Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Evening Filled With Second-Hand Smoke

Last night, I was fortunate enough to receive a free ticket to a new play.  It's early in the preview process and I didn't enjoy the play all that much, but I thought I'd do a small report of my evening, if not the play itself.  :)

I was happy to stop at one of my favorite cookie shops before the play to get some treats; I was happy to run into some handsome gentleman friends outside the theater, so we had a nice lively conversation before the show started.  Of course, the house management kept shushing us and our lively conversation (which wasn't all that noisy, thank you very much) because there was a performance going on in the theater's studio space.  Um, hello, if you don't want people talking the lobby, open the other theater space earlier to get the audience out of the lobby.  Seems clear to me.  I felt like I was in high school.  To keep the high school theme going, I was texting during the pre-show (but my phone was OFF during the performance; I follow the rules).  Sometimes, I wonder how I got through life without my cell phone.  Moving on to the play...

First off, the lead guy looked exactly like my first college boyfriend, so that was weird.  I mean, it was CREEPY how much he looked like him.  So that was giving me flashbacks.  Also, yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my surgery, so seeing a play about body image probably wouldn't have gone over big in any way, shape or form.  So to speak.  I did find some of the dialogue sharp, and I did find some of the ideas about accepting yourself as you are, and letting go of the past, and wanting to be looked at instead of always being the one who is looking interesting.  As a woman who has wanted to be beautiful for reasons outside myself, there were themes that resonated, but I mainly found the play arch and filled with pretentious twaddle, which I don't enjoy.  As I was telling an office chum earlier today, this play isn't on my worst-play-ever-seen list, but I didn't enjoy myself too terribly much.

Mainly because there was at least one character smoking on stage during the ENTIRE PLAY.  It was performed in a small space, I was in the third row, and the stench of those herbal cigarettes drove me completely insane for over two hours.  Oh, and there was dry ice/fog, too.  If I were asthmatic, I'm sure I would've had an attack.  But my eyes hurt and my lungs felt scratchy throughout.  I ran outside for some fresh air during intermission (and had a chat with a handsome chum who chose not to return for the second act - he's pretty lucky I don't name names here, ha ha), then went back to see the second act.  When I get free tickets through work, I feel compelled to see the whole show.  And there was a sort-of twist in the second act I wasn't expecting, so there's that.  But that smoke...blech.  It was like being at a bar in the 80s.  The smoke definitely didn't help with my enjoyment/non-enjoyment of the piece.

I think I understand what the playwright and director were going for, but I just didn't like it.  And I guess that's my problem, not theirs.  I wish the show well.  My seat neighbors were seriously discussing things after the show (and I had to climb over them), so there's that.  But just to keep the 'let's fill Magical MissTari's lungs with smoke' theme going, the subways were all wonky on the way home.  My train took forever, which gave one of my fellow passengers the opportunity to light up a joint.  He smoked that stinky, cheap pot all the way to my borough.  And the train got stuck between stops for about a half hour, just to make it even more pleasant.  I'm coughing now just thinking about it.  So, all in all, it was a pretty smelly evening, between the herbal cigarettes in the play and the cheap pot in the subway on the way home.   But, to look on the bright side of things, at least there were cookies!  :)

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