Top Ten Things Overheard At The River….

I love everything about the theatre, including eavesdropping on my fellow theatregoers. While I imagine no comment will ever come close to the person at Jersey Boys who asked their companion “did you know this was a musical?” – there were some pretty amusing comments during previews of The River. Admittedly The River – starring Hugh Jackman, Cush Jumbo, and Laura Donnelly – is deeply layered, symbolic, and mystical; however, some of the confusion seemed to involve much more basic deductions.  The beauty of the work, written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Ian Rickson, is that each person will be moved by it in a different way and perhaps leave with more questions than answers. That being said, I think we can all agree that it’s pretty obvious that it is a real trout Hugh is preparing on stage each night…


Top Ten Things Overheard at The River …

10. You better turn your phone off, I saw him stop a show and yell at someone on YouTube…

9.  Do I turn this off with the selfie button?

8.   Are there real birds in here?

7.   Is he a serial killer?

6.   When will they tell us what happened?

5.   Is this like Scoop?

4.   I think that was a real fish….

3.   I can’t believe they won’t let you take pictures in here…

2.   Why are they harassing me about not being able to be late or get up during the play? They sent me an email…

1.   The show was about this guy having a threesome…

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Fabulous Fridays! – Dressing for the Theatre

There are few places left where appropriate dressing follows strict guidelines. Dress codes at all but a few tony establishments have gone the way of fox stoles and men’s hats being de riguer. Religious services – with the exception of some where dress is part of the religious observance – have discontinued any dress code expectations that used to define “Sunday Best”. The work place took the road from casual Fridays to business casual and made a left at wear whatever you feel like. Schools have moved the line of having a dress code, for students and teachers alike, so far away from having a uniform that as long as you don’t reveal too much flesh you’re okay (unless it’s Halloween and then you can come as the “slutty version” of whatever you want to be).

Another hallowed ground has apparently reached the final frontier of dressing for the occasion – attending the theatre. Since I was very little attending Broadway was an event, an extravagance – an incredibly special occasion. This feeling has remained for me to this very day – which is probably why I am so very disappointed to see the seats around me filled with those who seemed not to know they were attending a Broadway show (or leaving the house, or not cleaning their garage),.

I thought I would try to be helpful and share some tips to hold on to the last great event to dress up for – attending the theatre!

Top Ten Tips For Dressing for the Theatre

10. – If any part of your ensemble fastens with Velcro you probably shouldn’t wear it to the theatre.

9.  – If your outfit shows your enthusiasm for any sports team, television show or band you  shouldn’t wear it to the theatre.

8. – If you felt under dressed and got the stink eye from other diners at Junior’s you shouldn’t wear that outfit to the theatre.

7. – Unless you are in the cast of Lysistrata Jones you shouldn’t wear sneakers to the theatre.

6. –  If you are over 21 you probably shouldn’t wear your “fan” tee shirt to the theatre (or out of the house, but that is another post topic!).

5. –  If your outfit can take you directly from the matinee to your league bowling night, you probably shouldn’t wear it to the theatre.

4. – If your slip dress looks a heck of a lot more like a slip than a dress, perhaps you should add another layer before you arrive at the theatre.

3. –  If you are wearing jeans that are not dark rinse, trouser length with dress shoes and appropriate accessories they don’t belong at the theatre (if they are elastic waist, ripped, rinsed or decorated they don’t belong anywhere).

2. –  If you are wearing a hat, remove it when you enter the theatre. It doesn’t matter if you are cold, if it’s part of your outfit, if you didn’t bother to comb your hair or if you are Lady Gaga – hats are removed at the theatre. (your hair style should also not obstruct other theatre goer’s views either horizontally or vertically).

1. –  If your personal fragrance invades the air space within five feet of you – do not wear fragrance to the theatre.

I hope you find these basic tips helpful!  If you have some you would like to add I would love to read them!


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Call of the Muses

They say that art feeds the soul, and now more than ever we are starving! Time limitations, financial limitations and a plethora of things that are there to amuse us without us actively participating have lead us away from the basics:  art, music, dance, theatre and literature. I guess even some of the basics have been out priced, especially in this economy, but part of enjoying the arts is to be creative!

I want to share with you my passion for all forms of creative expression, and challenge you to find your own experiences with the muses.  The wide variety of styles, tastes, media, locales and venues truly offer something for everyone.  There is no harm, no foul in saying that something just isn’t your thing, the challenge comes in finding what moves you.

Did one class trip sour you on visiting a museum, or was it visiting with someone who felt they needed to cover the entire building like a general on a mission? Did your mother invite you to a concert and then tell you it was Barry Manilow (who puts on a great show, but doesn’t rock a teen ager’s world!)?  Did you see the Nutcracker every holiday and think that every performance of dance included dancing rats and large ladies with multiple children under their skirts?  How about if your first theatre experience was Kafka when you were ten, or a rollicking musical when you were in your goth phase? Of course, the insult to literature most of us experienced was the ill chosen summer reading book foisted upon us. How many dogs do have to die to have educators feel that they are providing meaningful content?

We have all had bad experiences with the arts, that is in fact part of the process.  Knowing what you don’t like, what doesn’t move you, is an important part of finding out what makes your spirit soar. It is unfortunate when we are scarred so young, or buy into societal or gender roles about what types of entertainment you should enjoy.  Sometimes by the time we move beyond the school age years our interest in pursuing artistic experiences, whether as a participant or a consumer, is non-existent.

Honestly, unless an experience motivates us, moves us or challenges us we aren’t anxious to repeat the experience or revisit it.  It is vital to find the place within you willing to try, to truly make an effort to make a space for the arts in your life.  It is also a responsibility to introduce young children in our lives to various forms of artistic expression so that they can develop that part of who they are.  As kids grow into teen agers and young adults we also need to be open  to their muses, it is so important not to dismiss something because of our own prejudices.  Being open is the key, what happens next may surprise you.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and accept the challenge to move beyond my own comfort zones as we explore the beauty in the world around us – the call of the muses.


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