I was up early again the next morning as I left the city and headed upstate to Utica, no I’d never heard of it either.
It was a slow but immensely pretty journey, travelling through all those places that all had famous music halls, such as Yonkers and Secaucus! I was in Utica for technical rehearsals for the new We Will Rock You US tour, that was opening the following week in Baltimore. I have to say that Utica really is the strangest of places, this once thriving and wealthy town now lays empty except for the Rock You Rockers that took over the Hotel Utica! It was built in 1812 and has hardly been updated since, and is not only haunted by ghosts of guests past, but will continue to be by the noise cast made from the den they created on the derelict 14th floor to party in!
You can tell it was once a wealthy place
But now there is barely a shop open
Or people on the street
However, people came from far and wide, young and old to see our opening night, and let me tell you they went crazy! They were screaming in the aisles, cheering and clapping like you’ve never seen! I met the most adorable little girls who were so proud to show of their t-shirts.
I bid farewell to Utica with a delicious lobster roll…
And headed back to the city and my beautiful girls who had flown in to meet me! We headed straight out to take in the sights, and the first stop was the iconic Brooklyn bridge.
The rest of the afternoon we shopped until we dropped, as there was more work to do that week and I was desperate to get some bargains in before I had to leave again!
It seemed no sooner had I arrived, I took the super fast and super efficient AMTRAK rail to Baltimore for some final work on We Will Rock You, and our phenomenal opening night! Watch exclusive video with Rock God himself Brian May here.
Of course no opening night is complete without my picture with Galileo, and this one literally rocked my socks off!
Back in New York it was meetings oh, and meetings and some more meetings and of course a couple of shows (and did I mention some meetings?) I went to watch Pippin, where my protege from Britannia High, Matthew James Thomas was appearing as Pippin.
It was the most stunning production I have ever seen, of what isn’t really one of my favourite musicals, and I have to tell you I was absolutely blown away. It brought a tear to my eye as Pippin’s magical word became reality, and the beautiful stillness of the performers as everything disappeared around them was so moving. The interval was however a much jollier affair, as I was whisked up to the company managers office for drinks and a bit of incredible history. The office was originally Irving Berlin’s office, and aside from the fascinating photographs on the walls there was a much bigger secret to it as well. The theatre was built in the prohibition era, and there was at the back of the room, a hidden doorway to a secret room where the liquor was kept! This included the original ice box and hidden panels, that was just incredible to look at.
I also managed to get to see the new Broadway hit Kinky Boots, which featured some fun songs, fabulous drag queens, and fierce costumes! Of course I couldn’t leave NY without a bit more shopping as I had so many television appearances on my return, I needed to update my wardrobe, of course, in my new larger size… Suitcases laden, 5am taxi outside, I made my way to the airport for my final flight, and arrived into the waiting arms of my family, and I was home at last.