So I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Hampton Court Festival Best of Broadway night for my birthday, starring none other than Rachel!
It was such a ridiculously perfect night (as I'm sure Holz will agree!). Everything about it was stunning. Hampton Court is such an amazingly beautiful building and walking around it beforehand was so much fun.. ok, I am admittedly one of the biggest History Geeks in the world and I found it all fascinating (much more so than i had done on a year 8 school trip,).
After trotting around like the little geek I am, we were shown out to one of the courtyards where the concert was being held. It was amazing! We were surrounded by the beauty of the palace, the stage was MASSIVE, and best of all our seats were third row back and slap bang in the middle (thank you parents!).
It wasn't long before the orchestra opened with the overture from The Producers. The Royal Phillarmonic orchestra were absolutely sensational throughout the entire night, everything they played was perfection.
Then the four presenters (and singers) came on stage and introduced themselves: Mary Carewe, Ria Jones, Michael Dore and Graham Bickley. Slightly concerned by Rachel's non-appearance, we waited whilst they sang a couple of songs to kick off the show. Graham Bickley then announced that tonight they were honoured to have a very special guest with them, using the words "Oliver's loss is We Will Rock You's gain!" at which point me and my friend (also called Rachel) screamed pretty loudly! "Kicking off our Cabaret this evening, please welcome Rachel Tucker singing 'Cabaret'!"
Rachel then appeared on stage wearing a gorgeous black mini-dress and looking absolutely amazing. We've all seen her performance of 'Cabaret' on IDA, but this one was in a different league - she managed to outshine herself!! To be really honest, you couldn't fairly compare the two as (as she told me later) she had to interpret the same song completely differently on both occasions. There was no "I'm going like Rachel!" this time round, but the performance was flawless.. it was witty, easy to watch, entertaining and generally breathtaking! And you could tell she was loving every second of it!
I would go into details about the other performances but if I'm brutally honest, most of them just merged into one evening of musical-amazingness... I was well and truly in heaven!
Rachel's second solo was from 'Mack and Mabel' and she sang the hilariously feisty 'Wherever He Ain't'. I think this may have been my favourite performance of the night - this girl sure can belt! I advise you all to go and download this song now and listen to it... none of the recordings match Rachel's live version the other night, but the song is absolutely brilliant anyway!
After this the four singers came back on and did a bit of a medley from Les Miserables..starting with 'Bring Him Home' and launching into 'One Day More'. This is my favourite song ever and I remember feeling slightly disappointed that Rachel wasn't getting in on it - however, she suddenly stepped out on to the stage again singing Eponine's part absolutely beautifully. After this they all started singing 'You Can't Stop The Beat' from Hairspray before starting the second part of the show with a Grease medley.
Rachel didn't appear then until the last ten minutes or so where she closed the show with a stunning version of Stephen Sondheim's 'Being Alive' from Company. She looked amazingly elegant and classy and delivered another stunning performance.. The crowd went wild after she finished - there was no question as to who the star of the show was that evening!
The whole show finished with all five singers doing a Mamma Mia medley, inviting the audience to get up, dance and sing along. Unfortunately we were sat next to the most boring man in the history of boring men, and he kept telling us to "shhh"... which we didn't and in fact started singing even louder, thank you very much!
The last song performed was 'Thank You For The Music' and at the risk of sounding sickeningly cheesey, I would say those words had never meant so much before! The orchestra were sensational, as were all five of the singers... it sounded even better surrounded by the gorgeously lit up STUNNING Hampton Court Palace. It was an evening I'll never ever forget.
And to top the whole evening off, I managed to bump into Rachel and Guy whilst waiting for our lift home to arrive!
Sorry, I know I've rambled on too much already, so I'll just finish with two things:
1) I'm afraid camera's weren't allowed in the auditorium and being right at the front, I'm pretty sure we would have been caught pretty easily. However, there was a professional camera man there so hopefully some pictures will surface soon. But for now a massive THANK YOU to Julia Hogg who made my day by sending me the picture above (taken during 'Being Alive').
2) Once again, thank you Rachel for putting on such an amazing show and making my 20th even more special!
P.S - probably should mention that I've been totally spoilt this birthday and was taken by my lovely friend Emma to catch Rachel's Scaramouche on Friday 5th.. something tells me I don't need to mention that Rachel was fantastic!
P.P.S - over and out, enough from me and SORRY for cluttering up the blog!