Better late than never!
Life really is a whirlwind at the moment, I’m not sure if I’m coming or going! This week it’s all about my adventures in Toronto, but just before I headed off for the third 3rd I managed to squeeze in a couple of things in London, starting with a meeting in town with the enigmatic Sonia Friedman, the theatrical producer – she really is a powerhouse!
I attended a very fabulous party at City Hall for The Big Dance, where I was giving prizes to all the regional creators who helped make it the biggest dance event ever! It was amazing to see inside City Hall, and I got to talk dance all night long, aah bliss!
Saturday was a wonderful family birthday lunch at Cecconis in Piccadilly, where we were busy stuffing ourselves with the most delicious food and cocktails, before I realised it was time for me to dash back home, grab my bags and head off to the airport, where this time I was going to be accompanied by my trusty Coco for the week. All was in order, the taxi was on time, and I was filled with confidence that me, not the calmest of travellers, would arrive without a hitch. Being that I seem to do the journey to the airport far too regularly for my liking, I’ve become pretty good at knowing the quickest routes, and not wanting to tell anyone how to do thier job – but please Mr Taxi Driver listen to me next time so I don’t arrive shaking and barely in the nick of time because you won’t listen to me! Arriving the other end wasn’t much fun either due to Canadian Customs deciding that anyone arriving without a connecting flight should wait in a cattle pen for what seemed like forever, and me not being the most patient of people had had enough by this point…
Finally at our hotel I managed to relax and get some sleep before the two shows ahead…
The Sunday show flew past, it was Musical Theatre numbers this week and some fabulous performances and then after I headed out for pizza with the Over the Rainbow gang including singing coach to the starts Yvie Burnett, Musical Supervisor Nigel Wright, and my dear friend and fellow choreographer Anthony Van Laast who also happened to be in town for his show Sister Act, which was opening in the week.
Monday was the hard decisions of the results show, and yet every week bring us closer to finding our Dorothy… Afterwards I went for a divine Italian meal with set and costume designer extrodinaire Rob Jones, and the rest of the creative team to talk over the new and exciting changes we’re making to the show.
Tuesday I finally got to do some exploring with Coco, and the first place we headed was Kensington Market and Augusta street. I found some amazing vintage jackets and other fab finds in Bungalow, we ate weird and wonderful taffy, scoured up and down Queen St West, and ate the most fantastic lunch at Ban Mi Bros, that serve the most delicious Vietnamese sandwiches. I had the speciality – Tofu lemongrass and coriander with coleslaw and pickle in a bun! Trust me on this, they are too good to be true! A bit more shopping, a quick drop of the bags at the hotel and a light dinner at a lovely French bistro in the setting sun, all before the grand opening of Sister Act and after party at Baton Rouge.
Wednesday morning was more shopping, this time in the glamorous area of Yorkville, and once again I find myself talking about food – but the sushi we had there for lunch was out of this world! The afternoon was spent at the costume makers Seamless, where I was surrounded by the most gorgeous fabrics in preparation for the Emerald CIty numbers. I couldn’t resist a trip to Honest Ed’s round the corner, the original pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap store, where I left piled high with bags of goodies! That evening I watched War Horse, has anyone ever watched it and NOT come out crying? It was on in the beautiful Princess of Wales Theatre where the Sound of Music was on, and is sadly about to be pulled down to make way for condominiums and an art gallery.
Thursday was a race against time to get to H&M where I managed to pick up some of the Anna Della Russo collection, and then more fabulous shopping at The Bay to choose my clothes for the final shows Over The Rainbow, I honestly could’ve spent the day there!
So yes I managed to shop till I dropped, and although I’ll be back in London next week, I’ll be staying out there with my girls soon and I think it mught have to be another round! Toronto is just one incredible place to shop, eat, see, and shop round, and lucky me get’s to explore it for another month at least!
However, I do miss London and can’t wait to get back to my family, so I’ll be hopping straight on a flight after the Monday results and catching up with you all next week.
Love Arlene x