Monday, January 16, 2012

Dreamboats & Petticoats

Thursday was the AWC's monthly Theatre Day, so I met up with four other ladies at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square that morning to see which matinees they were offering at half price.  After perusing the board and reading the descriptions that the activity leader had thoughtfully printed out, we unanimously decided to see a play called "A Round-Heeled Woman," starring Sharon Gless.

[Coincidentally, Tyne Daly is also starring in Master Class in the West End.  Could a Cagney & Lacey reunion be far behind?]

Unfortunately, when we got up to the ticket window, we were told there was only one seat left for that afternoon's matinee.  Darn!  We went back to the drawing board, this time picking our top two choices in case we met with the same obstacle again.  One woman asked if anyone would mind if she took the single ticket for A Round-Heeled Woman -- which we didn't -- so she went back and snagged it before anyone else could take it.  The rest of us got tickets to see Dreamboats & Petticoats, a lighthearted musical written around popular rock songs from the 50's and early 60's.

After lunch at TGI Fridays (not my idea, but at least they give you free refills on soft drinks), we killed the remaining time before the show at the giant M&M World shop, which is apparently one of the largest candy stores in the world.  I'm loathe to call it that, since they don't actually sell a lot of candy -- most of the merchandise is schlocky souvenirs featuring the M&Ms characters.  If you are in the market for an M&Ms Christmas ornament, luggage tag, coffee mug, t-shirt, tote bag, or stuffed toy, you've come to the right place.  If you want chocolate candies that melt in your mouth, not in your hands, they're a heck of a lot cheaper at the supermarket.  Sure, you can get them in all sorts of different colors, but they don't even have any special flavors -- just plain and peanut.  No dark chocolate?  No mint chocolate?  No peanut butter or almond M&Ms?  It was pretty disappointing.  I bought a small bag of peanut M&Ms to enjoy during the show, which set me back £5.  Sheesh!
The M&Ms try to rip off the Beatles
Then we walked over to the redundantly-named Playhouse Theatre to see the show.
Dreamboats and Petticoats at the Playhouse Theatre
They really should have a sign out front saying something like, "You must be XX years old to enjoy this show."  It's not that I hated it, but unlike most musicals, the story was written around the songs, which made it seem a bit hokey and contrived.  And I was only familiar with a few of the songs, since they were all from the 50's and 60's -- a bit before my time.  In fact, I may have been one of the youngest people in the theater.  The rest of the audience clearly enjoyed it -- many people stood up to sing and dance along when encouraged to do so at the end of the show.  I'm sure my mom would have liked it.

Since the theater is right by the Embankment, I just walked across the Hungerford Bridge afterwards to catch a train back to Wimbledon from Waterloo.  There are some nice scenic views from the bridge:
Reality Check: Yep, I'm in London, all right!
It reminds me of when I first moved to Washington, DC and worked at the Smithsonian.  Every morning, I'd come out of the Smithsonian Metro station in the middle of the National Mall, halfway between the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building and think to myself, "Wow!  I'm really in Washington, DC!"  It's easy to lose sight of that when you are just going about your day-to-day business, so I try to make sure that my day-to-day business involves more of these moments.  Some of the friends I've made here are already moving away -- either back to the US or on to their next overseas assignment.  They all have regrets about things they wish they had done while they were living here, and I'm sure I will to when the time comes for us to leave.  I'm trying to make an effort to keep that list to a minimum.

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