It's day two of having my sister in town. Yesterday was, "Where are you? Oh, food!" and "How about a nap?" followed up by Swan Lake with itsjustaname and the Royal Ballet. It was all very pretty, what can I say, but you just can't improve on Act Two for gorgeousness. I would also say that it's very much a must-see for Matthew Bourne fans; I've seen many Swan Lakes but this is the one that most clearly influenced him.
Today was, "Hey, you're tired, how about some sleep?" followed by "Welcome to the English Breakfast system!" (featuring, "How cute! They have beans on the plate!" and "This is bacon?" and "Just what is this 'brown sauce' and what do you do with it?" not to mention two cups of coffee). We then went to the Tower of London, where we were given not just the one free ticket but a third "student" ticket (to ease the pain of entry). Four hours later we were beat, but we'd seen the White Tower to my satisfaction, visited the "medieval castle" (which wasn't even opened the first time I was there and which apparently we just missed two years ago), and bought The Very Bloody History of London for my sister's older son. Then it was a walk along the bank (not quite to Queen's Hithe, alas) to the Monument Tube station, then up to Covent Garden and Sarastro, where we were met by bathtubgin, rosamicula, and steer.
Sarastro was a gross disappointment this time. They forced us to get the overpriced £22 menu, which they claimed you had to do if you were a group of six, the food wasn't very good (other than the appetizers), and we were downright cheated at dessert (a freaking plate of raw fruit and six pieces of baklava is NOT sufficient, and they forgot the Turkish coffee). I don't know what to do, I was hideously disappointed and it put me in a bad mood that may have permanently ruined its charm. A letter of complaint is in the offing. With three bottles of wine, our total per person was £33, and I have had MANY meals in which I was much better fed. Oh, to have gone to Galileo!
At any rate, no one held it against me, and everyone had a great time at Avenue Q, including my lovely husband, who laughed his head off (and was nice and sat next to me in the row behind everyone else so I wasn't lonely). I was pleased to see that a year after I first saw it, I found the songs were still clever and, joy of joys, the staging was fresh, the actors were still fun, and the story was human enough to make you care. This is really the only musical I've seen post Chicago that I've found worth a rat's ass; everyone has forgotten about book and tune and story and has become totally wrapped up in spectacle. I could imagine seeing this regularly for ages, it's just that fun. And I bought the soundtrack at the interval, as well as a double vodka J2
Drinks at the Salisbury (still beautiful after 115 years) was a must, of course, and we all laughed and talked about silly and serious and fun things. I think, for my sister, this has all been a good introduction to my life here. I don't even know what we're doing tomorrow! Oy, but again, I must get to bed, it's too late for me to be up!