5 Things I Learned: June 2016

1. Double-check the time on those theater tickets – We backed into some free tickets to Wicked courtesy of my wife’s brother and his wife. It was a Sunday matinee; they told us to meet them at the theater at 1:30 for the 2:00 show.

When we got there, there was not another soul in sight. As we made our way up the multi-tiered labyrinthine ascent to our balcony seats (at one point, we literally had to free climb up the sheer face of a cliff), we started to say, “Hey, it’s a really light crowd for this performance. Maybe if there are still empty seats by intermission, we’ll move down to the orchestra section!”

We finally got to Balcony Triple-Y or whatever our designated entrance was, opened the door, and saw that there was music and dancing happening on the stage. “What,” I thought, “are they rehearsing or something?” Then the usher looked at us like we had floated in on a fart cloud, and I realized the show had already started. And it wasn’t a light crowd; it was a sold-out crowd.

We checked the tickets, and sure enough, showtime at 1:00, not 2:00. So, we had to crawl across the laps of half a dozen people to get to our seats, and on top of that, we had to chase off a sweet little old lady who had apparently moved down to our empty seats from her higher-up seats, which must’ve been in low earth orbit to be higher up than ours.

(Note: if my brother- and sister-in-law read this, please know that I have zero complaints about our free (FREE!) theater tickets. I just could not pass up recounting this story. We all had a good time, and the last 2/3rds of Wicked was fantastic.)

2. People in the traveling companies of Broadway shows are really talented – I have a hard time believing that there’s that much of a difference in talent between the traveling company that we saw and the people who perform in the actual Broadway production. I realize that Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel hold a special place in music celebrity, but the women playing the leads on the road don’t have to take a back seat to anybody. Sometimes you see a great singer, and sometimes you see a singer whose talent can’t be explained by the laws of physics. This was the latter.

3. Maybe we’re not doomed – At least in England, with the “Brexit” vote, some people showed that they still have a desire to control their own fate, rather than leaving it in the hands of an out-of-touch, bloated, centralized government full of over-credentialed bureaucratic ninnies. Whatever they’re drinking, please send a boatload of it to America.

4. No, wait. We’re doomed. – The non-sequitur reaction to the Orlando shooting followed soon thereafter by the international “ho-hum” at the Istanbul attack show that the ninnies are still firmly in control. Things will get much worse before they get better.

5. Martin Short’s autobiography is great. – I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend. It’ll make you laugh; it’ll make you cry. Check it out, and if you can, get the audio book version, read by Short himself, because he does all of his famous characters and impressions. Here’s a little Kate Hepburn anecdote to whet your appetite.

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