Who doesn’t love Hugh Laurie?
I must confess I’m not a huge House fan – that is, I’ve watched several episodes (at least a couple from every season), but I’ve never sat down and watched the full show. One day, maybe. Ro, on the other hand, loves it. When we went to the NBC store in New York, she excitedly bought a House shot glass and pen and almost picked up coasters (she might have bought those too. I don’t remember – I was walking around singing “Troy and Abed in the moooorning”).
When Hugh Laurie (I’m just going to call him ‘Hugh’ for the rest of this post) announced a show in Toronto (or “Ron” as he shortened it), Ro jumped at the chance. Of course, my presence was a given, but we also managed to coerce our father into joining us.
I forgot he walks normally in real life and was briefly perplexed at his lack of cane.
I’m not really a blues/jazz type of gal. I enjoy it, sure, but I was a little anxious about the show. What if it was a somber affair with Hugh and a piano and unfamiliar songs?
I might not have known all the songs, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Hugh was backed by The Copper Bottom Band, a talented group that included a lady trombone player, a saxophone/clarinet/harmonica playing man, a guitarist “who everyone in the band hates because he can play every instrument” (according to Hugh), a cellist (cello-ist?), a drummer, and two singers with powerful voices.
Yes, most of the songs were unfamiliar, but it didn’t stop them from being foot-tapping, head-bopping fun. And Hugh was hilarious! I’ll admit, I’ll listen to anything British people say but he was funny. He interacted with the audience as much as possible – the first time someone yelled “I love you, Hugh!”, he put on a bashful expression and turned to his band saying, “they love me!”. Plus you know the band is made up of fun-at-parties people when they all pause to take shots of whiskey halfway through the set.
In terms of venue, the Danforth Music Hall was perfect. We’ve never been there, so we didn’t know what to expect, but the classy interior gave the show an old-timey feel – and since the stage set up and their outfits seemed like a throwback to the 20s/30s, it was a great choice.
Classy as heck!
Of course, the highlight for me was when the band came back out for the second “encore” (the show totalled 2.5 hours!), and ended the night was a rousing rendition of one of my favourite movie songs: “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book!
One of the best scenes! The monkey with the fuzzy white hair always killed me.
Overall, it wasn’t what I expected – it was so much better! Even our dad, who looked apprehensive when we walked in, left with a huge smile (he even let out a few “woo-hoos”, which made me so proud).
Whether you’re a fan of House, or jazz, or Hugh Laurie in general, if he’s in town, give him a chance. Even if you don’t know 90% of the songs, you’ll still come walk out singing, “C’mon baby let the good times rollllll”.