One of the perks of Paul’s job is that we can get tickets to many of the performances at Popejoy Hall for discounted prices. Some are seriously discounted. We failed to take advantage of this our first year here because we just weren’t fully informed. Then… we found out Wicked was coming. We quickly became informed.
So, in addition to tickets to see Wicked this coming September, last August we bought tickets to see Twelfth Night. (Yes, we bought tickets to see Wicked more than a year in advance.) The performance for Twelfth Night was this past Sunday.
And I died on the front row.
Ok, not really.
But sorta. Here’s how it happened…
Chloe, her friend Micaiah, and I plopped into our seats in the balcony. We weren’t holding up the back wall, but it was close enough to spit at and hit. I was a bit sleepy since I had thoroughly enjoyed a post church meal and it was now 3:00pm. Napping time.
As soon as the Shakespearian play started, I realized that it was modernized. That made me a bit nervous because… well… I just didn’t know how modernized it was going to get.
I was concerned because I had done my homework: I called a seriously-into-all-things-classical-in-regards-to-literature friend and questioned her about Twelfth Night. I hadn’t read it so I needed to double check the Wikipedia synopsis and …. see if there was anything I needed to be concerned with in regards to taking a twelve year old.
My adviser felt good about it, so I did too.
Until the music started. It reminded me of Depeche Mode (google it, youngsters).
Thankfully, I didn’t notice any other modern twists. Turns out that was because I haven’t read the play and didn’t memorize the synopsis. Anyway… after fighting the urge to nap, I started enjoying the show. I also enjoyed watching the girls enjoy the show. The actors were quite good.
I also enjoyed that most of the Shakespearean innuendos were flying over the girls heads since they grazed mine.
One of the nicer perks to our matinee was that there weren’t many people there. Not so great for the Aquila Theatre group, but nice for those of us who wanted to put their feet on the seats in front of them. The girls noticed the lack of people also and promptly suggested at intermission that we move “down to the front”.
Chloe meant the front of the balcony, but Micaiah said, “No, I mean the very front row. There are only four people on it.”
She was right.
I’m a rule follower. I know it might not seem like it, but I am. I don’t like to cross lines. That’s the black and white in me.
So…. I asked an usher and she said, “As long as you move if someone comes, go for it.”
That’s how we ended up on the front row, center stage for Twelfth Night.
The girls were giddy. For about six minutes. Then I died.
Six minutes (or less) into the second half of the play, a character…. a male character…. enters the stage in yellow tights, yellow tank top, and yellow socks. And nothing else but a jock strap.
I kid you not.
My jaw hit the ground, which was pretty much the stage, and my hands flew to my face. I may have groaned.
I l instantly peeked at Chloe and Micaiah from in between my fingers and their faces showed equal shock. And dismay.
I looked back on stage.
Then the actor adjusted himself.
That’s when I died.
We were stuck. There was no getting up without causing a scene. Stuck with a man in neon yellow tights.
I know that it may not have bothered others, especially if they go to the ballet often. I don’t. We don’t. Actually, the last time I watched an adult ballet company, I did think, “Umm… wow, those guys aren’t wearing much.”
For the rest of the play, I prayed for Malvolio to not be on stage much.
Thankfully, he was sometimes in positions that didn’t have him standing, but kneeling or bent over with items in his hands, perfectly positioned in my opinion.
At least there was no more adjusting.
After the play, we ran to the street exit to meet as many of the actors as we could. We met them all. They were truly delightful. While we have done this for Les Miserables twice and even The Lion King, this troupe was truly exceptional in how they casually chatted with the girls. They signed Chloe’s notebook and Micaiah’s playbill.
These actors acted like they had no where else they’d rather be for about twenty minutes.
It cinched the night for the girls.
They all laughed when I told them we moved from the back balcony to the front row just in time for the tights. James/Malvolio thought I said that we moved from the front row. He said, “Oh, it’s good you moved back before the second half because of the tights… and the adjustment.”
I made a face and explained that we had indeed moved just in time to be front and center, quite literally, for that moment. He grimaced.
Then my night was cinched when he said, “Sorry about all of that.” He even signed Chloe’s notebook with this: Thanks for coming to the show. Hope my yellow tights didn’t traumatize you for life.
The girls and I left, grinning and chatting. Continued all the way to Cold Stone Creamery. And even on the side of the road when we had to call Paul to come change a flat tire.
We hugged Micaiah good night and I asked them both if it was a good night.
They answered in unison, “It was so great. Except for the yellow tights.”
And that’s how I died watching Twelfth Night.