Nutcrackers, Phantoms and Witches….Oh My!

After spending days in the kitchen prepping for party after party and our weekend getaways, I decided to set aside one week for the theater (and shopping, but I won’t go there except for one picture of Harrods). We started with The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House. Jules (Lisa’s best friend in London) works as a Librarian at the Royal Opera House and was sweet enough to get the four of us tickets for the first show. The Opera House itself was mesmerizing with its cathedral ceiling, intricate architecture and glorious colors of royalty. I got excited when people arrived in the Queen’s box, but there was no sign of Her Majesty or anyone else from the Royal Family. The ballet was incredible in every way and the perfect way to kick off our Christmas season.

Next stop was the Apollo Victoria Theater for Wicked. For years I have listened to the rave reviews of family, friends and theater fans and I felt like I was missing out. Everyone who has been to Wicked seems to compare how many times they have seen it with others. I have one friend who has seen it five times. I was thrilled that I got to join the fan club and finally experience this incredible musical. Despite the 2:30 start time with an audience being full of 8-12 year olds, the musical was fantastic. The story was light, funny and so enjoyable. I’m officially obsessed with the score and the powerful vocals. I listen to the music while I’m walking, typing, or going to sleep. The Broadway Production of Wicked is the one recorded on CD, but I do think the vocals in the London Production are superior. If you haven’t caught the show, its time you do so. Grab your family, friends or enjoy an afternoon date by yourself (like myself) and get your tickets while you can. It’s worth every penny for the pricey tickets because you’ll be humming the songs for years to come.

Lisa and I wrapped up my theater week by going to Her Majesty’s Theater to see the Phantom of the Opera. The POH has been a favorite of mine since the 6th grade when we read the screenplay and took a field trip to the Boston Opera House to see the musical. Lisa hadn’t seen it since she was young either, so it was a fun trip down memory lane for both of us. Even though we waited until the day of the event to purchase tickets, we were able to get first row tickets on the balcony which was perfect for this dramatic musical. I won’t tell you my favorite parts in case you haven’t seen it, but it is a visually entertaining and dramatic love story. The vocals and the scores were powerful and captivating. I had goosebumps and watery eyes throughout the two hours.

London is a town full of glamor and talent and one way to experience both is to attend one of the many shows the city has to offer. The selection in London is far too grand not to have something for everyone, even if you aren’t into musicals, ballets, operas or plays. I am so glad that I took advantage of that and had my “theater week”.

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House