All the World’s a Stage

london

My first time in London, my parents took me and my brother to see the Lion King. (My parents still talk about seeing Joe Morton in Covent Garden before the show. Unrelated to Lion King, but I think that might have been their favorite part of our trip to London?) If you haven’t already seen it live, go. I’ve seen the Lion King in both New York and London, as a child and a slightly older child, and it’s such an incredible production. The costumes, the songs, the dancing — it’s spectacular. (It’s very tempting to see it again before my time in London comes to an end.) Seeing a favorite film come to life before my eyes was the beginnings of a beautiful journey with stage productions.

My mother introduced my brother and I to Shakespeare at a relatively young age, getting us season tickets to D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre. We would get dressed up on a random Sunday night and make the drive into the city. Some of the plays were frustratingly difficult to follow; others just made sense.

I had my time on stage during high school, but college meant moving away from my mother’s encouragement to see live theatre and to a smaller city with fewer performances on offer. This didn’t stop me from seeing the Butler Ballet‘s incredible productions of the Nutcracker all four of my undergraduate years (yes, I came back to campus and saw it even when I had been abroad all semester). Every few months I would see a performance, just because I was on a small campus where someone was always doing something.38432186_313729982701103_5526808850440650752_n

When I got to London for my Master’s degree, I knew that I had to take advantage of London’s amazing theatre scene. Luckily, I had friends with similar interests. No, I wouldn’t be queueing for last-minute Harry Potter tickets, but I wanted to see what London had to offer. And I haven’t been let down yet.

It started with Dreamgirls with some friends, then Wicked. I watched Translation at the National Theatre and A Monster Calls at the Old Vic for some non-musical productions. A last-minute trip to Kinky Boots to celebrate resigning from my job rounded out my theatre trips so far. The production for all of these is incredible, with amazing costumes, great music, and attention to the tiniest of details, bringing every story uniquely to life.

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While I still have a list of shows I would love to see before I go, I’m thinking that wherever I end up after London, I’ll be seeing quite a few shows. (First up: Hamilton in DC with my momma. She’s very excited.)

4 thoughts on “All the World’s a Stage

  1. My parents first took me to theatre in elementary school during touring productions.

    Then summer of 2006: a turning point in my journey with musicals- my mom and I together went on a trip to New York City alone. The two of us went to Broadway to see Wicked, a musical that changed me “for good”, which would sparked my love of musicals. I began to understand the emotional and complex side of musicals all because of Wicked. Seen it three more times after seeing it on Broadway on tour.

    Let’s fast forward into December 2012- first view of the movie musical of Les Mis (did not know what to think of it- I was shocked and confused that it was a tragedy and thought it was too depressing: despite that started researching information about the musical). Then March 2013 comes along: I gave that movie a 2nd chance was able to calm down and was able to focus so much much and I definitely became a fan of Les Mis and by summer 2013, I became obsessed with Les Mis: the musical challenged everything I once knew about musicals and turned my love of musicals into a passion. Saw that musical 5 times live (3x at community college, 1x in the West End, and 1x on tour)

    Other loved musicals: Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Rent, Sound of Music, Annie, Newsies, South Pacific, Grease, Oklahoma, Music Man, Mamma Mia, etc. I LOVE musicals so much. My journey of musicals is hard to describe- they just have this incredible joy- joy as in the joy you have in experiencing the character’s emotions. There are 5 core emotions in musicals: excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak: the others sprout from those 5. A world of acting, singing, and dancing.

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  2. You forgot to list Porgy and Bess (in DC), the Nutcracker (in DC), A Christmas Carol (Ford’s Theater in DC), Grease (London), Three Days’ Rain (London). Give me a little while and I will think of other theater shows you have seen!

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