albadger: (Named Death the Streetcar Is)
[personal profile] albadger
Did I not post in Amsterdam? No reason to, a very brief trip, nothing much happened. I actually turned the TV on to Comedy Central and just knitted. Comedy Central in the Netherlands, as it seems to be in Germany, is just repeats of American sitcoms, mostly the animated ones. In Germany they dub them all, in the Netherlands it's all in English with subtitles. Bob's Burgers and Archer are the best in either case.
Then the ride from Hoek van Holland to Harwich, a "ferry" that approaches a cruise liner in ambience, including two decks of very nice cabins. Those cost a pile for the night crossings, but in the daytime they give them away for peanuts, so I grabbed one and had a very refreshing nap. Perfectly calm seas, and we were part of a HUGE convoy, so it seemed -- in reality it's such an incredibly busy shipping lane there will always be a bevy of ships out your window. Also passed an offshore wind farm, very dramatic. The bus ride from Harwich to London, a bit less so.
Now at a hotel next to Euston Station (pronounced "Houston," and a flash back to the Netherlands here, Gouda is pronounced "Howda"). Tuesday through Thursday are about going to theater, and it's total conicidence that every one of the shows I'm going to is right on the Northern line of the Underground, which goes through Euston (actually here because the sleeper train to Edinburgh leaves out of this station).
Tuesday being over I can talk about the first two shows. I hadn't bought a Tuesday matinee ticket ahead of time, assuming I'd be spending all day getting laundry done, but laundry only took an hour, and the St. Martin's Theater being nearby, I tubed over and bought a cheap same-day ticket to <a href="" target=new>the Mousetrap</a>, world's longest running play. Meh, it's okay, serviceable content-free clockwork in the Christie style, and the lead role was played with a great deal less subtlety than the community theater in Castro Valley managed a few years back. But the theater itself more than worth the price, a delightful 1916 jewel-box, so I had a good time. A short refreshing nap during Act II did NOT mean I didn't enjoy the show. Just that I found it restful.
Evening show was much better, Jeff Wayne's concept album <a href="" target=new>War of the Worlds</a> is being staged, with Wayne himself conducting. Kind of a must-see, though I was a bit worried when the publicity material played up Liam Neeson, who pre-filmed segments. Was it all going to be canned, I fretted. No need to worry. Live (if heavily amped) 13-piece string section and 11-piece rock-style band, chorus of oodles, all the sung parts done live. The theater's been rigged up for fancy lights, fire effects, projection screens, and surprise giant props. Actually came off more like a rock concert than musical theater, and was great fun. But this will NEVER get brought across the pond, I'm afraid. Oh, extra points for the understudy who went on for the Artilleryman, and was both Fabulous and Boffable.
Trying to keep the theater to things that WON'T cross -- tomorrow matinee is an Ibsen at the Old Vic with Ralph Fiennes, so probably not transferring to Broadway. And that's also on the Northern Line!

Date: 2016-02-24 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe it’s just the grumpy bitch troll that lives in me talking, but I always found Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds lethally cheesy, even for my tastes. Disco + prog = a horrific mess. Extra points taken away for being hands down the worst vocal performance by the late, great Phil Lynott ever committed to tape. Justin Hayward’s song is the only saving grace (to be fair, Wayne’s ethos was a lot closer to the Moodies than to Thin Lizzy).

Date: 2016-02-24 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it is kinda like a Moody Blues album, isn't it? But it was fun on stage. When the giant tripod Martian killing machine came out, I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if Jeff Wayne had written 12" instead of 12' on the cocktail napkin when he was designing it...

Date: 2016-02-24 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You such a great time!!! I'm always a bit jealous of your frequent trips to Europe. I haven't been since 2002.

Date: 2016-02-24 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This year may be it for a while, even with the very cheap air travel courtesy of Norwegian Air, so I'm trying to get as much in as possible!

Date: 2016-02-25 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Consider yourself fortunate. I haven’t been ever!


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