Originally uploaded by david haggard.
I've woken up to a Sunday morning in Chicago where everything seems frozen stiff. The trees aren't moving, there's no one out on the streets, and Lake Michigan AND the Chicago River are iced over. When it's minus 3 degrees WITHOUT the wind chill, you can just imagine how cold it really is out there.
I am therefore very pleased with myself that I enjoyed theatre performances on Friday night and Saturday matinee, cause it means that I don't have to venture out this morning to do it - phew!
Friday night was "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at a cute little theatre called Drury Lane (residence of The Muffin Man, obviously). The play is about exactly that - a county spelling bee. The actors are the kids in the Bee and two of their teachers, and a rather menacing looking Comfort Counsellor, whose job it is to give the 'losers' a packet of juice and a big hug. The musical is really funny and a lot of it is adlib, as it has a large amount of audience participation at the beginning. Fortunately Lexie and me managed to avoid that part. We had perfect seats and it was a great way to spend the evening while the wind and chill made Chicago shiver. Waiting for the bus afterwards wasn't a picnic of course, but it had to be done.
On Saturday afternoon I took myself off to see "Wicked", which is something I've wanted to do for the longest time. I learned early that the best seats in the house are often single ones and so to score those seats, it may be necessary to go to the theatre alone. I used to despise that concept but now it's not so bad. And so it was that with yesterday's performance of "Wicked", I was in the 5th row. I had a wonderful view of the whole stage, and could see the expressions on the actors and it was the most amazing theatre experience. The little girl next to me was so tiny she was seated on two seat cushions, but she was delightfully quiet the whole time - I think the show may have mesmerised her. I would go and see "Wicked" again of course, and I'm more resolved than ever to have another go at reading the book now.
My next theatre experience will be Harry Connick Jr in March with Jenn at the Chicago Theater - I haven't been there yet. And then, I'm going to get tickets for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" (starring the lovely Kathleen Turner) in early April.
With such wonderful performers coming to Chicago in a range of crazy and intersting plays, how can I possibly stay home? It simply has to be done...