Tag: Theatre (page 1 of 1)

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker, by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, London. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Last night, we were lucky enough to have snagged tickets to the encore performance of The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Like numerous other people, I’m sure, this ballet means “Christmas” to me and I simply adore it. It was such a part of my childhood growing up. I was very blessed to live in a town that supported the Arts and our ballet company and symphony would put on a beautiful rendition every year. 

I have wanted to see this particular performance at The Royal Opera House for years, but for one reason or another, it just hasn’t worked out. But last night, was perfect. It was the first time we had seen a “live” performance at our movie theatre and we were both truly pleased. It was a wonderful way to see something like this. I know there are elements you miss by not sitting within the audience, staring at the stage together, your eyes wandering over the cast, the sets, feeling the crowds emotions around you. Here, the camera controls what you see. But that didn’t bother us. We felt just as much a part of this performance as if we were seeing it in person. 

Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambé in the Royal’s The Nutcracker. Photograph: Alastair Muir

The cast was marvellous and we could have not asked for a better Clara (Anna Rose O’Sullivan), Nutcracker (Marcelino Sambé), or Sugar Plum Fairy, who was played by the beautifully talented Marianela Nuñez. This year, she celebrates her 20th year with The Royal Ballet.

During  the intermission, Mr. Michie ordered us hot chocolates. So we started the second Act, nestled in our velvet sofa, drinking hot chocolate, covered with mini pink and white marshmallows. It was perfect! It was a truly magical evening, a wonderful way to start our week and one more enchanting Christmas experience we’ve been able to do this year. 

Peter & Alice

“Of course that’s how it begins: a harmless fairy tale to pass the hours”
Where to begin? At the beginning I suppose! Last night I was enchanted, enraptured, melancholy, delighted! I watched the lives of the real Alice in Wonderland and the real Peter Pan unfold before my eyes.
The real Peter Pan meets the real Alice and the meandering at times, dizzying pace at others, adventure that ensues follows what their conversation might have been when they met for the first time:
When Alice Liddell Hargreaves met Peter Llewelyn Davies at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan. In John Logan’s remarkable new play, enchantment and reality collide as this brief encounter lays bare the lives of these two extraordinary characters. Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in Logan’s first new play since Red, which went on to win 6 Tony Awards in 2010.
Judi Dench had such a stage presence. From the moment she walked on, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I felt sorry at times for the little girl she was and the woman she became. My heart ached for Peter as his childhood seemed at times horrific with the loss of both his parents through cancer and the effect the First World War had on him.
You could “see” the soldier he shot dying, only knowing he was dead as the fleas crawled off of him. The boy who never grows up, did and it was not the storybook dream of Neverland.
I know this was an imagined conversation, I know that this was make-believe, but I believed it! As the story developed the dusty shelves and run down back end of the book shop disappeared into a children’s theater. The set came to life in a different way and storybook Alice and Peter appeared along with the authors who first carved them out of their imaginations. They led us through this world and how it came to be and what happened when the curtain was lifted, when the last page was finished and the magic dissolved into the reality of their true lives.
The lines were quick, the wit was sharp. The references back to their respective books were well written. Watching storybook Alice and Peter mock and tattletale on their real life counterparts was fascinating to watch. 

Through no choice of their own, it was as if these characters that had been created around them and their families became almost their own little conscience, what they measured or didn’t measure their lives by.  By outsiders they were compared to their literary selves even though that is not who and what they were.
I sat on the edge of my seat for 90 minutes and at the end of the play I would have sat there for another and watched this entire tale unfold again before my eyes. It was splendorous!
{all images copyright to the Michael Grandage Company}

A Ballet Kinda Week

Well, this must have been my ballet week. I got to see Sleeping Beauty on Tuesday and last night we watched the very last episode of Bunheads.

Oh Bunheads, you have made me laugh, cry, smile, contemplate…I hope that you are coming back for another season, because I need you! The cast is just outstanding. My parent’s had the opportunity to see Sutton Foster when she was on Broadway performing in Thoroughly Modern Millie and they enjoyed every moment of it.

And, to have “The Great” Kelly Bishop, I mean come on! Film mom of Baby, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!” These wonderfully talented women, who can sing, who can dance, who can act, it is just stellar! This show is funny, sweet, intelligent, if you are listening TV Gods I would like you to keep this show running, because TV is a better place with it!

An Evening with Sandi Toksvig

I had the distinct pleasure last night to see the incredible and endearing, Sandi Toksvig. She was performing a one-woman show that highlighted her new book, Valentine Grey.

Sandi is someone that I have long watched on T.V. she is a regular on Q.I., a show hosted by Stephen Fry, which is a marvelously intelligent and hilarious show; I always learn something remarkable from watching it.

Her show was extremely personable; it was funny, but more than that, it was real life. She comes from a family who finds the humour in things. I can fully appreciate that, as I come from a family that does that as well. If you can’t laugh, well then what else is there?

She recounted fascinating stories about her life, her family, her friends and there was a bit of history tucked in here and there. She read aloud from her book, Valentine Grey, the story of a woman who takes her cousin’s identity and place in the Volunteer Regiment during the Boer War. They each in their own way are seeking freedom, but freedom comes at a price.

One little anecdote that she shared with us was that while waiting in the wings to go on stage she listens to her IPod and conducts an imaginary orchestra. As we were taking our seats music was playing throughout the theatre and she related to us that that particular piece of music was what she had been listening to. So as we are fumbling around for seats, begging a million pardons to get by and not step on any toes, she is hiding behind the curtains, arms flailing and alive with music.

She ended her show by informing us that she would be conducting. In fact, she enjoyed conducting so much she had a conductor’s tails made for her, stating that she felt a bit like Mickey Mouse when she had it on (her grandfather was an artist who worked for Disney). Cue the stage assistant who brought her coat out for her, she put it on and she looked truly splendid! Now, here it comes: she offered us the opportunity to join her, she wouldn’t see us, of course, as she would have her back to us and it would be awful if we were one of those people who went home thinking, “that looked like so much fun! I wish I joined in!”

So, up from our seats we all rose, the heavenly chords of Beethoven soaring through the theatre and off we went, laughing, conducting, tasting life. I left thinking, in some ways this is the public version of dancing around your house naked. You were alive with music, your soul trembled with excitement, you were free.

After such a long week and feeling that I have been going 100 miles an hour, full throttle, no break; that was a tremendous event to attend and as much as I have going on today, trying to gulp for air when I can, I am still replaying parts of the evening in my head and it makes me smile, it makes me laugh and that is a wonderful thing.

Today, put on a favorite song, wave your arms in the air, dance like no one is watching, for today might be all we have, we need to suck the very marrow out of it.

The Sunshine Boys

Last night, I saw this:

and it was wonderful! To see Danny DeVito in person was everything I hoped it would be and more!

I was cheeky at the end and grabbed a couple of shots on my phone, just to show Mr. Michie, the set, as I had gone out with a friend.

Isn’t he just as cute as can be? (not the sharpest pictures, I know!)

What a wonderful way to celebrate the 1st of May!