of The Wizard of Oz will not be disappointed.

2. Batman Live, O2 Arena
Qas and I went to this over the August Bank Holiday. And while not technically in the West End it's still a pretty cool stage show. It is definitely meant for kids, though, and you can expect the same level of corny dialogue and "gee-whiz Batman"s that you would get from the cartoon or reading the comic book. What made this really fun to watch was the circus performers. Because the show is based on how Dick Grayson becomes Robin, a lot of it is based in the circus. There were 3 very cool moments in the show: the Batmobile on stage, the scene in the asylum and a spectacular entrace by the Joker! It's on a limited run in London but will be around the country all year.

3. Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre
Don't go to this. Seriously. If you love Michael Jackson and do not want to see his wonderful career made into a sad, unintentional parody that looks like a high school show then stay far, far away. Qas and I got tickets from BritBound for only £20 each for the Upper Circle, which is a definite bargain no matter what show you see. But I felt cheated when I saw this. It was not worth any amount of money. They took songs like Bad and made them into happy, skippy songs with amateur choreography and poorly executed, lazy dancing. Not everything was terrible. The show's two saving graces were the kid who played young MJ (pretty good!) and the fact that no one attempted to sing Billie Jean. Instead, a guy danced while lip-syncing. His dancing was pretty good, so that part was alright. But, my God, this was like Glee and High School Musical put their reject cast members on a stage and said, "Do some Michael Jackson".

I'm hoping to catch Lion King soon, as well as We Will Rock You and maybe Shrek.

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