Just when you thought the geeks couldn’t get geekier…

It’s no secret that I adore musicals. It’s also no secret that, as far as musical theatre is concerned, all my inhibitions seem to fly out the window – singing Defying Gravity at the top of my voice while standing on a picnic bench in the middle of the park on a hot summer’s day? Not a problem.

Generally, this geekery has been characterised by obsessions with particular shows – like Wicked – seeing them multiple (so far 3) times and gathering as much related paraphernalia as possible. Once, I even queued for 2 hours, in the rain, to meet the show’s star (and Queen of Broadway) Idina Menzel. At that time, I thought that was the geekiest I’d ever get. Last night I discovered I was wrong…

Long-time musical companion Morv was in town, and a few weeks ago I’d tried (unsuccessfully) to acquire cheapish tickets to Legally Blonde for her stay. During the course of the day, we realised that the Savoy Theatre is unique amongst West End theatres, in that it runs a lottery for front row seats every evening (something common on Broadway). All you had to do was show up at 5.30, hand your name in and come back 30 minutes later to hear if you’d been successful – success meaning a right to a £25 front row ticket.

We won. Well, rather I won – my name was third out of the hat and our two seats were secured. Until we entered the theatre and found them, we weren’t aware that we’d be on the front row. Initially, I was concerned that we’d have a rubbish view – but then I spotted the orchestra pit. How could any musical nut not be fascinated by having a huge xylophone displayed in front of them (especially when played by a rather hot percussionist)? Other benefits of front row seats included:
– Ability to see facial expressions of actors in excellent detail.
– Literally within spitting distance of actors.
– Brilliant view of costumes, or lack of. If you like looking up skirts, it’s a great place to sit. If, however, a male actor taking their clothes off gets your attention, then you had a good view of this too.
– Opportunity to make eye contact with actors – particularly during curtain calls.

Sitting on the front row (and enjoying it) is rather geeky, but it got a whole lot worse once the show had finished…

The show was great. Sheridan Smith (playing Elle), even though I once intensely disliked her (for personal reasons – rather bizarrely she once got between me and a man…) was fabulous and the life of the show – thanks to the way she plays Elle, the show really doesn’t take itself seriously, and that’s a good thing. The music’s catchy, hilarious and lovely – but I’ve mentioned that before.

But most of all, the actor playing Emmett (who helps Elle turn her life around at Harvard) was dreamy. That’s not a word I use often, but it’s a perfect one for how both Morv and I felt. Great actor, beautiful singer and a script/character that would make any girl’s heart melt (oh, and we got to see him in his pants…). This would be a typical scene:

He had me at “are you ok?”. *Swoon*

So, what did we end up doing? Well, despite the freezing night, we were in no hurry to head home, so we thought we’d pop round the back to the stage door to see if we could catch a glimpse of anyone. I may have hung around stage doors before, but only when I’ve been friends with someone in the production – never to get a programme signed or – God forbid – have a photo taken with a cast member. I cringed just at the thought of it. But last night, in the hope of meeting our new crush, we waited…

And were not disappointed. The lovely Alex Gaumond was out soon after we got there and after watching lots of others get autographs, and having befriending an American pair, Morv got an autograph and we got a photo [he touched me – twice – squeal!]. Having waited for him, we figured we’d see who else we could meet – so the UPS guy followed (who willingly did the bend & snap for some fans – fantastic) as well as a former star of Hollyoaks, who we were relieved to see was none the worse for her recent on-screen death. Then we did something truly pathetic – we met Sheridan, got photos and had a chat. Pathetic. (Not least because I also name checked our mutual friend, which may get me into trouble later.)

You know what though? Yes, it was geeky. Yes, it was quite sad. Yes, we squealed like small girls and spoke at a pitch only dogs can hear. But it was fun. It’s made us laugh all day – when we haven’t been swooning over the lovely Alex singing Bublé’s Home in this video.

I guess you probably ought to see the photo too. Please bear in mind that this was a spontaneous theatre trip – had we planned it, we’d have been in much better outfits/hair styles and probably wouldn’t be clutching bags holding new ski jackets [that’s a story for another day].

Geeks and proud – honest. 

A lesson I may need to learn…

…gay, or European?
No, not some trashy MTV reality show, the main thrust of a track from Legally Blonde: The Musical. Despite being the self-confessed lover of musicals that I am, even I raised eyebrows when Legally Blonde was turned into one a couple of years back. It’s a fabulous film – I want to do Harvard law every time I watch it and I will confess to having a few political Elle moments when in DC last month – but a musical? Really?
We’re now just two months away from its West End opening and my vow of avoiding it like the plague is slowly crumbling. There’s still the massive problem that it stars my least favourite actress (Sheridan Smith – I dislike her for a whole host of reasons), but to balance that out there’s a great male lead (Duncan James) and now I’ve discovered the comedy of the soundtrack.
Today, C sent me a link to a song he thought I might find both amusing and educational, it’s from the moment Elle turns the trial round towards the end of the film and is entitled “There, Right There” but really should be: “Gay or European?”.
Good friends will know that this is doubly comic due to recent events. Being able to distinguish between men who are gay and others who are simply European (in the Euro-sceptic British sense of Europe only beginning once you cross the English channel) would be a distinct advantage to my life. Some excerpts that might come in handy:

You see they bring their boys up different in those charming foreign ports.
They play peculiar sports.
In shiny shirts and tiny shorts.
Gay or foreign fella?
The answer could take weeks.
They will say things like “ciao bella”
while they kiss you on both cheeks.

There! Right There!
Look at that condescending smirk.
Seen it on every guy at work.
That is a metro hetero jerk.
That guy’s not gay, I say no way.

That is the elephant in the room.
Well is it relevant to presume
that a hottie in that costume
Is automatically-radically
Ironically chronically
Certainly pertin’tly
Genetically medically
GAY!

And with those words of advice ringing in my ears, I’m off to spend the evening listening to the entire soundtrack in hope of more gems. God bless Spotify!