Today, I slept in and took my time getting ready to face the day. After a bite of breakfast, I set out for a suitcase, heading down the road to Paddington station where I caught the Bakerloo Line to Baker Street and then the Jubilee Line to Bond Street.
Once in Debenhams, I made my way to the luggage department. Usually, I agonise over making decisions, but within ten minutes, I had decided on a suitcase…and one that was on sale for £42 at that. It’s a purple hard-sided spinner, adorned with magenta flowers and while I usually go for blacks and greys that are subdued and go with everything, as Phyllis and PJ show, luggage is an exception. I’m not sure what I’ll name this new suitcase…I’ll have to mull it over. After a stop at the café and another at the Boots between Debenhams and the station, my suitcase and I made our way back to the building…and up to the flat.
Just after 5pm, I ventured out again, catching the Circle Line to Embankment station and walking along the Thames – in the rain – to the Savoy Theatre. Of course, I misjudged how long my journey would take and got there ridiculously early, so after picking up my ticket, I stood out of the rain and watched the hustle and bustle going on outside of the Savoy Hotel, breathing in the exhaust of the Rolls Royce that arrived and idled at the curb (kerb) right in front of me, watching the little taxis make their pickups and deliveries.
Eventually, I made my way down the labyrinth of staircases to the entrance to the stalls and to Row H, Seat 14, where I sat on pins and needles waiting for the show to start. I’m a musical fanatic, but for some reason, I’ve never actually seen Gypsy before. The show itself wasn’t what had me so excited, but rather, the fact that Imelda Staunton is staring in it. She’s an absolutely brilliant actress…and she also happens to be happily married to Jim Carter…and I think they’re adorable. Also, I’ll just admit that I was foolishly and unrealistically hoping that he’d be at last night’s performance and just happen to sit next to me…
Anyway, by the end of the show, my hands hurt from clapping, so enthusiastic was my applause. The whole production was fantastic. She was fantastic. She was beyond fantastic. She was amazing and wonderful and perfect and she absolutely rocked it as Mama Rose, especially when she sang “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”. I could probably go on for a couple of pages praising her performance, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just say: “Go. See. Gypsy. If you’re in London, go see it. If you’re near London, travel in and see it. If you can be to London in less than eight hours and have sick days or vacation days to use so that you can overnight, go see it. If you have a private jet and limitless funds, go see it. If I were going to be in London awhile longer, I’d go see it again in a heartbeat. Just seriously, go see it.”
So after the most amazing night of theatre of my life, I made my way back along the Thames to Embankment station, admiring the National Theatre, lit up in red and blue, and the London Eye along the way. I made it back to the flat around 11:15 and while I intended to stay up a bit and do productive, writing, photo-organising things, I was in bed with lights out by midnight, falling asleep to songs from Gypsy running through my head.