Monday, October 15, 2012

Hogwarts in Los Angeles and Mormons Knocking on Your Doors

Taking the 10 Freeway to Whimsic Alley, we pass Downtown LA

What a Sunday it was! We headed an hour North to the Los Angeles area to see the Broadway hit, and Best Musical winner of 2011, Book of Mormon. Since we already were to be headed in the direction of The Pantages Theater, Eric wanted to stop by a store called Whimsic Alley. This location carries all items relating to Harry Potter. It is very near the LA County Museum of Art and La Brea Tar Pits. All photos today are brought to you by my iPhone5. (hope they aren't too blurry)

The store was in an older LA building that had a hint of art deco style. The sidewalk was quiet and it almost made the store look closed, but luckily that impression was wrong. This store really had an explosion of everything Potter! The interior makes it look as though the customer is walking down Diagon Alley from the books. The store facades are on either side of you as you enter. There is the book sore, candy sore, hat shop, and robe shop. The names are generic names for copyright purposes I imagine.

Just take a look at this Luna Lovegood costume. Yes, the Lion cap isn't exactly as it is in the film, but you can get the idea of who she is. I love Luna because she is from the same house I was "sorted" into on the site, Ravenclaw. I didn't think the Quidditch robes, shown above, were authentic but were definitely a nice quality. If I didn't already have a Halloween costume I definitely would have made a purchase of that Ravenclaw (blue) costume here, even the goggles!

I got so into browsing that I lost track of Eric for a bit. As mentioned, since it is divided as though the sections are their own store, it's easy to get lost. Once I found Eric he was in the wand shop. They had a huge selection of wands in there. There were also wands made from other companies around the country. Eric really was hoping to find a wand stand for the ones he has purchased at the Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida. They didn't have quite what he was looking for in the stands.

For birthday parties they have a small replica of the great Hall.

Hermione's purse

If someone can't quite make it to the East coast, but is from the LA area, this is a good alternative for now. There obviously aren't any attractions, but everyone there seemed to enjoy themselves. I still witnessed customers who were all excited about the robes, scarves, wands, and books they found. I think this is a place we will have to return if we want to browse or show fellow Harry Potter fans.

Blurry, but it shows how each section is its own "store".

My favorite colors. Blue for Ravenclaw!
After Eric and I made our purchases (he bought a Hufflepuff sweater and I a Ravenclaw beanie), we decided it was time to head to Hollywood for the show. It was going to be quite the gathering of pals and acquaintances, thanks to our friend Ricky. Besides his co-workers and family, we would see our friends Josh, Natalie, and Daniel.

All were very excited for the show! I didn't really know what to expect from the musical. I knew that since the creators of South park were behind this it was sure to be hilarious. Ricky had already seen this show three times, so we knew it had to be good! I don't know if any of you have been to this theater, but it is very immaculate on the inside. This theater has a little sentimental value for Eric and I because it is where I took Eric on our first date back in 2002. We saw The Lion King. But, this day we were here for some new memories and laughs with our friends.

Eric and Natalie

It is always an exciting moment for us when it is time to head into the theater. I don't want to sound too "cheesy" but it's a place where many things can happen. In fact, anything can happen on the stage. I also love knowing how excited the performers must be, and how hard they all worked for the show to come together. Then, we are all there to give them instant gratification! Anyway, enough on my feelings about theater.

Pantages Lobby

It certainly is hard to walk into this glorious lobby and not have the feelings I just spoke about. You know you are about to see something we thought.

Let me explain what happened to us. It just so happened that our seats were right behind a man that was as big as a gorilla. I wouldn't really say he was just plain fat. He was a gentlemen of size all around (think John Goodman). He was tall, wide, and had huge hair. He was blocking Eric's seat 100%. I had Eric switch with me because I just knew Eric wouldn't be able to get around those shoulders and head at all. I watched the first half of the show behind this guy and missed some jokes. I know there were facial expressions and gestures I wasn't able to see. It sounded funny.

The lyrics were smart and the actors were great. The show laid out what the Church of Latter Day Saints is all about. I think it was up to the audience member to decide if the belief system was funny. As the spectator, you either feel it's funny to hear The Garden of Eden was actually in the USA, or you get offended because you believe it actually was in the USA.

Here is the view we had to work with. At intermission Eric switched seats with me and he dealt with "the head". It is the next day as I type this and our necks still hurt. We aren't trying to be "whiners" but it really wasn't what we had looked forward to all that time. Luckily it's an isolated incident that doesn't happen for every theater experience. The content of the show was still fun. We would like to one day see it again without dealing with "Fred Flinstone" blocking our view.

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