Today, Add and I had the best date ever.
We were absolutely blown away by a performance.
Cheesy, I know, but when you have two theatre majors together, what better reward can you expect?
We saw, "End of the Rainbow" and cannot say enough good about it. It is a story about the last few months of Judy Garlands' life in London before she overdosed. I have never been so intrigued by a story in my life. In fact, earlier today when we knew we were seeing this, we wanted to do some research to see how close the actress was to playing Judy, and we got completely sucked in to her biography. I could rave about this show for days, but that probably wouldn't interest anyone, so instead I will tell you some facts I now know about Judy Garland:
1. To my total shame (as a musical theatre major), I had no idea that Liza Minelli was Judy's daughter...I now know that, and that she has another daughter Lorna (from a different husband) who also sings.
2. Judy was started on pills at age 8 by her mother (who was the epitome of stage mother) and was completely addicted to pills by age 15.
3. Judy's life was never normal. She was performing by age two, and was used as a meal ticket to her mother when she signed a seven year contract with MGM studios early on. She rehearsed and filmed 72 hours a week for those seven years. She never had any kind of choice, in her early years, and this crippled her choice-making abilities for the rest of her life.
4. Her father was a homosexual, and led to a very dysfunctional relationship between him and her mother. Many of her relationships reflected this, as many of her husbands turned out to be gay.
5. She had 5 husbands. The last of which she got married to in London and died 3 months later.
6. She never received any money from her performances. All of the money she made at MGM went to her mother because she was too young to receive it. Her agent was committed for fraud when it was learned that he stole all of her money from the rest of her career. She often struggled to pay for food for her and her daughter, and died in debt.6. She died when she was only 47. The drug abuse, alcohol, and cigarettes made her look much older.
7. Frank Sinatra paid for her funeral. Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Dean Martin along with 20,000 other people came to her funeral.
When Judy was talking about living up to everyone's expectation and her own expectation of herself, she said this heartbreaking line:
"It's a terrible thing to know what you're capable of and never get there."
Tracie Bennett was incredible. I have never seen such a powerful performance. She is up for an Olivier award (the equivalent of a Tony), which is so well deserved.
Honestly, it was the best performance we have seen thus far in London.
On another note, Addison and I had a relaxing day.
We started off with a frantic morning scrounging for tickets (we got AWESOME seats to the show).
But then we took things down a notch, the British way. We had some tea and cake.
This is the Orangery. It's a very posh place for some afternoon tea, right next to Kensington Palace in Hyde Park ;)
We decided on the Rosehip and Hibiscus tea, with Victoria Sponge cake, of course.
Addison and I, who have never had tea before, decided we liked it...with about 5 lumps of this:
And to round the afternoon off, we walked through the beautiful gardens of Kensington Palace.