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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre

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bob8rich
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joined:10/19/03
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#1
Posted: 5/24/10 at 12:00pm
After suffering from withdrawal symptoms caused by no theatre for about 7 weeks LOL, I will be off to London tomorrow for 3 nights and 4 visits to the theatre. I'll be seeing PARADISE FOUND tomorrow night, ALL MY SONS (matinee) and LOVE NEVER DIES (evening) on Wednesday, and PETER PAN at the Barbican on Thursday. I'll let everyone know my thoughts after I get back home.

Then next week I'll be back to London again for 4 shows in two days! Wednesday June 2 - THE FANTASTICKS; and 3 shows on Thursday June 3 - SPAMALOT in Wimbledon (matinee), TICK TICK BOOM (evening) and MIRANDA sings (late night). I will certainly be making up for the long lay-off!
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#2
Posted: 5/24/10 at 12:22pm
Wow! Have a fabluss time Bob. Always enjoying reading your reports.
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Phantom of London
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#2
Posted: 5/24/10 at 1:24pm
Yeah, second that, have a great time. I be looking out for your reviews.
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hotjohn
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joined:3/14/08
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#3
Posted: 5/24/10 at 8:02pm
OMG Bob! How could you go seven weeks without a theatre visit? I'd get withdrawal symptoms after seven days!
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bob8rich
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#4
Posted: 5/25/10 at 3:27am
Hotjohn - one of the problems of not living in London really. There is occasionally some good theatre locally but on the whole I only get to the theatre when I get to London or New York (or Edinburgh for the Fringe etc). If I lived in London I'd be in the theatre pretty much every day - and be permanently broke LOL.

Phantom & Mama, thanks for your good wishes. Just off to the station - so will post my comments after I get back home.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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bob8rich
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#5
Posted: 5/28/10 at 11:09am
Just got back home, so here are my commenst on the four productions I saw on this weeks trip to London:

PARADISE FOUND: Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! One of the most enjoyable evenings I've spent in the theatre all year - a sheer joy from start to finish. The book is very funny (real belly laughs from the audience throughout) - with genuine WIT, which is sadly absent from so many shows these days. The set is simple yet highly functional and quite beautiful (love the reflections from the mirrors). It's very cleverly directed with some fabulous Stroman choreography. The music is, of course, quite wonderful - luscious Strauss melodies adorned with stunning Tunick orchestrations and arangements. And the performances are all brilliant - as you would expect from such a star-studded cast of Broadway headliners. Everyone is great but the three who stood out the most were Shuler Hensley (what a voice!), the legendary John McMartin (Broadway's original Ben in Follies) and Mandy Patinkin, who gives a real comic "tour de force" performance - simply brilliant. Really can't overstress how much I loved this. As I said - Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! FIVE STARS.

LOVE NEVER DIES: Bland, banal, boring, balderdash! Though it looks quite stunning throughout, IMO the show is really dire. The plot is utterly preposterous, the book is boring tosh (couldn't wait for it to finish so I could get the hell out LOL), the lyrics are banal and hackneyed in the extreme(for some reason ALW seems to be able to drag the standard of excellent lyricists down to his mediocre level - as he did perviously with David Zippel and Diane Warren). And Webber's score is even more bland and repetitive than ever (one very good song - the rest total rubbish!). The cast were all terrific, however, somehow trying their best to make a good job of this utter mess of a show. In particular, I thought Mrs. Lerner was excellent as Madame Giry, Sierra sang quite beautifully and Ramin was awesome. But - what a waste of a set! What a waste of a great cast! What a waste of time! What a waste of my money! It wasn't the worst show I've ever seen - but it comes VERY close. NO STARS!

ALL MY SONS: Always thought this was one of Miller's best ever plays and this is a really brilliant production. The set is pretty stunning and all the performances are right out of the top drawer - David Suchet and Zoe Wannamaker in particular are mindblowingly brilliant. Anyone who hasn't seen this, KILL for a ticket. Best production of a play I've seen in a very long time. FIVE STARS.

PETER PAN: Delightful. Brilliant. Funny. Entertaining. At times really moving. Stunning set. Stunning effects. Every single member of the cast gives an extraordinary performance. This National Theatre of Scotland production is also something I urge anyone to KILL to see before it ends its run at the Barbican next week. I loved every second and literally didn't want it to end! You can see a trailer here: http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/content/default.asp?page=s631
FIVE STARS.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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mallardo
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#6
Posted: 5/28/10 at 11:49am
Wow. Those are the first good words I've read about Paradise Found. I see it tomorrow. You give me hope!
Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
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MamasDoin'Fine
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#7
Posted: 5/28/10 at 1:08pm
Ive heard nothing but brilliant news from the Barbican.
Glad you had a good time Bobby bubby! x
Updated On: 5/28/10 at 01:08 PM
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bob8rich
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#8
Posted: 5/28/10 at 1:42pm
Thanks, Mama. Well, I had a great time - apart from Wednesday night at the Adelphi, which was sheer torture LOL.

Glad you've heard lots of great things about Peter Pan. To be honest, it's not something that would ever have appealed to me normally - I only went to see it because my oldest and closest friend's son is playing one of the Lost Boys. But I am SO glad I did!
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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ruthiefan_felix
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#9
Posted: 5/28/10 at 2:10pm
I'm glad you liked Paradise Found, I really loathed it... the material was so dire apart from the music and the cast had nothing to work on, which was such a shame, cuz... the cast is stellar! As for Peter Pan, it's great isn't it? I wish it can stay longer in London too Off to London for a mini-feast of theatreOff to London for a mini-feast of theatreOff to London for a mini-feast of theatre
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hotjohn
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#10
Posted: 5/29/10 at 12:26pm
Bob, your 'Paradise Found' review is one-hundred per cent the total opposite of every other review I've read of this show but, given that so many theatre critics seem to pretty miserable gits, I'm inclined to value your opinion more.

Maybe the show will still be running on my return from New York when I see it on June 18th.
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bob8rich
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#11
Posted: 5/29/10 at 12:44pm
Hotjohn - it's simply that everyone's opinion is subjective, depending on personal tastes, etc. Millions seem to love shows like Mamma Mia and Hairspray, which I detested. I just found Paradise Found so refreshing - a really witty and sophisticated libretto (as opposed to the kind of forced and totally witless humour in lots of other shows I've seen) with genuine depth of subtext in the morality tale it presented. Jonathan Tunick's orchestrations and vocal arrangements are stunning and the singing is simply wonderful.

Of course, you may hate it when you see it LOL. But it's great to see that you don't let bad reviews put you off seeing a show. I never pay atention to reviews of a show before I see it - I honestly don't care about the random opinions of other people and I prefer to make my own mind up. "I likes what I likes" LOL.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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bob8rich
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Off to London for a mini-feast of theatre#12
Posted: 6/2/10 at 4:18am
Just about to leave for the station for my second trip to London in a week. Seeing The Fantasticks tonight and tomorrow it's Spamalot, Tick Tick Boom and Miranda Sings! I'll post my vews after I get back home on the weekend.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***