Lately the weather has really been getting me down. So much so that I was starting to feel bored and tired of London, and I’ve only been back a week. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said, “When you grow tired of London, take a look at your life, then leave your freaking flat. Seriously.” … or something like that. So I decided — rain or no rain — I was going to do what cheered me up during the winter — queue for theatre day seats!
I woke up early (by my standards) to this:
A blue sky. In London. There was not a cloud in the sky! (Except that little wispy thing.) Surely the rain forecast was off. But I knew better than to trust the sky, so I packed my umbrella and wore my hooded trench coat and snow boots that double as wellies. I figured since I was dressed for rain, surely it wouldn’t rain, because that’s how the universe usually works. When I bought my wool-lined snow boots in Chicago, it stopped snowing for the season. I felt a little silly tromping around in snow boots, but I was not going to have a squishy boots situation again — sweaty boots, maybe, but not squishy.
My entire walk to the tube I felt ridiculous. It was such a nice day out! I hadn’t seen this much sun or blue sky since March.
“You alright?” the friendly fish shop guy quipped at me. “No, I feel like an idiot because I’m wearing snow boots in July and my feet are sweating,” I wanted to reply, but I just smiled, because I have learned that “you alright?” just means “hello” and is not a genuine expression of concern for your well-being.
It was actually my first time on the Tube since April and it was crowded as usual, but also fully prepped for Olympics tourists.
All the pink stickers above the stops tell you what Olympic venue is there.
There are also giant pink signs when you get off at a station leading you out. They act like they’re leading you to something cool like Horse Guards Parade (I don’t know what that is but it sounds crowded), but they’re really just leading you to the station exit. I see what you did there, London 2012, you can’t fool me.
The blue sky was still going strong as I walked briskly in my snow boots towards the Savoy Theatre. After researching all the shows currently playing, I settled on “The Sunshine Boys,” starring Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter’s uncle in the movies). Who doesn’t want to see Danny DeVito live? Well, apparently not that many people, because when I arrived at the box office, there were only four people ahead of me. I guess James Corden is more popular. I made small talk with the older couple in front of me who were from New Hampshire and reminded me of my maternal grandparents. It made the time go by quickly and before I knew it, the box office was open. And then — get this — I got a front row, center seat for £10. A tenner! That’s cheaper than a movie ticket here! Overjoyed, I decided to take a little detour before heading home, despite the fact that the clouds were arriving.
And yet this was my view from my seat on the bus:
I have never been anywhere else which has such unpredictable weather. You really do need an umbrella and sunglasses at all times. BBC did a story this morning that basically said, “The Olympics might suck because the weather might suck, sorry everyone who came from around the world to sit and walk around in the rain.”
The only bad thing about getting day seats is all the back and forth traveling. I had to wake up early to head down on the Tube to buy the ticket, then take the bus home to eat lunch and change, then take the Tube back to the theatre. But I tell you, it was worth it. Danny DeVito was absolutely perfect as Willy Clark. I was so close to the stage I could feel and see his spit. I could actually read the headlines on the old “Variety” in the show, enough to know they used the same fake newspaper even when the date was supposed to have changed. Here is a photo of the curtain I took from my seat on my iTouch without any zoom.
I could have reached out and touched the stage! I also got to stretch out my legs (London theatres are notorious for their lack of leg room) and didn’t have to stretch my neck at all. Best seat in the house and a great West End debut for Danny DeVito.
Before I get too rambly (is that a word?), here are some photos I took of Big Ben and attempted to edit: