So, last week my pal Foodie (remember Foodie? Perhaps I should always refer to her in context in a way that makes her sound all mysterious, like Hey! Remember Foodie and the Gazpacho of Doom?) called me up and said, “I have a friend who got a couple of show tickets she can’t use for Tuesday night. Wanna go?”
This was a no-brainer for me, for several reasons.
1) I was a theater major in college, and although I’m very very very glad I didn’t decide to pursue that as a career, I am still a fool for a great stage production
2) I very much like hanging out with Foodie
3) Getting out of the house on a weeknight for something other than a school-related meeting sounds like the height of decadence to me, because I have no life.
So of course, I said HELL YES. And also probably “What time are you picking me up?”
Well, either Foodie didn’t mention it right off or I just didn’t process it right away—either is possible—but I had assumed that she meant the show was here in town at our little theater. But it turned out that no, the show in question was Wicked, playing at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. And that made it much more exciting, because were going to go to the Fancy Theatre like Fancy People, but it also meant that I was not just going out on Tuesday night, I was going out for ALL of Tuesday night. As in, not arriving back until it was technically Wednesday morning.
And I don’t know if you know this, but I am sort of old and cranky and really value my sleep. But I figured this was something not to be missed, so we went.
Foodie did indeed drive, which was good, because even with my GPS unit I can only drive in Atlanta while swearing profusely and sweating bullets, so it was infinitely more pleasant to have her at the wheel. We made excellent time in the city and then set about driving in circles to find an appropriate place to park. Finally we did park, and set out to walk back to the theater, and I was fairly jogging to keep up, you see, because Foodie is a tall drink of water and her legs end about where my chin is, and so her stride is pretty formidable.
So we’re walking. And walking. And walking. And then we (and by “we” I of course mean “Foodie”) realize: WE’RE ON THE WRONG PEACHTREE STREET!
Every other street in Atlanta is called Peachtree. It’s terribly charming. (You know, in the way that something stupid and annoying is supposed to be quaint.)
The first person we assaulted for directions sounded exactly like us, which is to say that he was an out-of-towner who was similarly clueless. But the second person was able to tell us that we were only about a block and a half away, and we thanked him and headed over and made it into our seats about sixty seconds before they dimmed the lights.
One of my other friends had told me to expect to be blown away by the Fox, but even that didn’t prepare me for the grandeur of the space, with the stage all made up like a castle and turrets surrounding the entire seating area, and the ceiling looking exactly like the night sky. I felt like a kid again, sitting there, overwhelmed by it all and just plain excited for the show to begin.
And the show was AMAZING. Worth every minute of lost sleep! I’m so glad Foodie took me. (Thank you again, Foodie!)
But rather than gush on and on about the show itself and how awesome it was, I thought I’d point out a few ways in which I realized, over the course of the evening, that I am really not fit for polite society.
To start with, I had asked Foodie a couple of times what she’d be wearing. I’d never been to the Fox and I had no idea of proper attire, you see. Eventually we reasoned that people couldn’t possibly be getting dolled up to see a show on a Tuesday night, could they? Certainly not. And we wore sort of “business casual” things—Foodie was in nice slacks and a sweater, I was wearing a nice blouse with structured black jeans and boots.
The good news is that I’m positive no one there cared one bit about what we were wearing. The bad news is that it was a real effort for me to stop people-watching, because we saw EVERYTHING on the spectrum, there. Some people really did pay enormous sums of money for tickets and then show up in paint-splattered torn Levis. And some people really did join us in the cheaper balcony seats absolutely dressed to the nines. I am coming to understand that Atlanta is a place where young women seem to feel the need to flat-iron their hair, cake on the make-up, and then put on a strappy gown for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. But it still amuses me.
Then there were the people sitting behind us. About halfway through the first act they prepared an entire meal on their laps, I think. Oh, okay, that’s an exaggeration. Probably. But they DID open a giant bag of potato chips or something equally rustle-y. Not during a big musical number, either, where most people wouldn’t be able to hear it. Like, during a dramatic (and quiet) scene. Which just confirms my belief that most people nowadays are completely void of manners. Because, dude, your tasty chips are NOT more important than the folks busting ass on the stage, or the people around you who purchased tickets to see a show, not to listen to you and your friends Crunch and Munch.
At intermission we joined the swarm of people vying for a chance to pay for overpriced, flat soda in the lobby. I actually found the press of people (the line was more of an oversized amoeba than a line) overwhelming, and when Foodie suggested we divide and conquer, with me going off to try a different line, I all but clung to her leg and cried. “Um, no, I think this is fine,” I said. “I’ll just stand here with you. The only person I know in this sea of thousands.” She looked at me a little funny but she’s known me long enough now that I don’t think she was terribly fazed.
And the crown jewel in the Can’t Take Me Anywhere crown: There we are, at this historic theater, watching a giant spectacle of a show with great music, a fabulous cast, etc., and I am LOVING it, yes, and having a great time, obviously, but I still couldn’t resist, not too far in, leaning over and whispering to Foodie, “What do you suppose they use to get the green make-up off?” I mean, c’mon, the lead actress has a green face and green arms and green hands, and people are touching her and it’s NOT COMING OFF. I was just curious how they do that, and then what she has to use to get it off later. I mean, anyone would be.
Oh, shut up.
After the show we were delighted to make our way back to the car by a much less circuitous route than we’d approached on, and we chatted all the way back into town until Foodie dropped me off at 12-something and I realized that I was WIDE! AWAKE!
Let’s face it; that may be more fun than I’m allowed to have on a Tuesday. Though I sure am glad I did.