Picture it: May 26, 2010. It’s a really hot New York day. The sun is beating down against the glass on the sides of buildings so you cannot avoid the heat. My clothes are sticking to my body and I am miserably uncomfortable, but being the avid lover of having new experiences that I am, I decide the heat is not going to prevent me from attending a planned event. This was another one of those nights where my calendar simply had an address and time to show up with no other knowledge about what I was in for. This model often works great because it allows me to keep an open mind about the experience I am about to have. It’s not a fool-proof model.
It turns out, I am about to see a one-woman show off-Broadway. Sounds innocent enough. The show is so far off Broadway, it was practically in New Jersey! But still that doesn’t detract me. The trek ends up not being too bad, and my thoughts of “what in the hell were you thinking, G?” have started to subside. The theater holds about 30 people, so it’s definitely going to be an intimate experience. I’m starting to get excited. On the way in, my friend who procured the tickets let me know that he contacted the press office at the theater and though they would love the publicity, taking photos of the performer before, during or after the performance is strictly prohibited. Fair enough.
The venue is open seating and my friend and I choose the 2nd row, so as not to make the performer nervous by sitting in the front row with our devilishly handsome selves. It’s about a minute before show time and as of yet, the seats right in front of us are empty. Score! With about 5 seconds before curtain, the person pictured below sits in front of me.
That’s when things went dreadfully wrong. The show ends up being the story of a woman’s life which is anything but interesting. It seems like I am at one of those parties where you are talking to someone that you can’t escape from who never lets you get one word in before they start off on another tangent. Worse yet, every story she tells is more cringe-worthy than the story before it. With the exception of being raped or abused by her parents, we heard it all – time spent in a nut house, girlfriends betraying her (oh yes, this is the story about a lesbian!), trauma from not coming out of the closet, trauma from coming out of the closet, the age old question of “what did I do with my life?” and that was just Act I! Does it ever happen to you where you’ll be in a situation where it’s simply not appropriate to laugh and some thought has popped into your head that tickles your funny bone in such a way you might burst out in hysterics at any moment so you have to be extra careful? Somehow trying to be serious about the situation makes these thoughts even funnier.
Back to the show! This woman went on and on and on about things she should be discussing with her shrink and not torturing a paying audience for over an hour with. To make it even “better,” she chronologically went through year after year of her life’s “highlights” and as we could still see her on stage, I knew that the main character was not going to die and put the audience out of its misery. Let me also mention that the performer is over 50 so you can just imagine the plethora of anecdotes we had to endure. I think watching this performance took a few years off my life. If this show was intended to be a comedy – it was painfully unfunny and if the stories were indeed all true, lots of people have gone through way worse and you don’t see them charging people money to hear about it! Back to the earlier story that it would not be possible to get a photo of the performer. Let me get this straight – Jerry Seinfeld who was on one of the most successful TV shows of all time posed for a photo with me and THIS performer is saying no. FINE. WITH. ME!
Earlier in the day, I saw some street art that would foreshadow the night to come:
If I made at least one person smile after reading this story (and I now realize my rant on the night’s events are almost as long as the night itself – sorry for that!), then at least one good thing will have come out of this experience.
Feel free to get on with your day now 🙂