PG and I have season tickets to one of our local theatre companies. Saturday night was the final show of the season for us, and I was really looking forward to it: Les Misérables.
I was a bit – okay, very – sketchy on the details of the story, and PG hadn’t a clue at all, so the first thing we did upon arrival at the theatre was to grab a program and read the synopsis.
The damn synopsis was a page and a half of teeny tiny print. PG, who has been putting off getting his eyes properly tested for about five years now, could not make out such small print. (“The lighting is bad,” he insisted. Ha. I know better. It’s his eyes that are bad! He is over forty, after all.) So I started to read it to him, but I couldn’t make much sense of it. Poorly written, I thought. But basically, I got bored and just put the program in my purse. I hoped that it would all be fine once the play started.
It started ten minutes late. That was unusual, but whatever.
Just into Jean Valjean’s first solo, his mike crapped out. At first, I was rather surprised that he actually had a mike hidden somewhere on his person, then I was a bit peeved that he was unable to project his voice well enough without the mike to be heard throughout a small theatre that had been originally designed for live shows back in the 30s or 40s. I mean, this place has acoustics! But I could still hear him, just not as well. I could live with the situation, I thought, and they probably could fix the problem in the intermission or find a spare mike or something.
Then, in the very next scene, where Valjean first meets the bishop, as they were singing, there was a sound like firecrackers. Is this supposed to be gunshot? I thought. (I told you I didn’t know the story very well, and also that I didn’t bother to finish reading the story synopsis.) Not thirty seconds later, it happened again.
Then a woman’s voice came on the theatre PA system.
“We’re so sorry for the interruption, but we seem to be experiencing some difficulties with our sound system. We’ll have to take a short break to fix the problem.”
The actors disappeared off the stage, the house lights came up, and the audience started buzzing.
We watched as Mr. Techie Guy came loping down the aisle, hopped up on stage, and disappeared. Then we watched him climb down a ladder at the side of the stage, lope back up the aisle, and muck about with the sound board. He left our view briefly, came back to the sound board. This went on for half an hour. PG was muttering darkly beside me.
Then came the announcement.
“Ladies and gentlemen, in order to fix our sound system, we’ll need to reboot the computers. Unfortunately, that will take quite a long time, so we are forced to cancel tonight’s performance. Of course we will refund your tickets if necessary, but if you can, please call our box office on Monday afternoon to arrange tickets for a future performance. We are playing until the beginning of August, so we hope that there will be a date that will suit you. Thank you for your understanding.”
More audience buzz. We all slowly filed out of the theatre, our disappointment evident. It was not yet 9 pm. PG and I went out for crepes, wine, and special coffees.
I called the box office today, and rebooked us to see Les Mis next Saturday. Maybe I’ll be able to finish reading the stupid synopsis by then.