Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ticky Ticky Tock

When I first heard about Fantasia being in negotiations for The Color Purple (three weeks ago or so), I heard the teams were so far apart in terms of money, that the deal would likely never happen. So today, now that there are reports that the casting is happening, I was going to examine how much Fantasia will be worth to The Color Purple, if the deal is finalized. But that is going to have to wait for Wednesday because something so ridiculous happened to me at the theater on Friday, it deserves it's own blog post.

The scene: Adrift in Macao. I'm sitting in the third row up--I have two seats on the aisle, but I give the aisle seat to my friend Al, so I am one off the aisle. Sitting in front of Al, who is not tiny, is an old woman in a fur coat. To give you an idea of what she looks like, Al will later refer to her as Edith Beale, which is a pretty accurate moniker. I sit down about 7 minutes before the show starts. Al sits down about 4 minutes before the show will begin. For the purpose of this discussion, we will in fact call this old frail woman Edith.

Edith (turning around and facing Al): Stop kicking my seat! We're in the theater! Stop kicking my seat! In a movie theater downtown, there is a sign that says "please don't kick the seats," maybe you should go read it.

Al: I didn't do anything.

Me: He didn't kick your seat. He just sat down.

Edith: You're not theater people are you?

Me (laughing a little): Umm... trust me, we're theater people.

Al: You think you're a theater person because you have a fur?

Edith: It's not about the fur. I'm a depression era kid. That's what the fur is about. But stop kicking my seat! You kick my seat one more time, I'll break your arm.

Al: Oh, you will? Ok.... I'll call PETA.

Edith: Call whoever you want. Someone once said to me "I'll call the police," well fine, call them. I know what I'm saying. You're kicking me. I'm sitting on the edge here. Am I supposed to know who you are? Are you a star? Are you someone I should be scared of?

Now, this goes on and on. Edith stops for a second and then starts up again. Al is ignoring. I'm trying to ignore. It goes on about until curtain time. The woman next to me says: "I thought she was joking at first..." The show starts, we get about 30 minutes into it. Those of you who know me know I abhor anything that makes noise while a show is going on. So I do note every shift, every cough, everything. Al has not moved.

Edith (loudly, in the middle of a scene on a stage that, let me state again, we are three rows from): Stop kicking my seat! I can't sit like this! Stop kicking me! I'm gonna get someone.

Me (out loud and angrily, despite myself): He didn't move, Ma'am.

Woman next to me (grabbbing my arm): Just ignore her.

Fast forward about 2 minutes. An usher, heads to the woman to see the problem. He touches her from the side. Thinking it is Al, she turns around to her other side (thus not seeing the usher) and slaps his knee as hard as she possibly can with her glove saying something as she does it. I'm serious. She HIT him. Half the audience was watching--these people had no idea what was going on onstage for that period (if they had any idea beforehand), their attention was focused on crazy Edith. Now, I have no idea what the usher said to her or what she said, I was in shock. But she didn't bother us for the rest of the show. However, after the show, when we were standing upstairs waiting for a cast member, she started in again, talking about her fur and how she had a right to it. We chose to ignore. That was wise, I believe.

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Witz said...

OMG. I was at "Spring Awakening," with my friend, in seats 5 and 6 off center left aisle, toward the back. Seats 7 and 8 were filled by middle-aged, shopping-bag-toting women. Show starts, seat 8 starts muttering, "I can't see! I'm going to have to move! I can't see!" Seat 7 shushes here, I give her a dirty look. Seat 8 says this a few more times (with minor variations), Seat 7 tries shushing again and then decides to pretend she doesn't know this person seated next to her. In about 3rd musical number -- a nice, quiet number -- Seat 8 decides she's had it and GETS UP AND CHARGES OUT TO THE AISLE. To do this, she has to climb over Seat 7, busy ignoring her and HOLDING LARGE PAPER SHOPPING BAG IN LAP, where it is noisily crunched by fat-ass Seat 8 climbing over! I stood up, because I didn't want to get smushed. But no one else did... People have just gotten to the point where they're insane and they don't care who knows it.