Tag Archives: theatre

The show must go on

Porsche Guy and I were at the theatre this weekend. We had tickets for a musical production of “White Christmas”, just the thing to get our Christmas season going, we thought. A real feel-good, old-fashioned story.

It truly was a lot of fun to watch. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy ten tap-dancing guys and gals clambering up and down stairs and fake pianos? I’m honestly not a huge fan of that Broadway belt-it-out type singing, but I do appreciate the power of the singers’ voices to be able to project like they do. The acting was a bit over the top, but again, it’s supposed to be like that in musical theatre, and also that’s how actors acted way back in the 1950’s when the original movie was made. So we did enjoy it a great deal – and we in the audience got to sing “White Christmas” along with the cast on the stage, so as far as I’m concerned, any singing I get to do in public is a big win.

About three quarters of the way through the first act, however, the fire alarm in the theatre started to wail. I thought it was part of the play, and even when a voice came over the PA system saying “Will all the actors please leave the stage”, I still didn’t get it. I got it when they turned the house lights up, though. This was most emphatically not part of the play.

Now, do you remember what happened the last time PG and I went to see a musical, back last spring at this same theatre? It was “Les Misérables”, and the sound board fizzled out, so after a delay of forty minutes or so, the performance was cancelled and everybody had to either rebook their tickets or get a refund. So PG and I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to musicals.

So we all sat there for five or ten minutes, talking animatedly amongst ourselves. Then came an announcement over the PA. PG and I froze. Not again, we fervently hoped.

The announcer told us that it appeared that there was a malfunction with the fire alarm system, there was definitely no fire so no need to evacuate, but the firefighters were on their way to the theatre to check things out and give the all clear. They hoped to continue the performance as soon as possible.

They “hoped”? Oh noze!

Shortly afterward, two handsome, strapping young firefighters came striding down the centre aisle, to a smattering of applause. Several minutes later, they left, waving, accompanied by more applause. We waited. PG was getting very antsy – and negative. “It’s been too long. They’re going to cancel this one too!”

But then, after we’d been waiting about twenty-five minutes total, they announced that the play would be continuing, so could everybody please return to their seats. A couple of minutes later, the house lights again dimmed, the orchestra started up again, and the curtain rose again on the scene that had been so rudely interrupted by that wayward fire alarm. The play carried on, and we in the audience certainly got our money’s worth!

But now I’m starting to wonder about musicals, PG and me. So far, we are two for two in terms of “incidents” at musicals. We have tickets to one more this season, in May 2010. It should be a good show. After all, what could possibly go wrong?


Dreamy weekend

Let me tell you all about my weekend. You know you’re dying to know. And I, quite honestly, have little else to offer today.

images-1On Saturday morning, DD and I headed out on a shopping expedition. We do this once a year, normally on Good Friday, and normally downtown so we can stay at a fancy hotel and treat ourselves to a nice dinner out as well. We don’t particularly enjoy shopping, either of us, so I suppose the hotel and dinner are like the payoff for going through the agony of a shopping trip. Or else it’s just another way to spend money. Not sure.

Anyway, this year DD was in the throes of her thesis and final exams at Eastertime, so we postponed our shopping till now. And we changed the venue. And we didn’t do the hotel and dinner thing. But it was almost the same.

We arrived home in the late afternoon, laden with full shopping bags and with much smaller bank accounts, and I hurriedly packed an overnight bag so I could head over to Porsche Guy’s place. From there, we headed downtown to finally see “Les Misérables”. PG drove like he stole the car, because he thought we were going to be late, but we arrived with time to spare.

les-miserables-90Holy crap! What an amazing show! I just loved it! (Wow, that’s three exclamation marks in a row. I truly did love it, it seems.) And Irene, I actually understood what what going on the whole time. I never did finish reading the synopsis in the program from last week, but I didn’t need to. It was perfectly clear to me what was happening on stage at all times. PG didn’t have to explain a single thing to me.

The music, and oh, the singing! I’m not really a musical-lover, though I have seen “Cats” and “Spamalot” (the latter on Broadway, no less) and my all-time favourite movie is “Mary Poppins”. Yet I literally left that theatre humming many of the melodies, and I am still humming them several days later. This from a woman who can barely remember the tune of “Happy birthday”.

The fun just continued on Sunday. june05PG and I had tickets to a heritage house tour. This is an event for which people who belong to this heritage society and have renovated their heritage homes (and a heritage home around here is usually only a hundred years old or less. Western Canada is a pretty new part of the world, relatively speaking.) open them to the public. More precisely, to the public who has bought tickets. The owners disappear for the day, and there are numerous volunteers from the heritage society who look after their house while strangers parade through and ooh and aah over everything that has been done to it. I guess it sounds odd, but it really isn’t, and PG and I have been attending this tour for the past six years (well, except for last year because I forgot which date it was scheduled and neglected to buy tickets in time).

Some of the homes we visited were really lovely, with period furniture and beautifully landscaped gardens. Some were a work in progress. One was an apartment that had been rented to an acquaintance of mine over twenty years ago and I had been in it before, so it was great fun to see how the current owners of the building had fixed it up (it was quite a wreck twenty-five years ago, let me tell you! ).

imagesA favourite moment for me came when, in one residence, PG spotted a ceramic sleeping dog in a corner. It looked so real! Then I saw it breathe. And open one eye slowly. It was real. Then I realized what kind of dog it was. “Look!” I called to PG in delight. “It’s a weepette!”

Only people who read Jaywalker’s blog Belgian Waffle would understand that. Nobody else in the room did.

Then we went home and I slept through the Turkish Grand Prix Formula 1 race that PG had recorded. Yes, yes, I know that Jensen Button won. Again. Ho hum. F1 sure is boring this year.

We went out to dinner rather late for a Sunday night, around 9. We had to go out mainly because PG didn’t happen to have any real food around. We had also gone out for breakfast and lunch earlier in the day. Three meals in restaurants in one day = zero cooking = happy me. And I only had to pay once! I arrived home late in the evening, with a doggie bag of leftovers for my lunch at work today. Another win!

Of course, this morning I awoke at the ungodly hour of 5 am, but at least I was singing “I dreamed a dream in time gone by …”

Nous sommes misérables

images 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.