Friday, 27 July 2007

Musicals and Drinking are the Same

Last night was really one of those moments that separates the close from the far - the friends from the acquaintances - the caring from the ambivalent.

I've got an extra ticket to a musical I'm reviewing and my plus one bails on me. The show starts in an hour and a half. What am I going to do?

My brain starts racing through people who:

a) like theatre

b) usually accept my invitations to do random things


c) either live close by to me, or live close by to Southwark, where the show will be.

Number by number I search through my phone, at each turn picturing my evening anew. "Okay, if I see it with her we can focus on the irony." Too bad, she'll be at an art opening. "Well he's a musician, so maybe he'll like the score." Nope, he can't get home in time. "Well this guy writes scripts and is usually up for doing anything that's free!" He's far out of the city, having promised his uncle to walk his dog. (seriously!)

Until it becomes apparent that I am going to see this musical.... Alone.

Don't get me wrong - I see theatre alone. The Pain and the Itch alone at the Royal Court was a solo and wonderful mission.

But a musical - I remember the first bad movie I went to see alone was How Stella Got her Groove Back. (I treated my seventeen year old self.) And the film made me cry six times. Whoopi has cancer? That's tragic. Look at how he's holding her? I think there's something in my eye. Other cinema goers may have stared, but I knew that Stella truly had gotten her groove back.

Anyway, as far as Musicals and bad movies are concerned, if you really have to do it alone, you're better off in the comfort of your own home with a bad cold.

(Into the Woods on video? Sondheim is better than Sudafed.)

Out of the house and in good health however, this is a communal activity. Best enjoyed in moderation and with someone you trust to walk you home. Otherwise you'll start singing a terrible song in your head about how funny London is when nobody can come to the theatre.

(The Reprise goes: "London - there's something funny about London. London!" And sounds vaguely like "Loathing, Unadulterated Loathing" from Wicked. In fact... it sounds excactly like "Loathing." Fiddlesticks... Another hit bites the dust.)

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