RSSCategory: Musical Theater

London – A Short Visit

| November 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

Boy, that was quick.

Preparing to leave a whirlwind visit to London.  So quick, there was no time to blog.

Here are the highlights:

Day One – Arrival

What an ordeal arriving.  Here’s advice for future travels, take a taxi from Heathrow.  We thought we’d save money by taking the Express into London and then the Underground to Covent Gardens where we stayed.  Big mistake.  We had six pieces of luggage and what a sight we were, lugging this collection from transit mode to transit mode.  Since the UK doesn’t not have an Americans with Disabilities Act, we had more than a few stairs over which to drag our belongings.  Some kindly Londoners graciously helped Rita and Bridget navigate their respective loads.

Then, relaying upon my IPad for directions, we schlepped from Covent Garden station to Liecester Square, to the Radisson hotel….the wrong Radisson hotel.  Enough of the lugging, we took a cab back to the right hotel, in Covent Gardens, a block from the Underground station that we had just left.


Since I’ve been to London before, I utterly deferred to Rita and Bridget on how we would spending our time….mostly.  Their top priority was to shop.  So, I tagged along.    Impressions noted in previous post.

Mamma Mia

 Since Lion King tickets were unavailable, who chose to see Mamma Mia at a price so expensive I’m embarrassed to reveal the amount.  The beginning of the show had me very troubled.  It’s seemed utterly derivative to the movie, right down to the overalls worn by the “mother” character to match Meryl Streep’s.  It also seemed very much the stage version of a chick flick.  I kept stealing glances at Rita and Bridget in hopes they were enjoying it more than I was.

Fortunately, after intermission, the show took off.  Much more impressive staging.  The opening dream sequence was very clever and creative.  While I didn’t buy the darker emotions from which the show would emerge at the end, I was glad that the who began to diverge from the movie.  And, of course, the show concluded with a series of false endings with steadily increasing exuberance, from the final performance of Mamma Mia (not one of my favorites) to Dancing Queen (which is my favorite) to Waterloo (whatever).

As a show, I can’t say for sure it was worth the price of the tickets, but as a London experience, it was.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields

Sunday morning we attended Eucharistic service at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.  I’ve been to the church before.  Here’s a post, with video, of that visit.  I still suffer from the cognitive dissonance of the images I’ve had from years of listening to classical musical performances by Sir Neville Mariner of the Orchestra of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.  In my minds eye, I see a bucolic scene of rolling green hills with a small chapel in rural England.  In fact, the Church is off Trafalgar Square on a busy intersection in the middle of London City.

Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful church and the service was very nice, with a choir.  It was interesting experiencing both the similarities and differences from the Catholic Mass.  More the same than different.  Of course, the biggest difference was the woman celebrant.

More Shopping

And more tagging along.  Bought a nice hat, though.

Consulting my IPad for Directions

The London Eye

Biggest Ferris Wheel in the world, takes you up more than a thousand feet for a spectacular view of Big Ben and Parliament.

Harry Potter

Saw the new Harry Potter movie in the Odeon Theater in Leicester Square.  Quite the venue.  Part of the movie was shot within blocks of the theater including a prominent shot of this place:

Now, I’m in Heathrow on the way to Dublin, where we will be reunited with son, Danny.