La Rondine – Royal Opera House

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All this requires is a one word review ; Glorious.

A fabulous evening started with dinner at the Royal Opera House’s Paul Hamlyn Balconies Restaurant. Superb service and delicious food.

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Yummy

Then into the spectacular theatre that is the Royal Opera House, for this charming and beautiful opera. Set in the 1920’s, there is something so stylish and glamorous about that period. I genuinely think I was born in the wrong era sometimes. As the curtains parted for Act 3, the audience literally gasped at the stunning set.

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Puccini’s score is a delight and Ermonela Jaho as Magda was a performance I was so glad to have witnessed. The hairs on the back of my neck literally stood up when she sang on occasions. A breathtaking performance.

The closing moments were so moving as the etheral Magda left Ruggero. It’s an understated opera with an undercurrent of powerful romance and that makes it all the more special.

As I said at the beginning, one word describes this night at the theatre for me; Glorious. 

STARS: ★ ★ ★ ★

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Memories: Saving your Theater Experience

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Here’s a guest post from Amy at VividSeats.com – some great ideas on how to save your theatre (that’s how we spell it this side of the pond Amy!) experience:

If you’re a theater enthusiast, you probably spend lots of your money, time and energy going to shows – lots of them. And, because you love the experience so much, you want to be able to keep each performance alive. We’re all busy, and you might need to move on to the next thing in a hurry, but you don’t want to lose the splendor of what you’ve seen. So, what do you do? There are a few creative, simple and inexpensive ways to preserve your theater tickets or playbills so that you can easily be reminded of what they represent.

If you have time and wall space, a display of framed playbills looks organized, colorful and will definitely help you to recall every show you’ve ever loved. The benefit to this is that not only is it storage for your keepsakes, but its art. In addition, it’s an excellent conversation piece when someone comes to your home. Really, wouldn’t it be fun to have a guest say, “You saw Book of Mormon? (Tickets from VividSeats.com). I hear it’s the hottest ticket in town!”

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If you want something more portable or less time-consuming, a playbill binder can keep your playbills neat, safe and well-preserved. That way, you can save the entire playbill, rather than just the cover, if you’re inclined to do so. It gives you the flexibility to take it on the road if you’re traveling and it’s a way that you can save them in good condition in the event that you may wish to display them differently later.

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There are a few other ways that you can keep your souvenirs preserved without a lot of fancy binders or frames. If you want to save theater tickets as a record of what you’ve seen, you can keep their quality intact longer with a spritz of hairspray. That’s right – hairspray has lots of uses – some people use it to catch a run in a stocking, others for preserving flowers or charcoal drawings, and it adds what amounts to a coat of shellac over your ticket. It’s not going to keep them looking pristine, but it will help to keep the color sharp and give the paper a little more strength.

Another simple way to keep those memories intact is to laminate your playbills or ticket stubs. You can do this on your own if you have a laminating machine, or you could take your materials to a retailer like Staples that can do it for you for a nominal fee.

Of course, so many of us aren’t do-it-yourselfers. For those of us who aren’t craftily-inclined, there are scrapbooks you can purchase that all you need to do is insert tickets and add your own notes or photos. The benefit is that you’re not limited to just tickets, or just playbills, when you create your own scrapbook. Often, the best memories are photos of you and the people with whom you went to the show. Some premade scrapbooks, like the one below, even have additional pockets for playbills or other keepsakes.

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Want something even faster than that? Dump your ticket stubs in a shadow box. You’ll quickly be able to check out the collection that you’ve amassed. It takes virtually no effort (you could make your own, but you can purchase a pre-made one, too) to simply place each ticket in the box. Not only do you have something cute to hang on your wall or place on the shelf, but you can re-open them and look at your ticket stubs any time.

Have you considered keeping your tickets in a jar? You can preserve your pickles and jams in jars, so why not tickets?

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Cute, right? Makes a nice souvenir keepsake that you can store anywhere, and it will hold lots of tickets. There are plenty of other creative ways to keep the memories alive of the shows you’ve enjoyed, the people you were with and the times that you had. For the theater buff that’s also sentimental, these ideas can help you to keep your theater tickets and playbills safe and organized. Enjoy!

A Chorus Line – The London Palladium – Review

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ACL

Confused, bemused and perplexed, just some of the words to describe my feelings towards the rave reviews this show has received.

It’s one of the dullest theatrical experiences I’ve had. If sitting through 2 hours worth of dancers navel gazing and wanging on about “how hard it is”,  defines “thrilling night out” you ‘re in for a treat. Personally I get enough of that reading The Stage each week.

The show epitomizes what I feel is the most negative aspect of the theatrical world; the myopic world view most in it have.

Each of the chorus line regale us with their story, all the clichés you’d expect are here;  Most of the males are gay, the woman who’s had plastic surgery and is now “so happy”, the dancer in her 30’s desperate to cling on to her career, the up and coming dancer who’s slept with the choreographer.Yawn,yawn, yawn. I genuinely lost interest after the first few. It’s like an extended interviews section of Britain’s Got Talent or X Factor.

Add to that an instantly forgettable score (I did like “Nothing” every drama school student should listen to that) with equally unforgettable choreography and you’ll see why I was so disappointed.

The cast do their best but they can’t make up for the inherent shortcomings of this show. It might have been thought of as amazing in 1975/6 but now it’s as embarrassing as photos of your parents from those years.

STARS : ★ ★