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London Theatre Question_ December

Old Aug 19th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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London Theatre Question_ December

We will be in London for two nights (29th & 30th December) en route to Tanzania. We would love to see Guys & Dolls with Ewan Macgregor. We are also looking at As You Desire Me with Bob Hoskin and Kirstin Scott Thomas.
I would appreciate any thoughts on how likely it is that stars will actually be on stage for performances in the week between Xmas & NYE?
Any other tips on shows, buying tickets etc? We have a 14 yr old daughter who is studying drama.

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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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We attended a show ("Woman in White"...not recommended) during this week last holiday season. The *star*, Michael Crawford, was absent.

The best site I know for researching theatre offerings in London is the official Society of London Theatre website at:

www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/


"We Will Rock You" is now the longest running production in London. At age 15, my son enjoyed that show quite a bit (he was and is also a drama student, but more importantly, he's a rock music fan). If your daughter is more interested in serious theatre, consider another selection though.

Dave White
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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Saw G&D in June (as well as Lion King). Lion King was for our 11-year-old - amazing effects, but otherwise a Disney cartoon on stage. G&D was marvelous - seen many productions over the years, but London was tops. Nothing new, really, just good old fashioned Broadway musical, but very well done. Our son really enjoyed it - more than Lion King, I think, but he won't admit it.
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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/
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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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When you’re ready to purchase your tickets, I recommend calling the theatre directly, rather than buying online. I’ve found that it’s easier to get good seats that way, and the London box office people I’ve spoken to have been very patient and helpful. If you’re calling from the U.S., remember to take the time difference into account (i.e., call in the morning).

Before you call, take a look at http://www.theatremonkey.com/ (which has a “Seats to buy or avoid” section for almost all London theatres) to get an idea of where you want to sit.

You might also ask, when you call, if any of the cast are planning to take time off for the holidays. I would expect a theatre to be up-front in telling you about any planned absences.
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Old Aug 20th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for all your repsonses - she has seen Lion King & We Will Rock You. Hadn't heard any feedback on the The Woman in White (loved the book) but I'm not a huge Andrew Lloyd Webber fan.
I will call the theatres - didn't even think of that in these days of internet booking.
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Old Aug 20th, 2005, 11:55 PM
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On my visit to London last January I saw "the Producer" and "The Woman in White". Both Nathan Lane and Michael Crawford were "Indisposed" on the evening of my attendance and I womder how often this occurs. It's possibly the reason I was able to get tickets to these shows at the last minute.

I too was wondering on the odds of Ewan McGregor still being in the show when I visit London again in October. I've heard he isn't all that great in it anyway. Will it still be a hot ticket in October or will last minute (Half price) seats be likely by then. Any idea?
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 01:53 AM
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Guys & Dolls was nothing special at all. The film starring Sinatra, Dean Martin, et al is far superior. The too simple sets really let this production down, and McGregor has a very weak, and really distinctly average singing voice - he should stick to acting. The ticket prices are high, it really wasn't worth seeing - I was thoroughly disappointed to see such a hackneyed, boring, overdone production.

Also, I don't get going to see "stars", often the big names are just there to pull in punters. McGregor's understudy probably has a far better voice, and would give a better performance, but if you have to say you saw "someone" then you have to go and see that "someone".

I usually find London theatre vastly overpriced. I prefer to go to charity performances, because at least then I know that the stars are getting nothing, and a good cause receives some benefit from it. Also, these performances attract a more varied audience. Other than that I'd rather buy a good film on DVD, invite some good company over, and spend the "ticket money" on a good vintage champagne, some little canapés, and none of those dreadful rustling bag people one finds in public auditoriums.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 02:10 AM
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The only star show I've made a point of seeing was The Boy from Oz in NYC with Hugh Jackman - absolutely brilliant. I had seen the original with Todd McInerary in Sydney & it was excellent but we were swept away with our Hugh.
Actually, come to think about it I went to see the Producers thinking that Nathan Lane And Matthew Broderick were in it but they had already left the show. That was my mistake.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 05:17 AM
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We just returned from our UK vacation with our 7 and 9 year-olds. Saw three shows in three nights (what else to do with kids in the evening?).

We had advance booking for Mary Poppins, which we thought was fantastic. Strangely, the stage production had more of a philosophical impact than the movie, while still being great fun. The actors were all 'practically perfect', but special kudos to Michael Haig who played Mr Banks. The kids were enthralled.

The other two nights we visited the half-price booth in Leicester Square. Don't be fooled by ANY other of the 'half-price' hawkers. One offered us Orchestra row Q at 26.50 pounds for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I resisted and we went straight to the booth at noon, and got Orchestra row J for 22.50. The kids loved Chitty as much as Mary Poppins, my wife and I still liked MP better. Chitty ends 9/4.

The other night we saw Fame, and it was very entertaining. London and New York theater are like pizza and sex; even when it's bad, it's good.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Dean Martin not in Guys & Dolls. Stubby Kaye & Marlon Brando were. Just me being pedantic.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Quite right, but there's a recording of it with Dean Martin and Sinatra, I'm sure there is. But, my point still stands, Ewan McGregor is nothing special. And I can't believe "girls" can see it and swoon at him, he's nothing. He was casted simply to pull in the crowds.

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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 01:49 PM
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"He was casted (sic) simply to pull in the crowds."

And why was Marlon Brando cast as Sky Masterson and Frank Sinatra cast as Nathan Detroit in the movie?


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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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Sarvowinner, have you got your tickets for Guys and Dolls yet? If not – and if it’s really important to you to see Ewan McGregor in it – you should know that the London Theatre Guide is reporting that he’s leaving the show on December 3. Starting December 5, the role of Sky Masterson will be played by Nigel Harman, and Miss Adelaide (currently played by Jane Krakowski) will be played by Sarah Lancashire.
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for the "heads up" Bree - I haven't bought tickets yet - I will have to get cracking soon. I think I will opt for Shakespeare - or recommendations from the Fodor Family. Hint Hint
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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When we were in London in June, we saw Billy Elliott, the Musical. This is a great show and I would recommend it if you can get tickets.
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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You always get mixed reactions on the mega musicals...some always suggest they are not British but American and others like them...most of them are pleasant nights out. My opinions on some of them for whatever little it is worth

Billy Elliot was fabulous, a tough ticket, but it is somewhat more political than just a pure re make of the movie..lots of social commentary on the coal miners' strike and lots of curse words by the boys which might turn some off but the dancing of the boys (they have 3 different boys playing the title role) is very very good. Very enjoyable.

Mary Poppins..not just a remake of the movies. Many of the same songs but updated (supercalifragilisticexpiealidocious or whatever...but the kds seem able to spell it), a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down etc. Tickets are usually available except on weekends (some have complained on another board that it is not an automatic sell out only 9 months into its run)

Les mis...a classic and 1/2 price tickets are almost always available at the TKTS booth.

Mamma Mia still going strong on weekends but tickets are easy to get during the week. However never available for 1/2 price at TKTS.

Producers....like mp not an automatic sell out and tickets are usually always available but just not at TKTS..pretty much identical to Broadway production and we got a kick out of watching the British reaction (assuming the people sitting around us were Brits)to some of the lines. (Do you think they know anything about what Sing Sing is?)

Woman in White...interesting and 1/2 price tickets almost always available at TKTS

We thought the best of the lot was Chitty but of course it is closed now.

Also one might consider Blood Brothers a musical and it is always available at TKTS.

We didn't see We will Rock You and Saturday Night Fever but both are always available at TKTS

Lion King is still doing well but are never available at TKTS

Phantom still doing okay and 3/4 price tickets are generally available at TKTS

Did not get to see Guys & Dolls, our faut. We didn't realize what a box office hit it has turned out to be.

Hope this helps you.
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