Lucie Loves... Lifestyle // Adding a little razzle dazzle to my week with Nouveau Lashes, classic cocktails and a trip to see Chicago at Phoenix Theatre, London
Now, when it comes to going out in the week with friends, we tend not to do anything too boozy on a regular basis. Therefore, this invitation to see Chicago the musical at Phoenix Theatre in London's West End aka Theatreland, was the perfect excuse to doll myself up a bit, get out of the house and treat one of my besties to a fabulous night on the town!
I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of theatre and musicals is pretty limited. I think I've only ever been to a handful in all of my 32 years... but I'm determined to shake that up a bit this year.
I was invited by the Chris at Milk Two Sugars to join him and a gaggle of other excitable folk for pre-theatre drinks and have my eyelash extensions done by the lash gang at the Waldorf Hilton's Miss Homage popup bar.
On arrival at Miss Homage, I was greeted by booming show tunes. There was no doubt that I'd got the right address. The bar was decked out with feather boas, pearl necklaces, bowler hats and cocktail menus peppered with Chicago-themed twists on familiar names. It literally screamed M.U.S.I.C.A.L!
Before the show, I'd booked myself a slot with the Nouveau Lashes team to have a complimentary set of express individual lashes done. The treatment took around 20-30 minutes – which is much less than the usual 2+ hours that it takes if the lash technician is applying a full set. The lashes looked natural, required no additional mascara and would last me up to 2 weeks. It's easy to see how people get addicted to having their individual lash extensions done. It's literally instant glamour!
It's been a couple of weeks since the event now and my express lash extensions have all come off themselves – they tend to fall out when your natural lashes do. They did give me some lash remover to use, if I wanted to take them off myself at home – but it wasn't necessary.
Lashes in place and a few Chicago-themed whisky sour cocktails guzzled, my friend Mel and I walked over to the Phoenix Theatre, which is about a 20 minute stroll away, through the bustling streets of Covent Garden. The Phoenix Theatre itself was built around the same period in which the story told by Chicago the Musical was actually set. The Jazz Bar itself, upstairs, is worth a visit. I couldn't help but marvel at the stunning black and white portraits of musical theatre actresses, who've performed in Chicago themselves, over the years gone by.
One of the major draws to go and see Chicago, for me, was Hollywood's Cuba Gooding Jr. For my friend Mel, it was the incredible soundtrack. Which, she admitted to me on the night, was the first musical soundtrack album she ever purchased on CD. And to this day, it is still her absolute favourite and it's easy to see why.
As for Chicago and the production itself... The cast are young and beautiful (read as: hot and scantily clad.) The theatre sets cleverly thought up, with the centrepiece being the live band and the music – as it should be. The dance routines, renowned for being famously choreographed by American dancer Bob Fosse, are in this instance, choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Fosse. Thus lending the whole show his famously fluid and entrancing movements. I couldn't take my eyes off the stage all evening!
At the end of the night, we headed downstairs to meet Cuba Gooding Jr aka Billy Flynn and the beautiful Josefina Gabrielle – who plays a seductive and sassy Velma Kelly. Of all of the songs performed in the show, it was Mr Cellophane that truly pulled at my heart strings, performed by actor Paul Rider.
Final thoughts: My face was aching from smiling all evening! If that isn't a good enough reason to watch this show, I don't know what is. It was a joy!
Photography © Lucie Kerley