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125th Street - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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125th Street [Sep. 2nd, 2002|11:37 pm]
[mood |enthralled]
[music |Coldplay - 1 Politik]

Well, I was going to write about the other 2 plays I've seen of late (Follies at the Festival Hall and On An Average Day at the Comedy Theatre), but I kinda haven't got round to it, and 125th Street is fresh in my mind.

We heard about it on our way home from Les Mis (play before the other two, no really, I do work between going clubbing and seeing plays...), when we took the wrong exit out of The Palace theatre and ended up walking past The Shaftesbury Theatre on our way home. We looked into it, discovered a 2 for 1 offer on the preview nights, and booked up to go.

Collecting everyone in the RC reception (not bad considering we had one person coming from Woking, and one from 78 Fleet Street, still Alex who works in RC with me managed to be last down....), we trekked off to the Bierodrome for some food and drinks. After a couple of nice and interesting drinks, and some food (more expensive than it needed to be, as we ordered off the offers menu, which worked out as more than ordering from the main menu and using the GS discount, but hey...), we headed down the road to the theatre.

We got to our seats about quarter past, just as the first of the cast took to the stage. Yup, like Return To The Forbidden Planet and Forty Years On, this one had cast acting from before the start to beyond the end. After a few minutes of playing with the set (laid out for a band), a woman came on, stood in front of a camera and started asking people to take to their seats. After a bit of cajoling us, and talking to the voice of god in the van, we were rehearsed in how to act.

At this point, we discovered we were sat in the Apollo Theatre in 1969, waiting to watch the last of the Tony Sorrento's Big Night Out performances, to be broadcast to 25 million people. Unfortunately, many of the acts hadn't arrived, the anchor woman didn't like the stage hands, and a few people who weren't on the bill really wanted to be.

As the show progressed, acts no showed, Tony's outfits (in a bid to be trendy) got more and more outlandish, Tony and the theatre's manager (who's name escapes me) get more frantic, the music doesn't let up. Initially, various cast members took their turns to audition for a spot on the show, with Tony being merciless to them.

Just before the interval (brought on by a sudden loss of power), the first two audience members are dragged onto the stage to dance. It wasn't until the second one was there that we realised they weren't plants! We returned early(ish) from the bar to discover things were underway, as the anchor woman frantically tried to get us to our seats again. Having completely run out of acts, the staff on strike and a riot outside, the manager takes to the stage with a pianist, and invites the audience to the stage. In the end, three people have a go at singing (including one woman who on being asked where she was from replied "Stanmore", was asked where that was and replied "London", and was then welcomed to the big apple), thought the soundman wasn't doing his best for this bit. After a rucas and debate back stage, the cast returned to do a few numbers. The anchor woman returned wearing nothing but a fireman's jacket (we'd been off the air since the interval) and got us going again.

With the cameras back, the cast happy (this isn't Follies....), we were treated to some spectacular numbers, and a happy ending was in sight. Those who hadn't had a chance to shine before took to the stage and wowed us. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, the theatre manager came on stage to do a guitar solo, and the previously drunk Tony solo'd on the tenor sax. As the curtain fell for the last time, the NYPD informed us the riots were over, and we were free to leave the theatre.

Wow, it was an excellent musical, and a fun ride. I'd definitely recommend it, and if you're quick, the 2 for 1 offer is still on....

Next up (maybe tomorrow, maybe not), Follies and On an average day reviews. Until then, who says Tech Interns can't party? (Or pull, for that matter. Especially if they're Brian, but that's another story)