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victoria_sw3 Sep 2nd, 2004 07:09 PM

london shows?
my boyfriend and i are huge jerry springer opera fans but need something more appropriate for a visit from his parents this weekend. i was thinking blood brothers as i seem to recall some positive comments about it on this board. any other suggestions? we don't really follow what's happening in theater so maybe there's something new that i'm not aware of...any suggestions would be appreciated. we definitely want something in the west end (no regent's park outdoor theater, the vic, or the globe). thanks!

P_M Sep 2nd, 2004 07:15 PM

I haven't seen Blood Brothers, but I have seen the Phantom of the Opera many times and still love it. I also enjoyed Le Mis and Mamma Mia. You will get many more good ideas from this board, as there's so much good theatre in London.

Leburta Sep 3rd, 2004 03:05 AM

Depending on their ages, they might really enjoy Mama Mia. The audience stood up, clapped, and sang along when I went. I hear that's very common.

Patrick Sep 3rd, 2004 05:34 AM

This is a difficult one. I often recommend Blood Brothers for those looking for a true London Theatre experience, since it has been playing almost forever. I'm trying to figure out how experienced these theatre goers are and what they would appreciate. While Blood Brothers is guaranteed to cause a tear or two and is good British Theatre, the tried and true theatre goer may be put off a little bit by the "sentimentality" of it all, and be a lack of really top notch theatrical quality -- sets, full orchestra, etc.

The new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is now in previews -- The Woman in White. I don't know much about it, other than it stars Michael Crawford and Maria Friedman. I'd think, though that it would be worth a shot.

JennieH Sep 3rd, 2004 06:00 AM

My fiance and I thought Blood Brothers was awful but we went with his 65 year old mother and her sister and they loved it.

Personally I think Les Mis is the best I've ever seen. Mamma Mia is great fun if you are an Abba fan.

xyz123 Sep 3rd, 2004 06:44 AM

From reading some message boards, those who have seen the previews of Woman in White have been unanimous in one stinks. Certainly not worthy of having kicked Les Mis out of the Palace

ron Sep 3rd, 2004 07:06 AM

Not quite unanimous. I just went to Dress Circle and found a number of positive reviews. Nobody is calling it great, but as one person said, somewhat ungrammatically, "Its certainly a damn sight better than alot of the stuff in the West End at the moment." I suspect we are getting the usual Andrew Lloyd Webber bashing because he is a vile person and rich.

I certainly plan on seeing it when I am in London in October. Along with Alan Bennett's History Boys at the Lyttleton and perhaps Becket at TR Haymarket.

Patrick Sep 3rd, 2004 07:23 AM

I'm curious where you got those reveiews, xyz. Unanimous that it stinks? Not what I have been hearing.

I know what you mean, ron. When I was in London in May, people were already saying "well, I guess we're getting another big dud by Webber", even though no one knew anything about it. I think people LOVE to HATE him.

Ron, I envy you for both your other choices. Alas a trip to London is not in the picture for me right now.

victoria_sw3 Sep 3rd, 2004 09:08 AM

hmmm, thanks. i am a little reluctant about blood brothers now. the boyfriend has seen mama mia twice so that's out. anyone seen the london production of chicago (starring david hasselhoff now!) or chitty chitty bang bang??

xyz123 Sep 3rd, 2004 10:13 AM

History Boys was great!

Patrick Sep 3rd, 2004 11:10 AM

Chitty Chitty, was merely OK. The car that comes out over the audience was the star. More "kid" oriented that I even expected. And I kept saying to myself, "oh, yea, now I realize why I don't remember the movie that well".

Chicago is pretty much a duplicate of the current New York production -- and is very good. David Hasselhoff always gets a lot of bad press, but he really is a talent and should be so good as the sleazy Billy Flynn.

And I'll repeat what others have said about Phantom of the Opera. I've seen it a number of times, but never enjoyed it more than this year from front row dress circle (mezzanine) in London. It's an excellent production.

Merseyheart Sep 4th, 2004 12:06 AM

I enjoyed "Blood Brothers" tremendously, but it is sentimental and melodramatic. I loved "Chitty", but it is oriented to kids. The car is the star. I think it's hard to go wrong with "Les Miz." I haven't seen it in London, but I have seen it three times in the States, and the story line is just so strong. Valid themes, vivid characters, and stunning music.

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