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Nov 05

Backpacking trip entertainment review

U2 Vertigo Tour Concert (Madison Square Garden, New York)
After almost getting arrested by the NYPD (that’s a story for another time), I went to the October 8 U2 concert in New York. It was awesome. Keane supported. Here’s the set list. I don’t have any photos unfortunately, but there was one moment when they switched off the lights and Bono asked everyone to bring out their mobiles and the stadium lit up like a night sky.

U2 will be touring Australia in March next year.

Wicked (Oriental Theatre, Chicago)
When we tried to see Wicked in New York, we were told tickets were sold out over a month in advance. Luckily, the Chicago production wasn’t so overbooked. Wicked is based on a book which recounts the “real” story behind the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s a lovely take on the Wizard of Oz which amusingly relegates the role of Dorothy to historic irrelevancy and explains how the “Wicked Witch”… wasn’t wicked after all, being a victim of a malicious propaganda campaign undertaken by the xenophobic Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Very entertaining (I liked the Loathing and Wonderful pieces), but to me not as memorable as other classic musicals which have made it big on Broadway.


25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway, New York)
Spelling Bee was an excellent small scale production about a group of kids and their involvement a Spelling Bee competition. It’s hard to explain beyond that what it’s about, but it’s entertaining and very funny all the way. They even had audience participation, pulling up several members to join in the competition – including one Mr Tejani who appeared to have won a few spelling bees in his time because he kept spelling words correctly where he should have got them wrong. I’m not entirely convinced that he wasn’t planted in the audience. There’s some improvisation thrown in as well. Highly recommended.

Spelling Bee

Second City Reloaded (Second City, Toronto)
I’ve never been to a comedy club before, but it’s pretty fun. Toronto’s branch of Second City is famed for being the place where Canadian actors like Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Mike Myers and Eugene Levy honed their comedy skills before making it big. A lot of the skits are hit and miss, but happily most of them are hits. The two hour show is followed by a free half hour session of improv, and it’s fascinating how people can think on their feet so rapidly.

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