Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: The Most Magical Place To Be For The Holidays| VIDEO SNEAK PEEK

It’s Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – The Most Magical Place To Be For The Holidays

By Juliette Boland

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood where I was invited to a special sneak peek of  “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle”, a holiday must-see for every Potterhead!

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle – Universal Studios Hollywood

Who doesn’t want to spend their Christmas drinking hot butterbeer, shopping for Hogwarts house stockings, and listening to the entertaining a cappella Frog Choir, comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant throaty toads, harmonizing to our favorite holiday tunes? This Potterhead was in Hogwarts heaven checking out all the festive activities The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer this holiday season.

The Frog Choir entertain us with a selection of holiday tunes.

The highlight of the night was an astonishing, luminous light spectacular that has to be seen in person to be believed. It was truly magical and made me feel like I was smack-dab in the middle of a Harry Potter movie!

A captivating light projection show at Hogwarts sure to please any Potterhead!

As night fell on Hogsmeade village, “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” illuminated Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with the most beautiful colorful images and impressive animations, including familiar Potter characters, that danced across Hogwarts castle in tandem with a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter films. It brought chills hearing those familiar tunes I grew up listening to. It truly was a sight to behold as magical, echoing ghosts whispering “Merry Christmas” glided across the castle grounds and then a gleaming, decorated tree emerged from the magic of Christmas ending in an explosion of fireworks. Hogwarts illuminated in a way that Dumbledore, most definitely, would have approved. 

 Along with these festive experiences, you and your family can enjoy the thrill of eating delicious holiday treats, along with Harry Potter snacks we all know and love (cough, chocolate frogs, cough).

No trip to Honeydukes is complete without picking up a chocolate frog and box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans!

What magical treats await you at Honeydukes this holiday season?

You can also take pleasure in a delightful stroll down the snowy streets of Hogsmeade village, passing by décor uniquely themed to each of the individual storefronts. We all love a good shopping spree! You could buy your loved ones Harry Potter themed gifts, because this year, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has a wide selection of collectibles, such as custom-made Christmas ornaments, decorative Hogwarts castle snow globes, and unique holiday tree toppers.

You mustn’t leave until you’ve experienced the beautiful glistening snowfall in the middle of Hogsmead Village. It was so real, I was sure I’d see Harry, Hermione and Ron coming out of The Three Broomsticks, butterbeer in hand.

Speaking of butterbeer, enjoy a delectable holiday menu at Three Broomsticks™, with seasonal food and beverage offerings including a Holiday Dinner and hot Butterbeer™. I enjoyed an early Thanksgiving turkey dinner there and it was delicious! 

The Three Broomsticks is a perfect place to relax over a Potter-esque dinner and hot butterbeer!

 Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the perfect holiday activity Wizards and Muggles can enjoy together. Personally, I found this experience completely magical and memorable.  You can definitely feel the Christmas spirit – from the welcoming Universal staff to the Harry Potter-loving customers. Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins all come together to enjoy the great festive atmosphere created by Universal Studios Hollywood.

 Thank you to Universal Studios Hollywood, for inviting us to cover Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Check out our sneak peek coverage of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle” including my chat with Stephen Siercks, Director of Entertainment of Universal Studios Hollywood, who gave us some great insight on how The Magic of Christmas is created for Hogwarts™ Castle. Expecto Patronum!

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle  happens daily through January 6, 2019. Don’t be a Voldemort…buy your tickets NOW! For more information visit:

Happy Hogwarts Holidays!

Juliette Boland is a two-time National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award winner and member of Los Angeles Press Club. She is the host of the Timey Wimey Fandom Show for The Anglophile Channel and a junior at Orange County School of the Arts. 

Visit Juliette’s page: The Timey Wimey Fandom Show

Follow Juliette on Twitter: @JulietteBoland

And Instagram: @Juliette_Boland

Posted in Home Page Posts, Juliette's Timey Wimey Fandom Blog, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doctor Who Review | Official Trailer #2 | By Juliette Boland

The Who Review: Doctor Who Trailer #2

By Juliette Boland

     Today, as Whovians around the world all know, is the long-awaited premiere of Doctor Who Season 11! This premiere will go down in television history, since this will be the first time the Doctor will be portrayed as a woman! #ItsAboutTime, I think. I am so thrilled to see what Jodie Whittaker, the Thirteenth Doctor, will bring to the table. Will her Doctor be an enigma like Peter Capaldi, an irresistible romantic like David Tennant, or have a youthful flare like Matt Smith? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday!

     Season 11, which we can tell by the trailer itself, will stand alone among all of the other seasons. Almost everything about this season will be new! The Doctor is now a woman, Steven Moffat (previous show runner) handed over the reigns to Chris Chibnall (Producer of the hit ITV/BBC America series, Broadchurch), and its been stated by Chibnall that all of the aliens the Doctor will face this season will be wholly new. In other words, Whovians won’t be seeing Daleks any time soon. With a new creative team coming on board, it’s evident that many aspects of the show will change. Sometimes change is a good thing, which is technically the overall message of the show!

     Recently, Doctor Who posted another teasing trailer for the upcoming season. It’s one minute and twenty seconds long, and let me tell you, watching it was the best one minute and twenty seconds of my life! The trailer showcases multiple aspects of the new season that the audience will most definitely love, in my opinion, and I want to discuss a couple of those features.

     Firstly, the trailer immediately starts off with explosive, fast-paced action, resembling that of a Star Wars trailer. With all of those enormous spaceships traveling light speed through space with shots of red lights beaming from all angles, I wouldn’t be surprised if a light saber battle goes down in Season 11. The Doctor even emerges from a mist of dust. For a millisecond, I thought it was Luke Skywalker on Tatooine!

Aside from the Star Wars-eque special effects, I think what will set this season of Doctor Who apart from the others is the level of technology being used to film the series. The cinematography alone is already notably impressive compared to previous seasons. I’m really interested to see how this advance of technology will enhance the thrill and exhilaration of the show while giving off a slight “Star Wars” feel. I mean, a little “Star Wars” doesn’t hurt anybody.

     The new technology will be a fantastic facet of the show, but I also imagine that another dynamic will be how they sustain the beloved traditions of the show. Even though the Doctor’s gender has changed, the mission hasn’t. Just as every Doctor before her, this Doctor will “never refuse” to help. With sonic screwdriver in hand, Whittaker is able to slip into this character so seamlessly that the audience forgets “The Doctor” is a woman. Meaning there isn’t a huge emphasis on the Doctor’s new gender, which I find sensible. The show demonstrates that gender does not define a character. It’s about something deeper. It’s about who the Doctor is deep down in her two hearts and what her greater  purpose and essence is. These are elements that can not be defined, one way or another, by gender. This is an incredible message for the rising generations of actors and actresses as well as Whovian fans worldwide.

Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), Ryan (TOSIN COLE) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Coco Van Oppens

     This Doctor, just like every Doctor before, will be travelling through space and time with some humans! However, the most recent Doctors have typically had one or two companions on board the TARDIS. Well this Doctor is a social butterfly! The Thirteenth Doctor will be travelling with not two but THREE companions! This reminds me of the Doctors of Classic Who, when the Doctor would travel with multiple companions. I’m glad the show is returning back to that tradition. The more friends the better! Mandip Gill (Hollyoaks), Tosin Cole (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Bradley Walsh, who I particularly love from the hit British game show The Chase, will be playing the new companions. As seen in the trailer, we can already tell that these companions will be doing a lot more than running alongside the Doctor, asking endless amounts of questions and basically acting as exposition. My absolute favorite part of the teaser is when Cole says, “She’s in charge, bro.” and a man off-screen responds, “Says who?” Then the three of them yell, “Says, US!” I’m excited to see the relationships that develop between the Doctor and these three characters. From what I can tell, they are all going to make a great team. Go Team TARDIS!

     Whittaker not only has an amazing accent, one I wish I had, but she also commands a great presence when portraying the Doctor. When she simply enters a room, heads turn! This Doctor has a lot of power, and I think that says a lot about what her interpretation of the Doctor will be. You also see hints of humanity in this character. In one clip she says, “I’m just a traveller.” The Doctor may have saved billions of civilizations and planets, but this character will always have a sense of simplicity, being humble as well as charismatic. Another clip in the trailer that caught my eye takes place in a white room. As The Doctor  walks away, she blows a kiss to someone unknown to the audience, with tears in her eyes. Is this a sorrowful goodbye? Who is she bidding a fond farewell too? It will be interesting to watch Whittaker portray of the delicate balance of the Doctor’s classic heroism and humanity. Every Doctor has found a way to find a unique balance between the two.

     I hope this blog gave you more incentive to watch Doctor Who this weekend. I myself am thrilled beyond words! I cannot wait to meet see the various aspects of this season play out, as well as watch Whittaker’s performance, and to meet these fantastic new characters. Doctor Who Premiere Day is finally here and I think we’ve waited long enough for this season! Allons-y!

     BAD WOLF!!!!! (Just wanted to get your attention.) Before you go, I wanted to let you know that every week, following the broadcasting of each Doctor Who episode, I will be posting a weekly review, hosted by me, on The Anglophile Channel on YouTube! I hope you check it out! There will be some MAJOR discussion on Doctor Who!  Join me! 🙂 

‘Doctor Who’ premieres October 7th on BBC America in the US and on BBC in the UK. Check your local listings.

Juliette Boland is an award-wining teen journalist, red carpet host, Musical Theatre actress…and Doctor Who expert! Follower her on Twitter @JulietteBoland and on Instagram @Juliette_Boland


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It’s A Boy For William and Kate!

April 23rd is no longer just the day we celebrate St. George’s Day or William Shakespeare – it is now also the birthdate of the new Prince of Cambridge! 


Kensington Palace made the proclamation that HerRoyal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. The notice went on to say that The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla and Harry were all informed of the birth.  


Hours later Prince William had collected the new baby’s big brother and sister to come to the hospital to welcome their new sibling. Prince George and Princess Charlotte naturally charmed the world press waiting outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital. 


Adorable Prince George, still in his school uniform, and Princess Charlotte arrive St. Mary’s Hospital to welcome their new baby brother! (Photo: DASA)

Prince William then took the kids back to KP and returned to introduce the new Baby Cambridge to the world. Catherine emerged from the Lindo Wing looking beautiful and quite rested for a woman who had just give birth. Clearly glowing, the royal couple held Baby Cambridge – as the world witnessed their beautiful and intimate moment. We love sharing these moment’s in William and Kate’s life. 


And of course, the shot we were all waiting for – a close-up of the new Prince!


The Cambridges are happily back at Kensington Palace.  No word on what the new baby’s name will be but Royal Watchers are already making guesses. Punters are giving the name Arthur the odds on favorite although we think Philip might be a nice way to honor the Duke of Edinburgh.The baby is fifth in line to the throne and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s sixth great-grandchild.

Whatever the little prince’s name, we wish the Cambridge family all the best with much congratulations on the new addition! 

Lady Anglophile, knitting baby booties in blue!




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Royally Fabulous Subscription Boxes by Quaintly & Co.

When I was a young girl I used to go down to a local seaport tourist site which featured a permanently docked old-fashioned paddle river boat that held all sorts of amusement for young visitors. The most alluring deck on the river boat contained a trinket shop which had a huge ‘grab bag’ barrel overflowing with little brown paper-wrapped packages, filled with surprises you’d only get to unveil if you purchased one for fifty cents. The best part was deciding which bag to select and then running outside with your friends to unwrap and compare your swag. The bags usually held small toys, candies and other assorted gems which, to a young kid, seemed like a treasure. The grab bag never disappointed. 


The grab bags of “yon” held such excitement and anticipation.

Today shopping has become less impulsive, with buyers wanting guarantees with their purchases. They want to know what they’re getting ahead of time. Is it worth their hard earned money? None of this grab-bag mentality for today’s consumers. Today we have to try it on, sample it, and take it for a test drive. Gone is the mystery and allurement that the river boat trinket shop held. We’re all responsible adults after all, no longer gambling on the surprises that lie within a grab-bag. However, a fun new shopping trend has recently surfaced – for the adventurous, for those of us who still like living life on the edge. The monthly “subscription” box! (Cue the heavens opening up and angel choir singing.)

The idea behind the subscription box is that each month, for a membership fee, you receive a different “themed” box filled with fun SURPRISE gifts and food items targeted at your interests. I’ve seen ‘subscription boxes’ for every conceivable interest from bath and beauty to fashion, food, candy, gardening, baking, lingerie (yes, lingerie) and more. In the beginning subscription boxes encompassed a rather small market, however now it seems every brand and company has hopped on the subscription box band wagon. 


A subscription box for every taste and interest!

Although the choices seem endless, nothing has caught the eye of this Anglophile more than the British-themed subscription box offerings cleverly brought to you by UK-based Quaintly & Co, which boasts of “Delivering British lifestyle” to your door each month. Quaintly & Co’s gift boxes feature quintessentially British products designed by skilled artisans from all over the Isles. This is not your trinket shop fare that will end up in a tag sale, these are gifts of the highest quality. 


A plethora of British themes sure to please any Anglophile!

Each month the Quaintly & Co. team creates a fun theme, usually coinciding with some exciting event in British pop culture such as The Queen’s birthday, a royal birth, or nods to popular television shows such as Downton Abbey, Outlander and Poldark. 


The Downton Abbey box provides jewelry and tea fit for Lady Mary

Like with my grab bags of yon – the contents are a surprise! The only thing the subscriber knows is what each month’s “theme” is – until it reaches your doorstep and you find yourself tearing open the box like a kid on Christmas morning. And I’m not kidding when I say it feels like a special occasion, because each box is lovingly packed and wrapped to perfection, making you feel like every “Quaintly & Co. Delivery Day” is  your birthday.

The Bard would approveth! (Photo by Rachel Wheeler)

Quaintly offers a couple of different ‘levels’ of membership. A “Classic” box containing at least 3-6 full sized products, and a “The Quintessential Box” which has up to 8 fantastic Brit-centric gifts to share at your next Anglophile show and tell. There is also the option to purchase one box at a time. You can subscribe month-to-month or commit to a 12-month subscription guaranteeing you one full year of Brit-tastic deliveries!

Here is a peek at some of the items Quaintly has offered in the past: 

Nary does a special occasion go by on the British calendar that Quaintly & Co. doesn’t honor it with a unique gift box. The much anticipated Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is no different.


The Royal Wedding Box! We don’t know what’s going to be IN it, but we know it’s going to be royally fabulous!

But Quaintly doesn’t stop at merely one theme for the month, for it has expanded April’s offerings to also include a Royal Wedding Tea Kit – for anyone hosting a Royal Wedding viewing party – and a Royal Baby Set in honor of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s upcoming royal birth.

Quaintly and Co. was founded in the summer of 2016 as a small family run business. Owner, Louise, used to live abroad for work in the Middle East and her sister lived in Japan for 7 years. During their time away, they both missed home terribly and often received little care packages from family and friends. That experience bought about the idea of Quaintly & Co. Today they cater almost exclusively to international customers and British expats who look forward to their gift boxes of British lifestyle items every month. To date, they have sent over 10,000 boxes to customers all around the world. That’s a lot of happy people unwrapping the 21st century version of grab-bags. 

The subscription boxes are suitable for both women and men, and they have become a GREAT gift idea for birthday’s and special occasions! 

The Anglophile Channel will be in in Windsor covering all the excitement leading up to The Royal Wedding, and we are happy to announce that Quaintly & Co. will be supplying the winners of our “Royal Wedding Experience” auction with some exciting Quaintly swag of their own to take home.  In the meantime, orders for the Royal Wedding/Royal Baby boxes close soon. Get yours in before you miss out!  Orders for the Royal Baby box close by April 10th and the Royal Wedding box by April 13th.

Here are some fun upcoming themes to add to your wishlist: 1940’s Keep Calm and Carry On, The Queen’s Coronation Anniversary Tribute, Harry Potter, British Murder Mystery, The Tudors, and Doctor Who – which I truly hope includes a life-size David Tennant tea towel. 

I don’t know where they find the time but Quaintly & Co have expanded their offerings to also include theme boxes centered around our love for London (London Pop Box) and afternoon tea (The TeaTime Box).

I’d really like to thank whoever thought up the idea of the subscription box. It has brought back fond memories of purchasing exciting little grab-bags on the river boat oh so many years ago. On a much royally grander, Brit-tastic scale, of course. 

For more information on Quaintly & Co visit:

Marlise Boland, Lady Anglophile ~ Always looking for the next Quaintly & Co box in the post! 








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Why An Anglophile Should See “The Death Of Stalin”.

DOS1I see your quizzical brow. But, please, hear me out. This Anglophile was over the moon to attend a special premiere screening of “The Death Of Stalin” at the gloriously ornate Theatre at Ace Hotel last night where a live orchestra performed the Christopher Willis film score.

armando iannucci

Writer and Director Armando Iannucci

Writer and director Armando Iannucci, a native of Glasgow, whose name you may recognize from Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It, In The Loop and Veep,  introduced the film, reminding us more than once that although the subject matter is bleak, the film’s title contained both the words “death” and “Stalin” and was set in 1953 Moscow, it was, indeed, a comedy. Iannucci based the script on the graphic novel of the same name. British stars Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs and Andrea Riseborough also attended along with American actor Steve Buscemi. They didn’t look entirely comfortable and, I’m guessing, were waiting to see how the film was received by the crowd.

DOS5They needn’t have worried. This film is dry, dark, intelligently twisted British humour at it’s finest. Rapid, clever zingers are both fired off and thrown away so steadily that I missed quite a few to the laughter.  While I was watching, I knew I’d have to see this film again not only to hear the dialogue which had gotten drowned out, but also after I’d looking up some of these historical characters up because I’m sure to have missed some comic subtleties which might be better appreciated after a little reading. DOS6The politics and plotting sweep one along and, though complex at times, the story is never confusing. The film takes us behind the scenes as Soviet committee members wrangle for power after the sudden demise of Josef Stalin. Drop the notion right now that this is one of those movies where you easily identify and root for the good guys. There aren’t any. But the film entices you to follow the story down a dark, tyrannical tunnel, laughing —almost– all the way. Every character is singularly well defined. Nothing is sacred, particularly not the power over life and death.Image result for the death of stalin jason isaacs

The acting is just plain brilliant. I cannot heap enough praise on this cast. Anglophiles will see many familiar faces. Adrian McLaughlin as Stalin switches from jovial to terrifying in a nanosecond. We cheer when he keels over. Simon Russell Beale plays Lavrenti Beria, a name not nearly as familiar as fellow committee members, yet his will be the character you remember as the credits roll. DOS3 Beale’s portrayal fills every evil, sadistic, absurd corner of Beria’s being and still makes us laugh. Michael Palin plays Molotov (yes, THAT Molotov) as a bumbling man you nearly pity. Pity! Molotov! Americans Jeffrey Tambour as Malenkov and Steve Buscemi as Khruschev blend hilariously and seamlessly with the British cast.  Jason Isaacs and Rupert Friend, both in military regalia, send the comedy way over the top just when we need it. Andrea Riseborough is frentic and fragile as neurotic Svetlana Stalin, daughter of the departed. Early scenes with Paddy Considine and Tom Brooke at a concert hall set the tone and take the fear of life and the threat of death under Stalin to panicked comedic heights. DOS7Near the end of the film there is an abrupt shift in tone and we follow these political consequences to their natural conclusion. We end the film back in the concert hall with a bit of smirk and historical wrap up. What a ride! This film leaves one not just remembering the comedy, but makes one think, without pointing fingers at any particular regime, as it draws parallels to our twenty first century reality and leaves one wondering if, as the saying goes, the inmates really might be in charge of the asylum.

DOS2It was a particular treat to see this film in a classic “movie palace” and the perfectly synced live orchestra was transcendent. Live music brought an immediacy to the events of the film. The standing ovation at the end was for the whole experience and was —unanimous. You’ll get that reference after you see the film! Even without the live orchestra, this score will take you places…murky, disquieting and hysterically funny places. Go!DOS10









Posted in Bats In My Bonnet By Lady Elyse Ashton, Home Page Posts, MOVIE REVIEWS | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Importance Of Being Earnest At Madeline Garden

20180211_210957The Importance of Being Earnest has long been my favourite comedy. The clever 413 Project Theater has found a way to make Oscar Wilde’s most enchanting play even more tempting. They combine the show with a formal tea in a gorgeous space, and make the whole experience a splendid evening out.20180211_175943

Pasadena’s Madeline Garden has a fairy lighted courtyard where we were greeted and led inside to our table. It was hard not to get sidetracked peering into the other rooms along the way, and we confess to snooping around during intermission. Madeline Garden is located in the 1927 Cheesewright Studios Building which is the cornerstone of Pasadena’s historic Green Street Village.  The building has a fascinating history. We always manage to find the Anglophile connection! Edgar Cheesewright, an Englishman, was a fashionable designer of the period whose work can be found in the White House, Hearst Castle and Greystone Manor. The Great Depression saw the building go into disrepair and disrepute, but it was brought back to use just before WWII by the U.S. Naval Research Bureau for military intelligence projects. 20180211_175937A tunnel was built to connect the Cheesewright Studio building to CalTech, and it is said that Albert Einstein had a secret laboratory in the basement and the tunnel allowed him to travel back and forth unnoticed. Ern1No wonder there is an aura of drama in the air well before the first act! The building was sold in 1983 and now has residences on the upper floors and a stunning bistro and tea room at ground level. It is truly lovely.




The atmosphere is set, lively upbeat 1920’s music is helping the audience get in the mood for the show and first two courses and tea are served well before the performance begins. That was nice planning as we had some time to get settled in, chat and admire the room. The playing space is in front of an impressive fireplace. When the lights dim we are transported to Algernon Moncrieff’s morning room in Half-Moon Street and are introduced to our two protagonists. It wouldn’t be Oscar Wilde if fates and circumstances didn’t become increasingly complicated, but it is clear to the audience where the action is headed and that, and along with the brilliantly witty script, is where most of the comedy lies. Noah Khyle is stellar in his portrayal of  charming, decadent Algernon, and Kyle Decamp, as his more grounded counterpart John Worthing, plays the part quite earnestly. (Sorry!) It is amusing to see their interplay as the exposition unfolds in the first act. I eagerly awaited the tea scene between Gwendolyn and Cecily.  It was fabulously fun and all the more engaging as we were all seated at this inharmoniously hilarious tea table watching the sugar get dumped into dismayed Gwendolyn’s teacup and seeing the huge slice of cake being passed by jealously arch Cecily, knowing full well she was asked for bread and butter.   Earnest ouplesern2Caroline Pitts as lovely, determined Gwendolyn Fairfax and Annabelle Borke (who also directed) as beautiful, imaginative Cecily Cardew bring a champagne sparkle to their roles and we cheer their most civilized of skirmishes as they go from fast friends, to rivals, to sisters-in-arms. Comic musical touches underline the monologues, a quick wink to the 2002 film with a chorus of “Lady Come Down” and the couple’s adorable chase through the room brought smiles all around. Tamarah Ashton (no relation) was, indeed, “a gorgon” as stentorian Lady Bracknell. Dr. James Borke is the stolid, dependable manservant Merriman. Eric Ryan jumps into two roles, both butler Lane and Reverend Chasuble. He has a slight Rowan Atkinson vibe, with a smirk to the crowd that invited us all in on the jokes, particularly when he played Reverend Chasuble. When he and proper, uptight woman-with-a-secret Miss Prism, played with aplomb by Angela Beyer (who we must say, rose triumphantly over her wig) announce “at last”, you think, wow, THAT would be a sequel! ern7The comic timing is excellent. The staging and set changes are simple, which is all one needs in these plush surroundings. The period costumes are lovely. There is a lightness and ease to the production, which makes for an enjoyable show. The entire cast cast is energetic, focused, superbly entertaining and, the play is, overall, an absolute delight.20180211_180155

The tea, however, had it’s problems. Before any liquids were served, little warm scones, a tiny dish of jam and lightly sweetened cream cheese blend standing in for clotted cream were on the table.

20180211_181309We couldn’t begin to nibble the scones before we had a steaming cup in our hands! Madeline Garden serves one pot for two people, which is fine if you both want the same kind of tea. There is a surcharge if you and your tea buddy want different teas which seems a strange rule as you pay an individual ticket price. You are offered am uninspired choice of black, green, or herbal tea. The black tea, which was our choice, had a bit of a lemon flavour. Our pot was refreshed later in the evening. You are also able to purchase alcohol as an addition to your meal. Tepid but tasty tomato soup arrived next and was popped onto our sticky scone plates which we were expected to keep for the whole meal. The lights went down and the tiered trays were brought out later during the action of the play. 20180211_190304Could they not have waited for a scene break? Bless the actors, none of them missed a beat with all the distraction, but it isn’t fair to the audience. We couldn’t ask questions about what was served and tried to figure out what were eating and what I, as a vegetarian, had to avoid. There were many savouries as this is an evening tea, and though the—and please understand, these are just guesses– sausage balls, chicken concoction, sun dried tomato basil quiche, potato veggie combo, and “curried matter” on toast were, for the most part, very good tasting if not terribly hot, the guesswork took one out of the action of the play.ern3 The sweets on the top tier were a scrumptious pair of macarons and a red velvet-ish bit of cake topped with a minty cream which didn’t really work together. We missed the sandwich course and wished for more of the tiny, buttery scones with a touch of coconut that were served first. Our waiter was very nice and took time after the show to tell us about the history of the building.20180211_180219

Even with the tea niggles, it was a wonderfully entertaining evening and a fine night out. The concept of this play and tea combination coaxes one into transcending out of the mundane into the stylized, mannered ideal of the past. The 413 Project Theater brings their productions to both Pasadena and San Diego There is a rotating cast. The Importance Of Being Earnest at Madeline Garden runs though March 3rd.  Go!couples 2

For more information and tickets

For more information on Padadena’s  Madeline Garden

For more information on The Cheesewright Building and Green Street Village Green Street Village

Posted in Bats In My Bonnet By Lady Elyse Ashton, Home Page Posts, SensibiliTeas Afternoon Tea Blog, THEATRE REVIEWS | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments