On our trips to France and Spain, we didn’t go to any concerts or other entertainment because of the language barrier, but since we were in London, we went to three different performances.
Tina: The Musical
One of the big reasons Yiannis wanted to go to London was to see this musical. To be honest, I was sort of dreading it because I was sick, but it turned out to be wonderful (and much better than The Bodyguard, which we saw during our first trip and agreed was sort, well, awful).
The woman who played Tina Turner, Adrienne Warren, was freaking amazing. She had an incredible voice and presence. Everyone in the cast was great (the actor who played Ike Turner was so convincing, he got booed, the poor guy) and the story was quite moving at times. I cried at least once.
Something surprising I found about London was that their drinks in restaurants and whatnot seemed to be cheaper than in New York. Like eight to 10 pounds, which is under $15, when a glass of wine in New York can be $15 and a cocktail up to $20. It was also inexpensive at the theater, six to eight pounds, or just around $10, for a glass of wine. Meanwhile in New York theaters a glass of wine can be well over $20, which is INSANE. During intermission at Tina, I was tempted to get a rose, but I didn’t since alcohol had been making me even more congested and plus I’d have to pee.
We also went to a concert for this singer Yiannis likes. She was playing at a theater called The Albany in a part of town called Deptford. It took us an hour and multiple trains to get there, and looked very suburban and unlike any other part of London we had been to so I was kind of like, “Where the hell are we?”
I knew nothing about Tawiah but ended up really enjoying her music. It was very jazzy and soulful. The audience was a mix of mostly young blacks, some young whites, and a surprising number of older white couples (and two Asians, including myself). I couldn’t help but wonder if they had season tickets to the theater and didn’t know what they were in for.
On the way back, we saw this drunk guy on the subway. Not just drunk: he had pissed himself. A young white guy in a business suit with the front of his pants (or trousers) totally wet. In all my years in New York AND San Francisco, I’ve never seen such a thing.
Naked Boys Reading
Speaking of trousers, the readers at this event were without them.
Yiannis wouldn’t mind my saying he enjoys being naked in public. For instance he used to do naked stand-up comedy and just recently appeared in Spencer Tunick’s photography. So when he saw that Naked Boys Reading happened to be having their first open mike night the week we were there, he just had to sign up.
I was far more comfortable at this event than I’ve been at any of Yiannis’s naked stand-up shows. (There’s nothing like an obnoxious comedian and his gross junk getting in your face.) This was just gay men (and one woman) reading mostly literature. One older man read I don’t even know what. Neither of us could follow it.
Whatever you want to say about it, it was definitely a unique experience.