GREAT, GREAT BRITAIN: THURSDAY
Happy Thanksgiving! Okay, so I’m now running almost two whole weeks behind on these London updates, but I’m determined to finish, dammit! So hop back in your time machine and join me in pretending it’s that wonderful late-November holiday for gathering with family and giving thanks. Only it’s not, because this is London and nobody knows what Thanksgiving is… or do they????
Best in All Westminster!: Thanksgiving in London was pretty much like any other day. Everyone went to work, all the stores were open and the streets — and tourist traps — were just as crowded. One of the things we spotted on our bus tour that we wanted to go back to was Westminster Abbey. It took us until Thursday, but we finally made it. It’s a beautiful, gargantuan testament to the Royal Family’s love of God and itself, and unlike the museums, you have to pay to get in. Art is cheap; for Jesus, you have to cough up some dough. Still, it was impressive and definitely worth the trip. As we toured the facilities trying to whisper our wisecracks to each other, suddenly a solemn voice came over the loudspeaker. “We’d like to take a moment of silence for our friends in America on this particular day,” it said. “Oh, great,” I thought. “Somebody blew something up.” But the voice continued, “Today is their Thanksgiving Day…” Aw, shucks. I didn’t think you guys remembered! What can I say? I was touched. God save the Queen!
Small World: One of the side effects of dating the friendliest and most well-liked person in Hollywood is that everywhere we go, it’s pretty much guaranteed he’ll run into someone he knows. I have a theory that these encounters are inevitable, and no variable, like being a continent away from home, for example, has any effect on Drew’s ability to connect with someone he knows. Sure enough, about five minutes after we got through immigration, we heard someone calling out his name at baggage claim. “Drew! Drew!” A-ha! It was a producer Drew worked with, who had flown in for a last-minute vacation, just like us. When he told us he had no plans for Thanksgiving, we invited him to come out with us.
Flash forward to Thursday. Drew had done his homework and found a few places that were serving “American” Thanksgiving dinners, and we chose one through a very selective process: It was the only one that wasn’t already booked up. It turned out it was also a dump. When we showed up, we found ourselves in a greasy American-style BBQ joint, and not a very impressive one. It looked very much like a grimy fast-food type take out (or “take-away” as the Brits say). Even worse, they were showing a soccer game on TV to a crowd of rowdy Brits. I was mortified. This is where we convinced this poor guy to spend Thanksgiving? Thankfully, the Thanksgiving dinner was served in a separate dining room in the basement, which was much nicer. Dinner was good, but I was most thankful that my theory was proven correct.
Cats of Britain, You’ve Been Warned: Probably the highlight of the day for Drew was this incident. I missed it, so I’ll let him tell you about the big catfight at the London Transport Museum. Meow!
Gaydar.co.uk: Shortly after we ran into Drew’s work acquaintance, Drew confided to me that the guy was an ambigusexual, and no one was sure if he was straight or gay. I immediately voted gay, but Drew remained unsure. We managed to score some tickets to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s new musical “The Woman in White” for Thanksgiving night, and that meant we’d probably find out eventually. Discussions about Andrew Lloyd Weber have a way of outing people. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait until the show for our answer. At dinner, he mentioned that he had recently suffered a bad breakup from a long-term relationship. Drew and I waited anxiously for the first pronoun to appear and sure enough, it was a “he”. Hooray! Mystery solved, and a rare triumph for my gaydar! And now we had one more pawn to play matchmaker with back in LA! The guy’s name, by the way, was Andrew, and I’d like to thank him for not going by Drew — though, of course, that was his ex-boyfriend’s name.
Woman In White: Thursday’s installment in Jerry and Drew Must See a Show Every Day They’re Here was “The Woman in White”. Neither of us really likes Andrew Lloyd Weber, but it was the hot ticket in town (not counting “The Producers”, which I’d already seen and Drew had no interest in), and we like to follow the herd. What’s most notable about the show is that there are no traditional sets. Rather, the scenic design is projected onto a giant curved screen that rotates behind the actors. I don’t know if this was an effort to save money or to be cutting edge, but I doubt they did either one. Regardless of what you think of the music, how you feel about the show will depend largely on whether or not you appreciate this gimmick. It’s so overwhelming that it’s hard to notice anything else. I went along with it, and I managed to enjoy the ride. Surprisingly, it was probably the best show I saw all week. And for the record, Andrew loved it, too.