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Today in My History

2000: A Simple Faith
2001:  I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
2002:  No Easy Answers
2003:  Little Things
2004:  Sunflowers and Pears
2005:  It's So Hard to Be a Goddess

2006:  And Then There Were Three
2007: Lost Monday
2008:  The Old Cedar Chest
2009:  Holding Court
2010:  ...and then I ate
2011:  The Table Cloth
2012: All About ME

Bitter Hack
: 4/8
"The Mountaintop"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 4/7
"The Sixth Man"

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Brianna's 5th Birthday
Lacie's Christening

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mail to Walt


10 April 2013

We took our first trip to London with all five kids in about 1988.   It was a great trip, but the thing that has stuck with me almost more than anything else was coming upon a demonstration, a march through downtown London, past Westminster and the houses of Parliament.  I don't remember (if I even knew) what they were protesting, but Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister at the time and all the marchers kept chanting "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie...Out, Out, Out!"

When I heard the news that Margaret Thatcher had died, that was the first thing that came to mind.  Maggie had finally passed "out."  I was sad to hear that she had Alzheimers.  Such a shame when great minds, whether you agree with them or not, are destroyed by that horrible condition.

It was really strange, and even a little creepy seeing the musical Billy Elliot right after Thatcher's death because the story is set in a mining town during the period of the miners' strike, 1984-85.  Thatcher is vilified in this musical, for her attempts (ultimately successful) to break the miners' union. At one point in the show the miners chant "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie...out, out, out."  Walt and I were probably the only people in the theater who laughed hearing that.

The second act starts at a Christmas pageant where there is a particularly mean spirited attack on Thatcher by people wearing Margaret Thatcher wigs and masks, a Thatcher puppet show, and a gigantic, menacing, inflated Thatcher rising out of the building.

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They also sing a song, part of whose lyrics are:

So merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher
May God’s love be with you
We all sing together in one breath
Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher
We all celebrate today
‘Cause it’s one day closer to your death.

During the singing of the song, two people, anticipating her demise, are wearing cardboard cutouts of a Thatcher grave stone and a sign saying "Thatcher R.I.P."

Apparently in London, according to The Fresno Beehive,

...it was announced earlier that the show, staged at the Victoria Palace Theatre, would go ahead as planned but that no decision would be made on the song until just before the performance began at 7.30pm.

A Billy Elliot insider said: “It was taken seriously and debated and finally decided that it would be best to put it to a democratic vote to the audience.

“It was a near unanimous verdict to keep the song in and go ahead. It was an electric show.”

Only three audience members voted against the song being performed in the light of Baroness Thatcher’s death.

So Sacramento apparently followed London's lead and kept the number in as well.  I did hear some mutterings about it when leaving the theater, but nobody seemed particularly shocked.

Billy Elliot is the show I have been waiting to see (after Wicked, which came through last year...and will be back in the fall).  I was not disappointed.  Fabulous show, fabulous dancing. Worth waiting for!


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