As I hoped, my time here in London has been nicely filled in with visiting friends, people I haven't seen in many years.
We've been spending a lot of time catching up with our beloved friend Sam Veale, who lives in the Wimbledon area, south of London. Greg first met Sam in January 1994 in Las Vegas, and I met him the following year there. In the 17 years since then, he has attended (and performed at) our wedding, served as a gracious host on numerous London-visiting occasions, and kept in touch during all this time. He is an excellent juggler, a master yo-yoer, and a brilliant stand-up comic. He is also now a husband and father to two little girls, pictured - he's holding 3-year-old Isa, and that's Millie (age 4) and Sophia (age 2) in the stroller.
This weekend we were joined in London by another old friend, Jay Gilligan. We've known him for just about as long. Jay is one of the top performing jugglers in the world, known for crazy original work. He grew up in the U.S. but lives now in Europe - mainly based out of Stockholm, but traveling constantly. His wife, Miku, flew in from Berlin today - she is a trapeze artist performing at the Wintergarten. Here we are all together at the Science Museum.
Jay and I had the chance to get out for an evening, and so we went to the discount-ticket booth in Leicester Square and picked up tickets to see Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom of the Opera. Oh my!! I've got to say, although I absolutely loved getting out to the West End, and thoroughly enjoyed the performance (which incidentally includes a bunch of circus performers), this is one head-trip, wacked-out story. The musical has not reached the U.S. yet, so I won't spoil it too much for you - but as a teaser - the Phantom, 10 years after the opera debacle, resurfaces in Coney Island running a freak show. And it just gets weirder from there.
In Totem news, it's been a bumpy few days. The reviews came out in the papers, and they are decidedly mixed - the British critics are harsh. A couple of acts had to miss one of the shows this past weekend, for reasons unknown to me. And Greg's having troubles with his newest set of glowballs. After 250+ shows of full standing ovations, every single performance, the artists have accepted the fact that the audiences here are a bit tougher to get to their feet. On the brighter side, ticket sales are phenomenal, I guess everyone wants to see it for themselves.
The kids are off from school this week, as the teachers are away for a conference. So, it's more sightseeing for us! I'm sure we'll spend a good amount of time at the Diana playground and the free museums, which are much quieter now that the regular school holidays are over.