Saturday, February 17, 2007

Avenue Q 4-1 Side By Side By Sondheim

You know you’ve seen a musical too many times when;

1) One of the leads walks on stage and you think to yourself, “Hmm, he’s lost weight since the last time I saw him,”

2) You get caught off-guard by the start of a song – but still know all the words,

3) You find yourself watching the audience more than the stage at the ‘good bits’ to enjoy their reaction to what you know is coming!

So Owen had some cheap tickets to see Avenue Q on Thursday and Rosie and I went along to see it. Still very enjoyable. During the interval we were sitting in the foyer eating our ice creams and nearby were a couple who, by their accents, were down from Liverpool: She was amazed that she was filling-up with tears for the puppet characters while he was exclaiming how he had been expecting The Muppet Show and “it so wasn’t!” More satisfied customers.

Thursday was also the opening night of Brett’s show, Side By Side By Sondheim, and he came home feeling fairly good about it; he’d gotten most of his words right and hadn’t made any major cock-ups. (He has great difficulty memorising lyrics.)

Friday I had a ticket for the show (with Rosie again) and we headed up to Old Street after work. John Mc and his new boyfriend, Richard, were there too.

I must admit that, when Brett had said that some of the cast members couldn’t sing, I had thought he was exaggerating, but in fact he wasn’t. I understand that most of the cast were suffering badly from lingering colds – just as Brett had been until recently – but even so some of the show was just excruciating. I feel guilty saying that, as I’ve met a number of them and they are all great people, but the show definitely needed more work.

Brett at least was in shining form. Other than in the Chorus and at parties, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him perform before and he’s always worrying about forgetting words and being nervous, so it was a bit of a revelation to see him so relaxed and confident on stage. Afterwards he said that he was still just as nervous as ever, but it certainly didn’t come across in his acting, dancing or singing. I was glowing all the way home.

I’m seeing the show again tonight, but having now seen it the once, I think I will be better prepared when tonight’s show is over to walk that treacherous fine line that will be the After Show Party!

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