Saturday, January 7, 2012

so worth it

Last night I took the girls to see Much Ado About Nothing. It was pay-what-you-will night, and, once again, we got to sit on the stage. The funnies kept happening, wave after wave of them. I laughed so hard my face hurt.

I let the girls buy a treat from the snack cart. Spending outrageous sums of money for sugary drinks is one of my absolute no-nos, but I was struck with the image that my grown-up girls will have of me: our poor, pinchy mother who didn’t like to spend extra pennies on the fun stuff in life. That sour picture in my mind, I cracked open my wallet.

Their eyes widened in amazed disbelief, but they wasted no time snatching up the twenty and prancing up to the cart where they asked for a Sprite in two cups and a bag of gummy bears. On their stools again, they gushed their thanks, thus confirming that I am correctly perceiving their image of me.

But back to the play. It was hysterically funny. Really, really funny. On numerous occasions, the serious characters had trouble keeping a straight face, and there was one moment when the entire cast dissolved in laughter, unable to go on with their lines (thanks to the sharp-tongued Beatrice). But only twice did actors call “privy” (I mean "PRITHEE," OH MY WORD, MY FACE IS RED!) which is pretty amazing considering the cast had only been rehearsing the show FOR TWO DAYS.

This rawness is what makes the theater invigorating, alive, addicting. It’s pure magic to sit on stage (or anywhere else in the room, for that matter) with these incredibly gifted people as they act out these old (and sometimes new) stories.

Also, where else would I allow strange men to (stage) whisper stuff about goat guts in my seven-year-old daughter’s ear? Nowhere, I tell you. The theater is special.

To be clear, nobody is paying me to sing the theater’s praises
I'm doing it all on my own, and quite naturally, too.

8 comments:

  1. Great theater. Great play. Great post.

    PS: Being "that mom" for a few minutes every once in a while is always worth it.

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  2. I love this - so inspiring as we think of taking our kids to see plays.

    I think Much Ado is my favorite Shakespeare play. I really love the movie, too, with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.

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  3. The price of the snacks was money well spent! (If it surprised and amazed them, they will long, long remember it)

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  4. Methinks they call "prithee", sweet lady.

    We just returned from a double-billing of Much Ado: we ushered this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed our stage stools this evening. Fabulous and fabulously funny show!!!

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    1. Our family was there the evening your family sat on stage, Kris. My kids were astonished at the amount and intensity of the laughter, and we ALL enjoyed both the play and the feeling of being in that crowd! And, yes - Heidi was quite impressed with Kirk's timing and delivery!

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  5. What a great play! I didn't know they were doing it again - I just might have to make my way down there soon.

    And if you'll forgive my English-teachery self - I'm pretty sure they're saying, "prithee," as in, "pray thee (please)," rather than making a bathroom reference when they forget their lines. Though I kinda like imagining the latter.

    -Greta

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  6. Kris and Greta, I am alternating between shaking my head in embarrassment and (nearly) peeing my pants with hilarity. I slay myself.

    I was sitting in the theater this afternoon when it hit me---it's prithee, not PRIVY! Just the thought of everyone reading my mistake and NOT SAYING ANYTHING was enough to make me feel like crawling into a hole. I nearly called my husband to tell him to edit my post. But I didn't. Instead, when I got home, I rushed straight to the computer where I found your two comments awaiting me.

    (Also, it's sheep's guts, not goat's, I learned.)

    But! To my credit, it does make sense to call "privy" when you think about someone being privy to classified information. Right? Right?!

    And Kris, I heard that Kirk brought the house down with one word. Way to go!

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  7. From whom did you hear that?! Heidi?

    Yes, that was pretty fun, being right up there in the action. We figured if we sat on the stools stage right, we'd be sat on, talked to and right up close to everything exciting.

    Benedick (played by the inimitable Ben Curns) directs this question to a man on stage right: "Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humor?" At the afternoon show, the person who answered needed to be coached. By the evening, Kirk knew what to expect and was ready with an emphatic "No!" and everyone roared. Benedick himself was pleased and blew Kirk a kiss!!

    And then, of course, Benedick goes on to say one of his most famous lines: "No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married..."

    Last fall, our Sophie (age 8) was mentioned in an ASC show review because SHE brought down the house with her own response to Ben Curns (then playing Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest). You can find mention of her as the "pre-teen girl" in the second to last paragraph on this page: http://www.shakespeareances.com/willpower/nonshakespeare/Importance_Being_Earnest-04-ASC11.html

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