Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the finest of fine arts.

Giselle, hanging out above our mantle. Fun fact: the illustration is by Hilary Knight, of Eloise fame.

A few months ago I saw that American Ballet Theatre was touring Giselle this spring, so I immediately bought tickets. I am way into ballet, though I never was a dancer. I did the other eating-disorder-inducing girl things as a child: gymnastics and figure skating.  I excelled at neither.  But that triumvirate-- ballet, gymnastics, figure skating-- reigns above all else on my list of spectacular human feats.  It never ceases to stun/impress/frighten/amaze me. They move, and I hang on every miniscule motion.  I am in awe.   

 LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH THEIR BODIES!!  I yell at televisions during Olympic games, and whisper-yell into Kevin's ear during ballet performances.

So the weekend before last, we had an unusually theatre-heavy itinerary, beginning Friday night.  Giselle was at the Auditorium Theatre, and I think Act Two of that ballet just might be one of my new favorite things; it had murder, and ghosts, and brides, and revenge! The whole time I was watching, there was a ticker tape of comments running through my mind about the show, and each and every one of them was: "THIS."

 The next night Kevin's connections with Lookingglass scored us opening night tickets to Rick Bayless's show, Cascabel.  Even after doing some research, I had no idea what to expect or what the logistics of the show would be. So he's in the play... cooking food... and then we eat the food?!

Before the show started, the actors were mingling in the lobby, serving pepper-rimmed margaritas, as if that were just a thing that prestigious stage actors regularly do.  The theatre itself had been transformed into a slice of a Mexican hacienda, centered around la cocina, of course.  

courtesy of Lookingglass Theatre Company

The show was wholly entertaining and so unique in many ways-- though I enjoyed some of the basic plot lines the first time I read them in Like Water for Chocolate.  That aside, the acting was incredible and interactive, with-- get this-- crazy acrobatic feats of the human form! (LOOK WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH THEIR BODIES!!)  Plus, Rick Bayless danced. It was a circus for grown-ups, with better snacks.

It would be nice if the story ended there.  But.  So, I don't drink very often, and when I do, after two I'm just about ready to turn in for the night.  On opening night, however? Free. It was all free. And so without realizing it until it was too late I went into some sort of freak survival mode where I thought I had to hoard ALL the alcohol in my body while I had the chance. This is, mind you, how many fantastic nights in history have started-- with the frenzied stock piling of alcohol in one's own body.

My, shall we say, enthusiasm for the very free-ness of these drinks did not lead to much at the theatre, save for a bold move to get myself in direct conversation with Bill Kurtis. But after the show there was a cast party at the Park Hyatt, where delicious fruity concoctions were, you guessed it, free.  And then there was the after after party upstairs at the hotel lounge, and that's where my memory gets hazy. Darling Kevin helped me make what I'm sure was an incredibly graceful exit for a now-storied trip home, the details of which will not be shared here in order to protect the author.

And so it was decided that once every ten years, I shall spend a night attending fine, high-brow theatre events while simultaneously living like R. Kelly.  Nothing more frequent, because my body couldn't handle it. Beep beep.

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