Life Update: Sat 6th December 2014

Hello!

I Just thought it was time for a less ‘sensational’ life update (hurrah!).

Currently on the train out to High Peak to do some more work on the new house – move date is rapidly approaching, and there is SO much still to do.

In ‘cancer fun’ news. I had a second scan in August (which was about the time you’d normally get the first one done) and there was still no residual sign of disease, though we do anticipate that this unknown sickness could hang around for another year or more, at worst. I’ve ended up walking the last two weeks without a stick, which is great, though I do still wobble when tired. Hair is fluffy and one more ‘buzz’ and I should be able to let it grow normally!

Max and I were in Manhattan, New York City the other week – it sure has gotten MUCH busier since I was there in 2007. We were glad to get home to our newfound country ways, I must admit. I had an excellent time and really got back in to my main hobby, reviewing stage and musical theatre!

Currently, I’m in ‘back to work’ talks with my employers, who have been amazing through out this whole cancer ordeal. At the moment, I’m going in occasionally in December – mainly for team meetings and Christmas parties (naturally!) and will progress to try a 3 day week in January.  After 7 months on the couch, it’s great to be ‘thinking’ again!

Heard a sad story the other day from one of my non-cancer medical team – chap was off last time I came to see him in clinic – he had found out that he had terminal cancer, and he works for the NHS. I was surprised, and a little disgusted; to learn that the NHS only supported him for six months paid leave and six months unpaid.  I pay National Insurance and am MORE than happy for the NHS to use the money to look after those who look after us. Upshot was that he had to sell his house, and only took 6 months off. I find it almost barbaric that the NHS expects people back so soon after diagnosis – true, I haven’t rushed my return (even I’m a bit shocked at ‘only’ seven months), but then, I’m not terminal.

If ever I’m having a bad day at work, I’ll always remember this and how kind my colleagues have been during this awful time.

In lighter news, our new house is coming along nicely – kitchen and bathroom are soon to go in – house is so lovely with a log-burner in it – I’ll get some more pictures up ASAP.

Here’s me earlier today in full on DIY Super-hero mode :P

IMG_4097

REVIEW: It’s Only A Play (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, NY)

First off, and unusually for me, there are a couple of real damning negatives that I need to get off my chest.

Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally did not appear tonight – the ensuing chaos outside the theatre in the freezing cold rain was, frankly, like the scene in Miss Saigon where everyone is scrambling for the helicopter out of Vietnam. It was absolute chaos. Theatre staff did absolutely nothing to control the situation, or indeed provide information to anyone, and they really should have asked people to wait to one side (I estimate a couple of hundred), rather than everyone pushing and shoving and getting in the way of the people who truly appreciate theatre, and know that you come for the show, and not the star.

In fact, the only time I was aware of the absences properly was when I opened my Playbill – that is how little they bothered to try and get information out to people. When you have the cheek to charge $165 (£105) plus fees for a second tier priced ticket, you do not treat your patrons with such contempt! Absolutely disgusting experience in my opinion – if you’re going to play with big name casting, at least know how to manage it, and I, for one, would like to have an explanation for the absences – we give our email addresses, surely there could have been a mail-out – it’s just common courtesy. As they didn’t bother to do this, I’m afraid that I am not prepared to accept any excuse from the theatre on how they mishandled the situation, as they, frankly, made a rod for their own back. Incompetents.

… and now on to the show…!

The show itself is cleverly written, with gags that can easily be interchanged based on current events etc.

In terms of the ‘celebrity’ casting, I had been really looking forward to Stockard Channing, and she absolutely didn’t disappoint. Everyone else was acceptable, Matthew Broderick without Nathan Lane is like Thanksgiving with no turkey (see what I did there??), the genius spark that comes to each when they’re bouncing off each other just didn’t ignite in his absence. In fact, Micah Stock (who is billed as a lowly ‘and’) was my favourite actor of the night, I have to say!

The show managed to keep my attention but it really did seem to be just a cash cow for the producers.

I’m surprised to say it, but I really cannot endorse this production.

ALBUM REVIEW: Bette Midler – ‘It’s The Girls!’ (2014)

You can tell that it’s nearly Christmas – every Monday there’s been either a diva album or features album released, and I’ve bought and reviewed them all!

Aretha Franklin | Annie Lennox | Queen

… and now Bette Midler with ‘It’s The Girls!‘ – essentially an intelligently selected mix of songs from the good old days.

The shoo-dwopping track-list is as shown below:

Bette - Tracklist

Her vocal is sublime on each track, and of all the albums that I’ve reviewed recently, this is the first not to disappoint and actually ‘work’ in concept.

I’d definitely recommend ‘It’s The Girls!‘- whether a cheeky Christmas buy for Mum / the other half.

With this awesome album, Bette easily proves that she’s still worthy of the title ‘the Devine Miss M’.

Even better news – with the release of this album, we’re getting a UK Tour in 2015 – Bette Midler hasn’t toured this country in 35 years (1979/1980) – essentially, she’s never even sang ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ in a UK Arena before!

BETTE MIDLER: 2015 UK TOUR

09 July  –  Birmingham  –  Barclaycard Arena

11 July   –  Manchester  –  Arena

13 July   –  Glasgow  –  SSE Hydro

15 July   –  Leeds  –  First Direct Arena

18 July   –  London  –  The O2

Tickets for Bette Midler go on sale Friday, 21 November at 9am from livenation.co.uk

Still my favourite ‘Bette':

Broadway bound – upcoming reviews!

So, I don’t know if you’ve heard me excitedly telling folk the past few months that I’m off to New York for Thanksgiving this year. Many who regularly keep in touch will be aware of my current ‘association’ with brain cancer – and going back to the Big Apple for a break was definitely one of the many things, along with food, water, Max, Family and ice-pops (long story!) that kept me going!

The last time I was in NY was 2007, and with Broadway as exciting as it is at the moment, I simply couldn’t stay away! Below are some YouTube spots for the shows I’m seeing whilst out there – you can bet that a review of each will be coming to this site shortly afterwards too! :D

Disney’s Aladdin

Michael C. Hall in Hedwig And The Angry Inch

Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally in It’s Only A Play

Radio City Hall Christmas Spectacular 2014

UK based musical theatre geek with a brain tumour!

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