Last night I took the girls to see Much Ado About Nothing. It was pay-what-you-will night, and, once again, we got to sit on the stage. The funnies kept happening, wave after wave of them. I laughed so hard my face hurt.
I let the girls buy a treat from the snack cart. Spending outrageous sums of money for sugary drinks is one of my absolute no-nos, but I was struck with the image that my grown-up girls will have of me: our poor, pinchy mother who didn’t like to spend extra pennies on the fun stuff in life. That sour picture in my mind, I cracked open my wallet.
Their eyes widened in amazed disbelief, but they wasted no time snatching up the twenty and prancing up to the cart where they asked for a Sprite in two cups and a bag of gummy bears. On their stools again, they gushed their thanks, thus confirming that I am correctly perceiving their image of me.
But back to the play. It was hysterically funny. Really, really funny. On numerous occasions, the serious characters had trouble keeping a straight face, and there was one moment when the entire cast dissolved in laughter, unable to go on with their lines (thanks to the sharp-tongued Beatrice). But only twice did actors call “privy” (I mean “PRITHEE,” OH MY WORD, MY FACE IS RED!) which is pretty amazing considering the cast had only been rehearsing the show FOR TWO DAYS.
This rawness is what makes the theater invigorating, alive, addicting. It’s pure magic to sit on stage (or anywhere else in the room, for that matter) with these incredibly gifted people as they act out these old (and sometimes new) stories.
Also, where else would I allow strange men to (stage) whisper stuff about goat guts in my seven-year-old daughter’s ear? Nowhere, I tell you. The theater is special.