Monday, February 23, 2015

Hot in the city

Well we had a big day and night in the city on Saturday.  We'd bought tickets a while ago to see The Lion King and boy, was it spectacular!  While Mr Rosanna and I had previously considered taking the kids to see Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I'm glad we waited to see The Lion King as their first musical - it was amazing.  If you go, make sure you get there and seated before opening time as the Regent Theatre has a strict lock out period.  Some unlucky theatre goers missed the opening scene which was probably the most breathtaking.  Other standouts for me were the solo performances by the adult Nala and Simba, as well as the monkey witch doctor Rafiki who were all fantastic.  From the singing and dancing, to the visual effects, African choir, puppetry and live orchestra including African drums - it was probably the best, and most culturally diverse, musical I have seen and that includes having gone to the West End in London.  We loved it!
I'd booked a bay with Wilson Parking a few weeks ago (Secure Parking also has a similar cheaper Secure-a-Spot online booking system) so we decided to stay in the city for the start of White Night and headed to Chinatown.  Chinese New Year weekend actually coincided with White Night this year.  We grabbed a bit to eat at my uncle George's restaurant Golden Orchids before heading to Cohen Place near the Chinese Museum.

My kids had an absolute ball sitting on the bean bags in front of the big screen watching a number of martial arts demonstrations including Tai Chi (which you can do locally in Bundoora, Camberwell, Doncaster, Doncaster East and Eltham) and an incredible trio of Taiwanese performers.  The boys also loved the interactive dance troupe who got them all up pretending to be dragons, lions and monkeys.  There was also a lantern lighting ceremony for charity lanterns hanging on the only tree in Chinatown followed by a series of Chinese Kung Fu movies starting with Kung Fu Panda for the kids.

We didn't stay for the whole thing but with the overall vibe and the crowds in the city - it felt like Melbourne was truly alive.  Apparently numbers for White Night were down compared with the previous two years but for us, having our children with us, we were glad to be able to walk down the streets without being crushed.  While we missed a lot of the light projections and other installations, it was fun to take the boys for a slushy and final toilet pit stop on the 35th floor of the Sofitel no less, which has some of the most amazing views of Melbourne at night.

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