I saw two production shows in the Royal Court Theatre.
The first show was called "Rhythm of the Night," and the first song was "You Can Call Me Al," which I thought was an odd choice for a Latin theme. * The singers and dancers were average, I thought, and the production values were also average. There were far too many shades of pink in the costumes ... but there was this one yellow costume, with a yellow fringe, that moved well, but made all the girls' butts look big.
The second show was called "Apassionata," which included the song "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing." It didn't ... have that swing, that is, which means something. The costume range, again, was from hot pink to cool magenta. But one thing better about this production, better than the prior one, was a live orchestra. (Recorded music for the first show ... unacceptable!)
What can I say about a four foot, seven inch, 90 year old woman, who tells the audience to go back to their cabins and have sex in a position they've never tried before? ** Of course, I'm writing about Dr Ruth Westheimer, the famous sex therapist and Israeli sniper. She was charming, but I only went to the first lecture. I spoke with her during tea in the Grills Lounge one day, and I told her that I skipped the second lecture, about sex after 50, because I didn't want to find out that I was supposed to be having sex four times per week.
I went to two lectures by Michael Kushner, who worked at Bletchley Park (recently featured in a movie about Alan Turing called "The Imitation Game") during WW2. The first lecture was about spies, generally. The second lecture was about the breaking of the Enigma code. Both lectures were as brilliant as Michael Kushner, himself.
I went to one lecture by Colonel Stephen Bauer, who was a military social aide at the White House for many years. His subject material was mostly about the Nixon White House - so let me say this about that - Bauer has good material, but he is not a good speaker.
I went to one lecture by meteorologist Joseph Bishop. His presentation was very interesting and polished - slides and effects were always perfectly synchronized.
There was a fifth lecturer on art history, but there is so much going on the QM2 that I just could not do it all. But for what lectures I did attend, in only six days, this was the best of all my cruises, by far.
I also overdosed on lounge entertainment. There was music everywhere all day long - from classical to rock to ballroom dancing - the QM2 absolutely reeks from entertainment.
My favorite was Paul Garthwaite. I kind of stumbled upon his act in the Golden Lion Pub. I mistakenly thought he was just doing Eric Clapton songs, but then he started talking about Clapton, maybe five minutes, and I was thinking "Why isn't this guy playing the guitar?" But that was his deal: he was a guitar player AND an historian. I subsequently went to sessions on Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straights, and a 22-string guitar. Read more about Paul, here:
My second favorite was a group called Purple Haze. That was just their name - I never actually heard them play Jimi Hendrix. They were in the G32 nighclub most nights, and sometimes at the Terrace Pool during the day.
And the rest.
The title of this subsection is an allusion to Mary Ann and the Professor on Gilligan's Island. Sure, Ginger Grant and Thurston Howell III grabbed all the headlines, but similarly, there is a lot more going on board the QM2. There was a harpist, a string trio, a jazz band, and an orchestra. There was trivia ***, bingo, darts and deck games. Here, let's make this simpler; just read about all the activities on the Queen Mary in the Daily Programme.
A: Notwithstanding the crappy productions shows, Queen Mary 2 rocks with varied entertainment.
* From the album "Graceland," Paul Simon wrote songs inspired by his visit to South Africa.
** The Captain subsequently requested that we not all try that at the same time.
*** My son and I are undefeated at trivia on the Queen Mary. We won our only game in 2004, and our prize was two Fuzzy Navels. My son was only nineteen years old at the time, and he got schnockered from the little bit of peach schnapps in that drink.
On the current cruise, I was recruited for a trivia team in the Golden Lion Pub. I only contributed one correct answer (i.e, that no one else on the team knew). I contributed two correct answers, actually, but the game host ruled otherwise. The disputed question was "Where was the first McDonalds restaurant," and the correct answer is San Bernadino, California, albeit not like the McDonalds restaurants we know today. Points were only awarded for "Chicago" - so maybe they meant to ask about the first Ray Kroc franchised restaurant? Certainly, even that one is not the oldest McDonalds. The oldest is in Downey, California, and it preceded the first Chicago franchised restaurant by two years.
I forgot to mention that there is a planetarium dome in Illuminations! They had one presentation there, "Wildest Weather in the Solar System," and a ticket was needed for admission so that everyone had a chance to see it. (Not all seats in the auditorium were under the dome, but all seats under the dome had the same view.) This was a very similar experience to the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal ... but on a ship!
I also forgot to mention that there were movies, I just didn't attend any of those. Also, art classes, needlepoint, knitting, bridge, and so on, and so on.
I also forgot to mention that there was a destination lecturer. (I wonder what he had to say about Sept burgers rien Français?)