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Thursday, February 26

I had plans to save money and take the bus to the airport. Well, take a bus into town and then metro to the airport. That was the plan. It seemed like a good idea... I didn't do it. I took a taxi - much more convenient! Shocking!

Anyway, the stay in Newcastle airport was fairly eventless. I read a newspaper and arranged for my phone to work over in the states. For it was the United States of Apple Pie I was bound for. I didn't want to get too heavily into my reading matter before the long-haul flight, so I didn't! My first leg of the journey was a wee hop from Newcastle to Heathrow.

Travel is probably very boring unless something happens. I bet travel writers pray for things to go wrong when they're researching their writings. Luckily, in many ways, nothing particularly notable happened. I got the flight it arrived, I got a transfer bus, I arrived in time to transfer. I had time for a quick game of the Monopoly quiz machine at the gate in Heathrow (using that last 50p piece to good effect - I lost the game, of course).

The flight to Newark, New Jersey, was notable for nothing more than the slightly pungent breath of the Israeli man snoozing beside me and the fact that only the left ear worked on my headphones. These both were irritating, as was being stuck in a window seat on a long-haul flight (not the ideal position for the larger gentleman). However, I survived admirably, reading about how to put on a show at the Edinburgh festival and then editing the script for the show I intend to put on. I even managed to get into a Stephen King novel and watch some comedy on the wee TV - hearing only one half of its soundtrack, of course.

Arriving in New Jersey was fine, but I had to get to New York. After a few moments thinking my bag was lost - it wasn't, but my ability to recognise it was poor, I found getting through customs and immigration to be no problem. The bus ride to New York City was prompt and I headed along New York's streets to my hotel. That's when I noticed two things:

1. A poster for The Little Shop of Horrors on 52nd Street - some 2 streets from my hotel
2. The fact that it wasn't much after 7pm

I can do this! I thought. It only required for me to check into the hotel and then run up a couple of streets for me to be able to get myself into the audience of a Broadway show. I'd been resigned to not being able to see such an event this trip.

I checked in quickly and pretty much followed the bell boy out of the room after dropping my bag in it.

The man at the box office on 52nd street paused when I asked him the essential question - "Are there any seats free tonight?". Then he gave me some information which made me react very quickly:

"I can put you in the middle of the second row of the stalls for half price - $50".

I reacted by handing him my credit card. I think you can guess why. I bought a programme and a CD - I was in my element. I'd even arrived at the theatre in plenty of time for its 8pm show time. Fantastic. The CD even has the exact cast I saw on it.

Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favourite musicals and I hereby declare it the Musical of the Day for 26th Feb 2004!


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