21 September 2010

Trips to the Theatre

Wicked - one of my favorite musicals.


This is the poster I traveled through London and Brighton with before coming home.  My first time seeing Wicked was after I had been living in Lancaster, England for the summer.  I had been traveling around the UK to all kinds of towns and cities, some touristy, but mostly not.  My base was a University near the Lake district and I enjoyed the area immensely.  

Before leaving to hop the pond home, I spent the last 10 days in London and Brighton.  Unlike my SIL and friends, I had not read the book this show is based upon.  I heard it was much darker in nature than the show.  My mind was wide open to the experience and after, I wanted to go right up and buy more tickets for the next day!

It was not until seeing it in the States a couple years later, did I realize the differences in language and references depending on the location of the show.  Having been in England a brief while, I had become accustom to the phrases and jokes used there and when I heard them at the theater they fit right in.  When I saw it in an American city, the jokes had been adjusted and while just as funny, clearly different reference.

This show has changed my view of the original Wizard of Oz movie, but in a good way.  Also, I enjoy seeing it repeatedly for the music - really, how can you not sing along, the humor - the timing makes or breaks these main characters, and the messages - subtle and not so subtle, but effective!

Sorry no pictures for this one, they frown on cameras in the crowd and I was in the wrong place to get a good picture of the theater marquee.  This is about the "change" and is fall-out-of-you-seat-crying/laughing hilarious!  It is minimal in props and stage items (certainly compared to most shows) and performed by 4 women straight through, no intermission.  

These folks can sing!  And like most great shows, make you laugh at life.  Having seen friends and family attack this stage in life, I can only imagine how much they would appreciate the writing, timing, and characters in this show.  If you are looking for a gals night out event, give this a shot.

And last for today's review:

I think I mentioned before, I was raised Catholic.  What I mean by that was my siblings and I lived through Catholic school.  The plaid jumpers (no pants in our time), fierce kickball at recess (before they decided it was too dangerous to play on pavement in skirts - whatever!), rules, single file lines to everywhere, and of course, the Nuns.

Weren't we adorable?!


After 8 years together with the same 30-40 people in our class - and let me tell you we all KNEW each other by then, my siblings and I went to the public high school with the heathens.  Okay, not really, but the nuns pretty much implied that given any opportunity.

Now, let me describe to you the "public" high school I attended.  It is consistently ranked in the top tier of all schools systems in the state.  It had a large band and choral program, competitive cheerleading, soccer, lacrosse, football, tennis, etc. with varsity, JV, and freshman level teams that routinely sent teams to state finals.  We had advanced math, biology, and chemistry programs that made me wonder why I bothered taking any more in college (the college ones were easier).  Our one drawback was we didn't have swimming pools.  Yes, I can feel the sympathy as you read.  My point is, while the school did not have Nuns, it was certainly not lacking in much else and we survived the heathens.

So years later when my SIL, a converted Catholic and now Director of Religious Education for their parish and her mother, a non-Catholic said they had tickets for this 1-woman show, I was interested.  How much could one person convey about Catholic school and upbringing in a small theater show?  Holy Toledo, she got it ALL in there.  I swear, I felt like I had been transported back in time.

The actress is dressed in an old-school Nun habit with the big wooden rosary beads hanging down the side.  The theater is typically smaller than average, to assist in the feeling of being in Sister's class.  She asks questions and you'd better know the answer!  She makes you keep your feet flat on the floor (why did they harp on that?) and spit your gum out...in her hand.  She talks about families and names, and generally asks around until she finds the "Catholic trifecta" of Joseph Donovan O'Malley or some such thing.  In our show the woman said her name was Candy...oh my, the Sister went on for 10 minutes on the satan references, but with humor. 

If this show comes to town try to squeeze it in.  It will be funny to anyone, but hilarious to those who have recovered from Catholic school.  Speaking of, here are some of our folks 20+ years later.  Still fabulous people and I love that I know them.

I hope you've enjoyed my trips to the theater and the 
memories they conjured up!

Sorry about the font size, it won't seem to give me normal, only small or large. 


1 comment:

nanny said...

I've seen Wicked twice and would love to see it again......I changed my opinion of Wizard too after seeing it....loved it!!!