Friday, August 09, 2013

goodbye 2013!

Today was our last day for 2013, which meant we were all business. Well, kind of. I went to the final performance of Marty's Crossing and Lisa went shopping for our kids. She came back with lots of multi-colored trousers for teens and a few cute kindergarten outfits for you-know-who. We added to this pile one large bag of British candy, which set us back 20 pounds (money, not weight, but close there, too.)

We had lunch at a Pizza Joint I like to call the "Pizza Express." It was there that Lisa ate her Quatro Formaggio pizza, died, and went to heaven. I captured the whole thing in these four fascinating pictures:

Since we're done for the year, I thought a lot about everything I've seen and decided to award my 2013 London Tony's. Maybe these should be called the Tophers? I'll think that one over until next year. But here's what I would award:

Best New Play: The Night Alive, Donmar Warehouse

Best New Musical: Once, Phoenix Theatre

Best Book of a New Musical: Edna Walsh, Once

Best Original Score: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once

Best Revival of a Play: Private Lives, Gielgud Theatre

Best Revival of a Musical: Merrily We Roll Along, Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Perfomance by an Actor (Play): Toby Stephens, Private Lives

Best Performance by an Actress (Play): Kim Cattrall, Sweet Bird of Youth

Best Performance by an Actor (Musical): Declan Bennett, Once

Best Performance by an Actress (Musical): Jenna Russell, Merrily We Roll Along

Featured Actor (Play): Brendan O'Hea, Henry VI, pt 1-3

Featured Actress (Play): Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan

Featured Actor (Musical): Damian Humbley, Merrily We Roll Along

Featured Actress (Musical): Josephina Gabrielle, Merrily We Roll Along

Best Direction of a Play: Michael Fentiman, Titus Andronicus

Best Direction of a Musical: Maria Friedman, Merrily We Roll Along

Best Choreography: Maxine Doyle, The Drowned Man

Best Scenic Design: Mark Thompson, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Best Costume Design: Colin Richmond, Titus Andronicus

Best Lighting Design: Mike Gunning, The Drowned Man

It was a fantastic year. We only saw one play that we uniformly disliked (All's Well that Ends Well) but we liked or loved everything else. That's a huge relief. Sometimes these shows can be so hit and miss. We had a lot of hits!

We met, for the last time, as a group for one finaldinner. At first the group suggested we go to a little hole-in-the-wall pizza place called "Pizza Express," but sadly it was too full and couldn't accommodate our large group. Although Lisa was willing to have that Quattro Formaggio again, and was even happy to do it, I was relieved. Instead we ate at an Italian joint up on the Royal Mile. It was fun to be all together one last time.

Then it was time for the Tattoo! There was nothing particularly different about the Tattoo this year, but I seemed to enjoy it more than usual. I think it was having Lisa with me and experiencing it through her eyes, and it might have been sitting by Ames, who oohd and aahd everytime another marching band came out, or it may have been the fumes of whisky in the air (from the drunk lady sitting next to Emily.) But it was a fun night. I laughed hard. There were presentations from New Zealand (who played Oppa Gangnam Style on brass instruments) Mongolia (where a lithe little girl did a backbend on a platform balancing from her teeth) and Mexico (here's to you, Josh Valdez!) There was also the customary tots-on-motorcycles show, but this year there was an added firework explosion when it looked like the cycles were going to collide. Finally, an appearance by Little Sebastian! You can imagine how everyone freaked out over Little Sebastian ("I heard him neigh!") And the evening ended with some beautiful fireworks. Always the exciting conclusion of our trip. Devin and Aubrey were ecstatic afterwards, drunk on the tattoo. Well, at least until Devin was accosted by a large panda bear down on Prince's Street.

This has been a wonderful year. I have loved this group of students and I have so much enjoyed getting to know them, getting to laugh with them, and getting to be with them. Thank you Ames Bell, Emily Bell, David Beach, Tatijanna Lourerio, Whitney Kennedy, Nate Brogan, Josh Valdez, Jason Barker, Aubrey Bench, and Devin Neff. I'll never forget this summer. And thanks to Lisa, who came to spend a week with me when I needed her most. Until 2014!