Patrick, Bill, and Bill's sister
I'm incredibly spoiled. Longtime Novembrance readers know that Patrick does legal work for many Broadway and West End theater people. Patrick's clients are amazingly talented, and the best, most decorated, and kindest of the whole bunch is a genius named William David Brohn.
On Sunday, Bill was honored at a gala benefit concert entitled "Broadway to West End by Special Arrangement: A Musical Tribute to William David Brohn" at London's Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Though our October calendar was already quite inked up, Patrick didn't think we should miss the chance to celebrate with Bill. Our friend Marucela agreed to watch the kids, so we made plans for our mini-escape.
Saturday night, Patrick and I flew to London; we landed at about 10 o'clock Sunday morning. We took the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station, then caught a taxi to Marylebone, the charming neighborhood where our dear friend Carmen "LaFabulous" lives. After a joyful reunion, we sat in her tasteful and spacious flat and chatted for hours.
We went to dinner at a lovely little gastropub near Carmen's flat and afterwards visited a new gelateria in Marylebone High Street. After a stroll down the high street, savoring our dessert and looking in all the fabulous shop windows (including those of this bookstore that demands a visit someday soon), we parted ways with Carmen and took a cab to Drury Lane.
The concert was top-notch. Sir Anthony Andrews was the Master of Ceremonies, and how divine it was to see him in person again. We heard some of the best songs from many of the musicals Bill has orchestrated over the years: Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Showboat, Ragtime, Mary Poppins, and Wicked, among many others. I wish they had chosen something from The Secret Garden, but I can't complain. Highlights for me were "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" (sung by Sir Anthony himself), "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" from Showboat, "The Wizard and I" from Wicked, and Bill's "Ragtime Symphonic Suite."
Even better than the music was seeing our dear, modest Bill overwhelmed by accolades from producers, composers, and other theater legends. Blushing and beaming, Bill's radiant face probably could have powered the entire West End all evening long.
We made a brief appearance at the post-concert reception, warmly congratulating Bill and saying hello to several other old friends. Then we went back to Carmen's and sat up talking until 2:00 a.m. We hated having to sleep, but a few hours of rest seemed prudent.
Monday morning, we got up at 6:00, hugged Carmen goodbye, and made our way home. I love traveling with our children, but I also love traveling alone. Patrick and I watched three movies in a row on the flight home without a single interruption: heaven.
Then, jiggety-jig, we were home again just 45 hours after we'd left. Of those 45, only about 6 were spent sleeping. Whirlwind? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.