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Move and Wicked

Alas, we had to move hotels today. We are looking back fondly at the St. Pancras, from the less friendly environs of the Grosvenor House. The new hotel is being overrun with a large Indian wedding (gorgeous silk sarees as far as the eye can see, there's a heat wave today in London, and the Rolling Stones played a concert tonight in Hyde Park just across the street from the hotel.

Shelly spent the day waiting for them to get a room ready for us, which was much appreciated as that gave me a final few hours at the British Library. When I got back, I went to the desk to ask where they had put us and how to get there, but the conceirge was raising his voice at the customers in front of me. When the conceirge has lost his temper and starts yelling-- it's clear that I should just back slowly away from the hotel staff and stop wanting things. (They actually pay an extra woman, Shelly says her name is Paula, to walk around and smooth things over. She told me how to get to my room.)

Tonight Shelly and I met up with Erin and Elizabeth again to see the west-end theater production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria. Really fabulous set, singing, and dancing. I didn't know the premise at all, so it was all new to me. Such a big contrast from the Globe. This was modern musical theater at its shiny best. Kind of steam-punk meets Mama Mia. I loved the mechanical dragon hanging above the stage. It had no part in the production except to flap its wings and flash red eyes and smoke occasionally. Loved the duets between Glenda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

We thought we'd take a taxi back to the hotel, but because of the thousands of people leaving Hyde Park after the Rolling Stones concert, the taxi had to drop us off part way back and we walked the rest of the way. Now the amusing part is that the first groups of people to pass us were walking quickly and determinedly (that's when we were still sitting stuck in traffic in the taxi). But later we started being passed by people who were a lot slower and a lot more wobbly (that was when we'd finally given up and realized we'd have to walk the last quarter of a mile.) Apparently, the people who REALLY enjoyed the concert to the fullest, are not able to leap up and get going. One group was singing, "Here comes the sun," so that was stuck in our heads the rest of the walk to the hotel. (And that's not even a Rolling Stones song!)

Pretty Pics:

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version and enter a slideshow of the larger versions.

The Apollo Victoria
The Apollo Victoria
Where we saw the musical "Wicked."

Billy Elliot Theater
Billy Elliot Theater
So, I think I imagined the West-end theaters to be fancy, but they're not really. They're in a run-down seen-better-days area. But then, since they are surrounded by expensive stuff, I guess this is a little bastion of lower property values— well low enough for them to be able to run single shows for years at a time. The bling is all on the inside, not the outside.
Dragon and Stage
Dragon and Stage
As always, this doesn't do justice to the nifty cleverness of the stage design. But you can see the dragon above the stage and the cogs and wheels to the side that makes him move.
Shelly and Cindy
Shelly and Cindy
At the Apollo Victoria Theater for "Wicked."
Shelly and Spiff Walls
Shelly and Spiff Walls
Erin and Spiff Walls
Erin and Spiff Walls
It's a gorgeous old theater. We had fabulous seats.
IMG_3644
Cindy (and you just have to imagine the spiff walls.)
The Crest of the Rolling Stones Wave
The Crest of the Rolling Stones Wave
This batch were walking really well. Notice not a one of them has a beer or a wine bottle. (Obviously, they did concert-lite.)