This was my first experience with a Musical. And I am actually left wondering – why do they call it a Musical .. they should be calling it a Magical !!! It was an absolutely mind-blowing experience, it had me sitting on the edge of my seat, ready to stand up and sway to their songs with their dancers. But, let me not spoil the description of the experience in this manner .. let me go chronologically…
So, Sharad and I were walking around the Thames near Westminster and we reached Charring Cross. Near the Tube station, there was this tiny little store that promised to sell tickets to various attractions of London for a huge discount. Since this is something we were looking forward to since a long time but never got around to actually buying the ticket and going in, we stepped in and started exploring options. The sales girl took out the layout of the Lyceum and showed us various seats and the price bands. Soon we selected a date, 2 seats and paid up! Now, it was about waiting for 5 long days to pass before we could experience the magic ….
The 5 days passed .. long and slow. It was Thursday. All work was done to perfection before time, and I stepped out to meet Sharad at his office. But somethings have to go wrong, and so, I managed to goof up on the way from the Bank station to his office and got thoroughly lost. Quick calls to Sharad and change of meeting point. 10 minutes later, both of us met on the platform of St. Paul’s station – miraculously, without using the mobile phone to co-ordinate geographical locations and time (it wasn’t telepathy .. just that mobile phones don’t catch signal underground, and you are left to your own devices!) Anyway, so we meet up and moved towards Coventry Gardens. Here we had the option of taking 193 steps to the ground level or waiting for a huge lift with a longer line of people waiting. Of course, we waited too .. Madame Aditi would not climb 193 steps in her finery and arrive at the theater sweaty and exhausted!
So we reached the ground level, grabbed a helpful map showing the layout of the streets and the theaters in this area. A slight detour from my story – this area is amazing. It has all the famous theaters that we read about in books – all at a stone’s throw from one another. Almost every small lane has one theater and lots of eateries. And what a variety of eateries – ranging from the most classy and expensive joints to the road side stalls, which immediately reminded me of Juhu and those Pau-bhaji and kulfi stalls opposite Mocha’s. Back to the story now. We navigated our way to Lyceum (all thanks to Sharad who tried map reading for the very first time under the watchful eyes of the experienced Aditi).
And we made an entry. Bought some Pepsi and popcorn and settled in our uncomfortable seats with these munchies and a Falafel wrap that Sharad had so thoughtfully picked up when I was lost and trying to find my bearings. Now, to be fair, the seats were really uncomfortable. Tiny, squashed is how I’d describe them. And it isn’t that you could get better seats by paying more. Even if you paid for the costliest seats in the theater, they were still wooden with a bit of cushion, tiny and cramped with other seats. You could not rest your elbows without troubling your neighbor. Fortunately for me, Sharad was one of the neighbors and had to bear the brunt of my elbow issues. And then the musical started …
The crazy monkey started with the very famous theme song of Lion King and the stage came alive with so many animals. The artists dressed up as animals, painted like them or holding wooden cutouts of animals .. there was a huge elephant which walked down the aisle along with monkeys and birds and zebras and so many more animals! I was instantly sitting up on my seat. Suddenly, the uncomfortable seats just did not matter. The songs were just lovely, the artists – perfectionists. Scar was one nasty old lion whom anyone would hate at first sight. And Zazu was such a lovable, Smart Alec-y bird! The King and Queen were royal in their approach and baby Simba was absolutely adorable. Timon and Pumba were sooo funny and the adult Simba was sinfully handsome.
Well, there is nothing much for me to say about the story – it is absolutely lifted up from the movie. However, the light and sound effects along with the props were absolutely amazing. Certain acts had me getting goosebumps and some of them sent shivers down my spine. The songs – Circle of Life, and Feel the Love Tonight almost moved me to tears.
All in all, highly recommended. It was indeed a magical experience. I am going to ferry all my visitors from India to Lyceum and force them to spend their 3 hours on this really wonderful thing!
PS – I am looking forward to my next Musical experience. Can’t decide between Wicked, Chicago and Shrek … any thoughts?