Thursday, September 24, 2009

Night at the Theatre

On Tuesday evening Allison and I went to see the musical production of Legally Blonde at ASU Gammage. As always anytime we get to spend time together we have fun. And who doesn't love the character Reese Witherspoons brought to life, Elle Woods. The cast of the musical is great. The music is energetic and perky. Dancing is superb. The dogs Bruiser and Rufus did the canine world proud. It was great fun.

Equally amusing was people watching. It was the Pink Carpet Premier night and as any Legally Blonde fan knows pink is Elle Woods signature color so as you can imagine there was a plethora of pink. Pink patent leather shoes, pink tops, bottoms and even pink feathered boa's. There was a profusion of pink popping up everywhere.

What caused me a pause and a ponder though was the audience. As a matter of record, Arizona is the land of perpetual casualness. I am good with casual. Definitely enjoy dressing casual. But for some reason I have it in my head that when you go to the theatre you dress up a bit. It is a little out of the norm so you dress like you are doing something special. Now I guess the term dressing up is subjective. I am sure the young women in the row in front of our in the loose, pink no less, knit halter top that was hanging down in the wrong places which then caused the wrong body parts to hang over, out and actually everywhere but up, might have thought that she was dressed up. Can a person dress up in flip flops? Sure, but I wouldn't consider the 2/$5 flip flops that you buy at Old Navy dressy footware. Shorts and a t-shirt might be considered dressy unless the shorts are so short that you see way too much of someone's chunky... and if the t-shirt has any visable holes or words on it, I vote that it should stay at home. But my favorite was the old guy in his Levi's with his western style shirt and his John Deere cap. From the looks of things, Stacy and Clinton will not have any shortage of material for many many seasons to come on What Not To Wear.

The young woman sitting just 2 empty seats from us who felt it necessary to check, text and flip her phone so it would light up every 2 minutes must have been terribly bored by the whole production. I had to bite my tongue. Allison must have sensed that I was about to lose my gracious restraint, so when she came back from intermission she conveniently switched seats with me.

I was very surprised that the ushers allowed guests to come in and sit down after the show had begun. So for the first 5 minutes or so people were still traipsing through the aisle and tripping over our feet. I thought that was banned. Maybe the ushers missed that day of training. Or maybe the guests were just too pushy and impatient. Parking at Gammage is irksome when school is not in session, but it is atrocious when school is in session. Plan ahead people!

Drinking water out of the plastic bottles and sucking the water and air out of them so they crackle and creak is totally taboo. Now maybe there is a good reason to do that but I can't figure it out.

I sensed that we as a society have forgotten or never learned how to carry on in public. We are so comfortable and casual that we abate common graces. There are plenty of people who expect others to be considerate of them but then neglect the same courtesy in like. How many times have I grown lax and not treated others the way I expect to be treated? I bought a book for Drew when he was younger. It is by Munro Leaf and I think we all might be due for a refresher course by reading How to Behave and Why, How to Speak Politely and Why, and Manners Can Be Fun.

1 comment:

  1. As a "young person" I am so disheartened by the dressing down of America (as my beloved Tim Gunn calls it) people my age and younger by and large don't write thank you notes, they talk on the phone in the middle of in person conversations, and they can't dress appropriately to save their skins!
    As a theatre professional the astonishing lack of knowledge about how to behave in a live theatre performance is irritating. It's a distraction to the professionals at work!