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Ups and Downs
05/28/10 @ 05:21:48 am, Categories: General, 1199 words   English (US)

When we got up in the morning, little did we know, we’d be in for another first today, but let’s start at the beginning.

As we are used to, when being in England we woke up at 7am, always great, when you really have the chance to sleep as long as you wish to. At least it gave us time to get something for breakfast and enjoy it in our hotel room. It was rather late for us, when we got out of our room to get to the stage door.

Yes, we were surprised how many people were already at the stage door. We just had enough time to greet friends, when all of a sudden Mr. Ball came strolling down the alleyway, looking fabulous (oh really, we hear you say). Still we just thought, well, he is early, that has happened before. And it was only 15 minutes.

As always he took his time to pose for photos and sign away. Lovely for us as we could take our time to appreciate how amazingly gorgeous he looked today. You can tell we are used to the rough style at stage doors. Also gorgeous, but if an ordinary man put in a suit can look great, you just know what such a suit can do to Michael! When he got over to us he told us he was having a bad cold… or hayfever, he really could not tell. Poor boy! For two years Kerstin is suffering the same and we just don’t know, how he can sing and dance and work through it like he does!

Afterwards we formed a little group of 6 and went to a café for a quick salad and something to drink and basically exchanging the latest news (or gossip). Two of us (Joan and Pam, who by coincident had seats next to us and are always in the know) left an hour before the show started to walk around a bit before sitting through the show. The German contingent (Helge, Petra and the bunnies) stayed behind, chatting. Finally, at 5 past two, we decided to brave the (luckily very) short walk up to the theatre. On our way we picked up a promotional brochure of the Mayflower Theatre. Kerstin started flicking through it while we walked and started discussing the missing of other theatergoers. Suddenly she called out to us: “TWO PM! The matinee starts at 2, NOT at 2:30!” We thought she made a joke, but she had just found it on the Hairspray pages and we got the tickets out and started disbelievingly at the merciless 2:00 pm printed on the bottom. Every other matinee starts at 2:30. We couldn’t believe it and ran the rest of the way as – you guessed it – we were already 8 minutes late. We were told to wait until the current song was over. Seeing we had tickets in the front row (usually reason for a big YAY) we were not too pleased at the prospect of arriving late and not only making everyone stand up but also for the entire cast to see. We had to wait through Good morning Baltimore (amazingly!) and just prayed that we’d be seated BEFORE Michael was on stage (imagine the comments when we’d arrive in the middle of his performance….). it was nerve wrecking. But, big PHEW, not only were we seated minutes before Edna makes her first appearance but also we had tickets for aisle seats, so no one was disturbed too much by us sitting down.

That was it: the very first time we ever missed the beginning of a Michael show! You should think we have learned a lesson or two after 148 of these events and 44 Hairsprays, but alas we have not!
At the risk of repeating ourselves, the show was just amazing. The audience was great and they were cheering after each and every single song. The “Har-De-Har-Hut” behaved, everything went smoothly. Luckily we had forgotten just how fabulous it is to see the show from the front row. Tonight will be rather tough, as we are going to sit in the balcony again, sigh
After the show we went to get something to eat with Helge and Petra and rest assured everyone was reminding us about the starting time of the evening show. Mind you, with chatting away in the sunshine and a quick visit to the toilets before the show we just sat down 2 minutes before the show was about to start.
The show was once more fantastic, the audience even better than in the afternoon. Everything went according to plan, well, apart from Wilbur’s exploding bubble gum which didn’t explode and so he just shrugged, smiled and said “Bang!”. True professionals will not be shaken by a prop not functioning. “Timeless to Me” definitely deserves a special mention. All who have seen the show more than once know that lots of the giggles between Edna and Wilbur are not happening spontaneously. This time however, the audience reception was just so good that Les got the giggles (real ones, not the scripted ones) and couldn’t get his line out for a little moment. When the laughter of the audience had dimmed slightly, Les finally got out his “[It’s Jewish] for kiss me again” and Michael smiled and replied “This was so worth waiting for”. Needless to say the audience was hysterical with laughter.

Afterwards there was quite a crowd outside. It took a while before Michael got out and he was in a rush. Apparently there was a do planned with the cast. Or so it seemed. He rushed through autographs and photos and after some confusion as to which way to go, he and Andrew walked up the alleyway (slight slope) and vanished around the corner. We remained standing at the stage door saying goodbye to everyone and chatting a little about which cities we will be at (Manchester, Dublin and Edinburgh) and whom we will meet there etc. etc. When suddenly there was a little commotion at the end of the street. Some fans who were on their way up had spotted Michael rushing back down again! What came next was a bit….well, let’s say he was practically running, commenting “I cannot believe we walked up there” and “where is the coach”…so OBVIOUSL in a big hurry and STILL some fans asked for a photo and signature. Being Michael, he couldn’t say no, but it clearly didn’t help his rush. It was nice to see him again so suddenly, but our little group contented itself but watching, smiling and making sympathetic noises. such a bonus to see him again. We hope he caught the coach.

After that we walked back to our hotel and said goodbye to Helge and Petra who sadly had to leave again. We will miss you! Have a safe journey! See you in Dublin!

Today we will have a walk around the harbor (if we find it) and keep our fingers crossed that the rain showers we saw in the forecast will stay away….or at least stop for the stage door. Sun for now.

Talk soon!

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On the road with Michael Ball.
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