29 October 2008

Snow, Pubs Closing, Travel, and 007

Peter, Bill, Tim, and Curtis outside the National Theatre at the beginning of the snow storm after the production of Oedipus with Ralph Fiennes.

Tuesday before we went to see Oedipus at the National Theatre it started sleeting. By the time we got out of the show it was snowing and the ground was very slushy. It was the first time since 1934 that London got show in October. With the banks in trouble here one out of every five pubs are starting to close! What are the Brits going to do?

My class with the British students from Rose Bruford went very well on Tuesday. We had some really interesting discussions on The Laramie Project. The Saint Mary's students had a great acting class with Lucy who worked with them on dialects. Now they all sound like me!!!! Tony James, their acting teacher is in the States right now.

Most of us did not like the production of West Side Story at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Monday night. The choreography was great and some of the actors were good. Others not so good! Pretty mixed reviews. Tonight we saw Harold Pinter's No Man's Land with Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in Harry Potter) and David Walliams who is in the T.V. show Little Britian that has just premiered in the United States. Very good show. They really brought out the humor in the piece that you do not get from reading it. We should have good discussions next week in the Page to Stage class. Tonight was also the Primiere of the new James Bond movie...Judi Dench was there with Daniel Craig and Princes William and Harry! Somehow we didn't get invited to the 1 million pound after party! Oh, well!

All of the students are travelling starting tomorrow. Curtis and Bill are heading to Madrid, Tim, Mary, Peter, and Shannon are going to Ireland, and Dani, Michelle, Bern, Ali, Amber, Caitlin and Tommy are going to Paris. I have called all the foreign embassies to give them a warning!!! Joe is staying in London to enjoy peace and quiet and attend fringe shows!

The video of Raising Cane II is finished and will be posted on the blog the beginning of the week after the students return from travelling. However, it is posted on Facebook it you can find it. Blenheim Palace will never be the same! We are watching the progress of the election very closely over here.

Bill panhandling outside the Duke of York Theatre tonight to get money for his trip to Spain!

No Man's Land. Can you spot the two Harry Potter actors.

Caitlin, Ali, Bern, Dani waiting outside the Duke of York Theatre

JM - Nice scarf isn't it?

26 October 2008

We have had a fun week. On Thursday we all went to see Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders at the Drury Lane. Incredible show...very, very funny. On Friday we went to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir William Churchill. The students toured the palace, took the little train to the Maze, lawn games area(checkers, chess, swings, etc), butterfly house, lake and waterfall. On Friday night Tim, Joe, Peter, Curtis and I went to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre to see Peepolykus (people like us) an amazingly funny company that did Spyski (or The Importance of Being Honest) a spy thriller based around a production of The Importance of Being Ernest. It was wonderful! Some other students went tonight to see the final performance. Others went to see Peepolykus' productiong of The Hounds of the Baskervilles at the Richmond Theatre. Judy and I first saw this group in Edinburgh and later in London in 2001. Bern, Ali, Caitlin, and Tommy spent today in Bath and had a great time. I went to see a fantastic production of Noel Coward's A Brief Encounter that was based on the 1938 film. It was performed in a cinema on Haymarket Street. Very creative and fun. This week we will be seeing West Side Story at the New Wimbledon Theatre, Oedipus at the National with Ralph Fiennes, and No Man's Land by Harold Pinter with Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films).

The students in front of Blenheim Palace.

A close up of the group.

Joe, Dani, Michelle paying attention. Bern is not!

The bridge at Blenheim. This bridge has an apartment in it! I want to live there...

Bill, Amber, and Tim taking a picture of me taking a picture of them

A real butterfly on the butterfly display in the Butterfly House. Peter's favorite place at Blenheim. Not!

butterfly house also has finches flying around....something new.

Another bird!

Stay tuned for the sequel to Raising Cane coming to a blog near you!

Hi my name is Curtis and I have a license to model.....!

23 October 2008

20 October 2008

Closing night, Visitors, Dinners, Drury Lane Theatre, and Fun Photos!!!

Group at Oxford....

First of all, I have added some fun photos that were taken in the past few weeks at Oxford and other places. These are Dani's photos. Enjoy!

Tried to pay them to take Dani away but they would not do it!!!

Shannon punting in Oxford...

Dani showing off her punting moves....

Girls just want to have fun!!!!

Gary with three of the Rose Bruford students (Gareth, Dave, and Dave)

Dani, Mary, Tim, and Curtis at King's Cross waiting for Harry Potter!!!

Today we took a tour of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the oldest theatre in London. We had two fantastic tour guides who portrayed different characters from different time periods. These were two of the best tour guides were have had at the Drury Lane. Lots of fun! Enjoy the photos.

Group waiting for the tour to begin

Close up of the group waiting for the tour.

We are seeing French and Saunders on Thursday night. Dawn French is on T.V. in The Vicar of Dibley and Jennifer Saunders was on Ab Fab!!! This is their Farewell tour. Tim and I went to see A Disappearing Number at the Barbican Theatre which was incredible and other students went to see We Will Rock You. I am not sure what they thought of it. Tomorrow we are going to see Avenue Q.

Tim sitting in the Queen's chair in the reception room at the Drury Lane Theatre

Tour guide as the cleaning lady

Tour guide as Sheridan

Nell Gwyn with oranges telling ghost stories...

Foyer of Drury Lane. Students sitting under Shakespeare's statue

We had many visitors from the United States come to London to see Radium Girls. Dean of the School of the Arts, Michael Charron and his daughter Kelsey came to the show Friday night as did Peter Snell's mother and grandmother and Bill Ronchak's parents, sister and her friend Sarah. On closing night Brother William Mann, President of Saint Mary's University attended the play along with Ali Fisch's parents and many of my students from Rose Bruford. Saturday was a great show. The bar below us cooperated and didn't play their disco music! Strike went very well even though we got some strange looks carrying tables and chairs back to the flasts on the Underground tube! At least we will have somewhere to sit and eat on Thanksgiving. Brother William took us all out to a wonderful dinner at Azzurro. Thank you Brother William!!!! We loved it and appreciated your generosity. Here are some photos from the dinner and from closing night.

Dean Michael Charron, Kelsey, the Fisches and the group at Azzurro

The Ronchak's

More of the group. The group in the middle are eating mussels...way to go!

Curtis enjoying his cheesecake!

Gary's sugar free dessert! Yeah Right!!!! Boy was it goooood!!

Brother William Mann, Tim, Mary, Shannon, and Dani. Tim is on his third dessert!

Waiting to be served dinner.

Brother William and students at dinner.
Here are some photos from after the play.
Cast and crew with Dean Charron and Kelsey
Saint Mary's cast and crew with our friends from Rose Bruford College closing night!

No Comment!

15 October 2008

Opening Night !!!

Marquee outside the Studio

Well the day had a pretty interesting start. Tim and I bought tickets for A Disappearing Number at the Barbican Theatre (Mark Skrade eat you heart out). He and I could not get tickets last year. Fortunately, they brought the play back this year because of its popularity. The day also began with someone jumping in front of the tube train at Earls Court which closed down the District Line for most of the day(it is the line we take to go to Wimbledon). Again, fortunately by the time the students were heading to the theatre the line opened up again with some delays.

The show went very well. We were all pretty psyched and it was good to have one show under our belt. The only glitch was the disco music in the bar downstairs kicked in at 10pm and our show runs until 10:15 or so. So Jonathan ran down stairs and had them turn the music down. However, I kind of like Radium Girls go Disco!!! Mike Charron and his daughter Kelsey arrive today as did Peter's mother and grandmother. Brother William arrives tomorrow.

Here are some photos from last night and the final dress....

Roger (Lighting Designer) and Jonathan (Public Relations) Opening Night

Jonathan and his wife, Alise, on their way to the theatre after dinner.
Tommy the Saxaphonist with eyeliner!
Peter and Bern in dressing room

Mary doing Shannon's hair

Yes! It is a play about hats!!!!
One of Mary's prop tables.
Tim....being Tim.....
Tommy opening the show.
Joe (Von Sochocky) and Dani (Madame Curie)
Shannon (Society Woman Mrs. Millington) and Bern (Miss Wiley)
Peter (Roeder) and Dani (Mrs. Roeder) ready for their nightly cocktail of Raditor.
Bill (Dr. Knef) at boardmeeting with Amelia Maggia's decayed jawbone!!!
Joe (Von Sochocky) and Peter (Roeder) looking at articles on radium...
Shannon (Harriet) and Peter (an older Roeder) at Cemetary
Same scene as above with a dead Caitlin!!!
Roeder: "I never saw their faces."
Radium Girls
Curtain Call
More of Curtain Call
Cheers! Until next entry, I am off to Wimbledon for the second show!!!!