Thank you for the music…(Part 1)

I love musicals! When I was small, my parents brought me to see movies like “Showboat”, “Lili”, “7 brides for 7 brothers”, “The King & I” and later, I also saw “My Fair Lady”, “The Sound of Music”, “Hello Dolly”…and in the late 70s, I saw “Grease”.  Little did I know then that over a decade later, I would be in a theatre in West End, London watching the real-life staged musical…


I was spending the weekend in London and I went to a booking agent somewhere around Piccadilly to get a matinee ticket for “Miss Saigon” but when I went back the next day, they had got me the ticket for the evening performance instead.  They were willing to give me a refund…but I had to see the show no matter what, so I got it…for 25 quid! I was already leaving but I changed my mind and went back. I told the man that I had planned to see a show that afternoon…so I asked him if he had any matinee tickets for any other show. He asked me what I wanted, and I asked, “Have you got ‘Phantom’?”…and he replied, “Yes, but you’ll have to come back next year to see it!” Good grief! Imagine people booking tickets a year ahead to see one of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s productions!!!

In the end, he asked me if I wanted “Grease”.  The show was about to start and he would sell it to me at face value – 28 quid and 50 p.  I grabbed it immediately…but as I was waiting for the show to begin, I had second thoughts.  I had seen the movie, I knew all the songs…; what the hell was I doing there and paying over RM100 for that (The exchange rate then was RM3.80 to 1 pound sterling)? My seat was quite near the stage, so I reckoned I got a good deal! When the show started, all those feelings disappeared.  It was one of the greatest experiences in my life!!! Everyone (yours truly included) had a whale of a time clapping and singing along with the songs… It was entertainment at its best!!

Then, that night I went to see Miss Saigon! Now, that was a totally different experience altogether. Despite being a musical, the theme was serious…and it had a moving plot.  This was the emotionally-charged scene where she had to say goodbye to her kid…


…and at that point in time, I missed my daughter back home, just around five years old at the time, so terribly that I cried buckets!!! However, it was a gallery seat…so I was very far up there (Binoculars were provided but I didn’t feel like using them!) and because of the top edge at the front part of the stage, I could not see the helicopter in the much-publicised helicopter landing scene! Darn! Still, I had no regrets going for it…  (To be continued