Thursday, July 29, 2010

La vie BOHEME

I had a list of things I wanted to do when I was in London and tonight, I marked off the last thing on that list. What I wanted to do was to see a local production of something. Something that wasn't a Broadway import or a big West End show. This week, I saw an ad in the paper for a modern day production of La Boheme and I decided that I was going.
Let me tell you, it was quite the pay off. Let me set this up for you:
This is a sort of independent theater, much like an Off-Broadway theater in New York.
I am sitting dead center on the front row. The stage actually touches the edge of my feet and the actors are so close that their spittle gets on my face when they sing and a guy fell on my foot during a scuffle.
Now, it's the opera La Boheme, sung classically, but the words were changed to use modern vernacular and it was set in SoHo in London in present day. To put it in perspective, it would be like the set of Rent, sung like an opera at the Met but with modern language, with trendy folks and hipsters in the roles. Ridiculously awesome right?
So the first act happens and I love it. Intermission. The ushers come in and say that the audience has to leave the theater for a set change and for us to wait down at the bar. Fine.
So we go down there, and about 10 minutes into intermission, the cast shows up and continues the show...IN THE BAR. Talk about a set change! So we stand there in the bar and they continue singing the opera in the bar. Then they leave and we go back to the theater to finish it out.
For real.
This was just a really amazing experience. There I am, on the front row, with the trendy gays on my right, hipster old people on my left, loud London girls behind me to the right and this husband and wife duo behind me to my left that LOVED this show.
I actually had a really theatrical day. I went out to get some pictures of the theater I saw Oliver in and I saw a sign for a backstage tour...so of course, I took it. I had no idea that this was the world's oldest continually functioning theater. I had no idea that the tunnels I was going to walk through were built in the 1600s. I had no idea that a ghost with a grey top hat apparently hangs out in the balcony. I had no idea about any of these things. But I got to see it all and it was awesome.
So it's fair to say that this has been the most theatrical day of my entire trip, a fitting end to my last real day in London before we start traveling more. I really loved today.

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