Haha, so the whole purpose of the trip was to go and see Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, but we found out the evening before that her mother was ill and she had to fly back to the USA, needless to say we were devestated, and had a very long rant about how if we were on the west end we wouldn't come off stage if out leg was dangling off, however aesthetically unpleasing that may be!) So we had to change our plans, and were very thankful that we had't booked the tickets, because, dispite the good reviews, Sister Act never appealed to me, and we were being extremely superficial and only seeing it for the star.
So in the end I said 'Why don't we go and see Oliver?' I had seen it previously, but saw Kerry's understudy!! :'( (sad times!) and my sister jumped at the chance, don't think sister Act was her thing either.
We had booked for the 8:06 train, (which would get us to London at 9:21) because we thought everyone would be going to see Sister Act, and we needed to get to tkts early to get a good seat, and it was a good thing we did, because I had only then realised it was a bank holiday!! We got really good seats considering though, 4 in the middle of the stalls! They bumped the price up £10 from what they usually charge for matinee's, but i suppose that's what you get for being a fool and going on a bank holiday!!
So it was now what, 10:15 pm, i had enitially planned to have my lesson with Julie at 11:30, but that wasn't convenient for her, so with all this time left to kill, we decided while my gran and little sis went to the Disney shop in covent Garden, we would pop into Pineapple Dance Studios and see Derek, our 'Half teacher, half somewhere in-between an aquaintence and a friend'. I so wish i would have slipped my tap shoes into my bag because he asked us to come and join in, the class was so good and they sounded amazing!! Ahh it's making me miss Dance far too much, 3 weeks is plenty of time to get out of shape!Ahh, I think he was even more pleased to see us than we were him, such a brilliant teacher, and a lovely gent, he said 'we had made his day'! :)
After pottering around in Pineapple for a while we had an early lunch, and drifted over to Drury Lane so my friend could buy the brochure, then realised we had to go to the cashpoint as you can't pay by card, and by this time it was pushing 1:30 so we thought there was going to be no point going to the stage door as Kerry would already be there, so while she went to buy the brochure, i still walked up to the SD on the off chance she was running a bit late. I saw a few people waiting there, one of them had just had a picture with who would become our Dodger, when one person shouted 'Oh my god look!' so i stopped and spun round, and there was Kerry Ellis, who almost walked right into me!! Well i put my head down and she just walked past, and i waited in the small croud of people while she chatted away pleasantly and signed countless pieces of paper being placed in and out of her hand! It's almost like she was on autopilot, but charming none the less :) So i asked her to sign some paper, and she asked me my name and i explained it was for a friend who lived in Wales, and wanted to come and see her so badly, but it just wasn't going to be possible, so said an autograph would be the next best thing, she blessed my friend Charlotte and asked if i was watching the Matinee, i then said something totally stupid and i don't know how or why it came out of my mouth, it was 'Hopefully, i'll be stealing your parts one day, watch this space' though it was all said in good humour, i did feel like a bit of a spaz! But she found it amusing, well, she laughed!.......... Anyway, my embarrassment was soon overshadowed by that of my friend charging up to us full pelt, i turned to look, so she did too and just laughed to herself. She had a picture taken with us, signed Frances' program, oh and said my mini foldey pen was the coolest thing she had ever seen, it's nice to know Kerry has an inner geek! :-) So yes, she was such a lovely person, and really has a lot of time for her fans, which is always a good sign!
And here's the written proof, though i was so totally pale and nervous and shaking, and my chins! are awful, she manages to look like a goddess even with no makeup on, incredible!
WOW!! Oh my life it was fantastic, the best thing i have seen in a long time, and I still can not get over the complexity of the set, it is all so perfect, Fagins den, the bridge, and the fog and church almost always in the background looked so real, i think i stared at it for a bit too long!
The Oliver wasn't as promising as the lad i saw playing him before, but all the while still very good, and the Dodger was absoloutley brilliant, one hell of an actor already!
Russ Abbott's acting was superb, his comic timing was excellent, and his dialogue really is what gives the show a modern edge, well I think! His 'I Think I'd Better Think it Through Again' was hilarious, perfectly excecuted and, just brilliant!
Kerry, kerry, kerry, kerry, kerry, kerry...... well, she was just, WOW. Nancy doesn't come on until quite late in Act 1, I think they were just saving her to be honest, there was a loud 'whoop' as she walked on, and throughout the show, she was just captivating, and i know i'm bias, but afterwards my gran said the same thing! I'd always thought of Kerry as 'the voice' but her acting matches her vocal strength every step of the way, so much so, i had a little tear after 'As Long As He Needs Me reprise' and again when she dies!
So, the show was outstanding, i wish someone had been brave enough to start a standing ovation, I really think they deserved it! I did have a moment of shame though, as Nancy took her bow, my friend and i shouted 'We Love You Kerry' at the tops of our voices, she did look at us, wave and smile. I hope it wasn't too pathetic!! :/