Monday, April 23, 2012

Going Solo to the Theatre--Not so Bad!

This dress was hanging out in the lobby.

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”
― Albert Einstein

  This weekend, the weather was hitting record highs for beauty, Flagstaff bonhomie was spreading throughout the network of outdoor trails, and everyone was so happy spring was here that they just didn't want to go back inside for some classic comedic theatre.  So it was a hard sell to get someone to go to "Arsenic and Old Lace" with me on Saturday night.  I tried a few friends, but everyone was busy or otherwise engaged with nature--so I went alone.

  I see movies solo all the time.  I practically don't even want someone with me when I go to an art museum.  I was already going to speaking engagements by myself when I was in college, and I've even been to music concerts alone...But I've never been to the theatre by myself.

  A quick, informal survey of my friends provided proof enough that going to the theatre was something most people preferred to do as a shared experience.  Perhaps it's because you pay more for the ticket.  Or maybe it's because there's a story to figure out together, or you need someone to talk to at intermissions.

  Either way, I felt like I was breaking some kind of unspoken social rule, but I figured "I'm an independent woman who can do lots of things alone"--and besides, as soon as the lights go out, it's not like you need your friends there anyway.  I think I'm good company, I get my jokes--so why not go to a play with me? (This sounds kind of Sybil-esque, but I do often talk to myself this way...)

  So I took advantage of being alone, and followed all my whims of fancy.  I sat in a different seat for each act.  I arrived a few minutes late (which is so much easier when only one person has to slip in.)  I actually got to read the actor bio's, and struck up a conversation with Bob Yowell, the director of the play.  It was kind of fun not having to worry if another person was having fun!  Turns out, there really are not many moments that you feel "alone" during a play.  It wasn't a big deal at all.

  The other thing about going by yourself is that you are really going for the art.  I went to this play because I knew that one of my favorite NAU theatre students was graduating soon.  I was excited to see what I think may be Tony Latham's last performance--I had seen him as a freshman in a Commedia Dell 'arte piece, and he made my son laugh VERY LOUDLY in "Something Happened on the Way to The Forum."  I feel like I know him, and have watched him evolve as an actor.  The play was delightful, and I enjoyed myself very much.

After the play, I went grocery shopping, listening to my Ipod and danced up and down the aisles.  It was another minor social taboo that I was breaking, and I was happier for not caring.

Arsenic stage, with the infamous stairs in the background.

1 comment:

  1. One of the best dinner I ever enjoyed was at Jack Frye's in Louisville, KY. A bit more expensive than I could afford but I just in the mood for great food, low lighting and the buzz and interesting conversation around me. I went by myself and took a good book (A Secret History by Donna Tarte). Two hours of gastronomical and literary delight.