Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random observations from a day in London

Here at the end of my first full day in London, here are just a few random thoughts:

1) I found another sign today that should have been included in yesterday's post. It was in the stairwell of the office where we were meeting:


So...I don't think the sign means what they think it means. Hopefully, there's not a place downstairs where bombs are being assembled.

2) Doing the same presentation seven times in one day can be tiresome, but it wasn't really today. I think it's because I find the people over here so interesting, and it's fun having conversations with them - yes, even business conversations.

3) There are doing something really cool here, as explained by my friend Gemma. They did an Easter egg "hunt", where people who spotted one of 209 (I think) huge eggs around the city could text a picture and be eligible for a prize. I wish we would do something like that at home. Here's a picture of one of the eggs:

4) After dinner tonight we went to see a stage version of The Wizard of Oz, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Here I am in front of the theatre:

It was alot of fun. It used all the music from the movie plus a few original songs by Tim Rice (lyrics) and Mr. Webber (music), who kinda knows a thing or two about writing musicals. The girl playing Dorothy was an understudy, so I enjoyed watching her have her moment in the sun. I think my favorite parts were both in the last ten minutes:
  • When Dorothy said to the Scarecrow, "I think I'll miss you most of all", the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion both reacted with "thanks alot" type comments. That is an emotional moment in the movie, but I have always thought that it was weird that the others were ok with that. To see them react to it was hilarious!
  • At the close, after Dorothy's family has left her alone in her room, a closet door bursts open and there are the ruby slippers with a single spotlight on them. Dorothy picks them up and the stage goes dark as she hugs them with a single spot on her. First, I love this because it raises the issue, "was it a dream or not?", unlike the movie where it's pretty clear it was a dream. I love that kind of ambiguity that makes you think. But most of all, I loved that it was a pretty clear piece of self-deprecating humor by Mr. Webber. It was a visual parody of the ending of Phantom of the Opera. If you saw it (and you've seen Phantom), you would agree. Awesome!
And while it was a good day over here, yes, Dorothy, you're right - there's no place like home.

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