Curtain Up

The V&A Museum made an exhibit just for me!*

*(Ok that’s not quite true but it sure felt like it).

Currently on is ‘Curtain Up’, a focus exhibition on theatre on Broadway and in the West End. And it’s spectacular!

The exhibit spotlights costumes, props and other fab pieces from iconic stage productions. There are original signed scripts, tech rehearsal notes, and a case of the different styles of Tony and Olivier Awards. It also offers fascinating comparisons between New York and London theatre. Some of my favorites:

  • Row I is not used in theatres to avoid confusion with the number 1.
  • Broadway theatres call the first level ‘orchestra’ while in the West End it’s the ‘stalls’.
  • NYC = intermission, London = interval
  • In the West End little pots of ice cream are for sale during the interval. This is the best and Broadway needs to follow suit!

The first number of pieces are from The Phantom of the Opera including the magnificent Red Death costume from the start of act two.

Also on display are the original costume sketches by Maria Bjornson.

I loved checking off which NYC theatres I have been to (and staring intently at the floor).

It also inspired me to (try) to make a list of my 10 favorite shows! This was tough. My top three stand, for now at least, with the rest in no particular order:

  1. The Phantom of the Opera
  2. Les Miserables
  3. Miss Saigon
  4. Anything Goes
  5. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
  6. Once
  7. Sunset Boulevard
  8. Pippin
  9. Aladdin
  10. Finding Neverland

With How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in a really close race to edge in somewhere.

Costumes from The Lion King

One display case I was very intrigued by showed the US and London budgets for the original productions of Evita.

One of the breathtaking costumes of Helen Mirren from The Queen.

The exhibit was over too soon and I may or may not have gone through again the next time I visited the V&A….

‘Curtain Up’ is on through August 2016 and is a must see for any theatre fan!!

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Author: loganmer

Chicago CPA. Passionate about many things; mildly OCD.

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