Saturday, 18 December 2010

Something Wicked this way comes...

Tuesday. 7.30pm. Part of my birthday celebrations is a trip to see Wicked: The Musical. Feel unsure about anything to do with a lady the colour of Slimer from Ghostbusters. It also doesn't help that everyone tells me, 'Yeah, it's wicked; get it?' No. I. Do. Not.

Arrive at the theatre looking like the Michelin Man. Hope that every layer of clothing I wear is another degree of cold I can endure. Take that minus 2 degrees Celsius!

As I unravel from my winter armour, we approach the foyer. Walls, ceiling, floor- and all the people in between- bathe in emerald green. The glow distorts faces to sinister, demented levels. All men, women, children and teens look like The Riddler. Wonder if I'll have to solve a puzzle to find my seat.

With minutes before the curtain rises, I take in my surroundings. Red velvet seats and gold leaf d├ęcor. Crystal chandeliers proudly hang from arched ceilings. How do they change those light bulbs? Soon, hundreds of conversations rise up and float down- a chorus of murmurs and shouts. There is a smell- a theatre smell- of polish and something else, something unfathomable. You only know it when you are there.

With the strangeness of strangers, I am transported to how it used to be. Rows of bow ties and ball-gowns. Suited men with ruler spines selling ice cream in the aisle. Suddenly, there's a shriek in my ear. Two guys wearing misjudged Christmas jumpers are jostled and spill beer on my friend. They laugh, while she's left smelling like a brewery. Oh well. At least her hair's shiny...

The lights flicker, the noise falls. And then the math happens. One bottle of birthday wine + warm theatre = sleepy head. My chest is the refrigerator, my chin the magnets. I am disturbed by a fierce clatter of cymbals that jolts me too high to be cleverly disguised as a body stretch. A giggle escapes from behind.

As I prop my eyelids with fingers and thumbs, hoards of school kids pour in from all directions to ruin a song and my perfect stage view. Boy with World's Longest Neck provides me with half a show. A talking goat and a few winged-monkeys later and I wish I had something to throw at his head; a bucket of popcorn or maybe just a bucket. Nah. That would be too wicked. Get it?

Soon enough, it's over. My needle hands sting from clapping longer than advised even though, for the most part, I have no idea what I'm clapping for. I am robotic, following the crowd. They've enjoyed it. The flash of green lights, a blonde who looks suspiciously like Cinderella and a Wicked Witch who is, as it turns out, not so wicked. Imagine that.

6 comments:

  1. Heehee, love that 'my chest the refrigerator..' line. It was a pretty good show, although not at all logical, had you stayed awake. Wine does the same thing to me as well. Happy Birthday!

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  2. Agree with Sarah above. Regrigerator line is brilliant. I quite liked Wicked when i saw it. Defying gravity is my favorite song!
    -Kate

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  3. Wow, I love your writing. You take quite simple, ordinary events, and make them fascinating, filled with observation. Keep doing what you're doing! :D

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  4. I have to agree with The Kid in The Fron Row. This is an everyday event that you've spun ino something else. Excellent.

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  5. ha. Well, sounds like you had a nice nap?

    Happy birthday and happy holidays, Lou!

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  6. Thanks for all the comments everyone. Much appreciated, as always. :)

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