Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

The Addams Family Continued

with 3 comments

Was meant to see Seven Last Words with the Sydney Chamber Choir (they who use the Great Hall at Sydney University) today, but, about an hour before I was due to leave for the concert, I tried to print off the email from the publicist (as I always do, in case something has gone wrong with the tickets – it’s nice to have proof), and quickly discovered that there was, in fact, no email from the publicist.  Which rather put the spanner in the critical works.  I had sent an email to the publicist, though, but had never chased it up and sent a second email.  (I was under the impression that I’d got a reply, but if I did, it disappeared completely.)  Quite the interesting lapse on my part.  Quite possibly the first lapse of its kind.  Hmm.  (Sometimes you don’t get tickets, sometimes you don’t even hear back from the publicists, but I don’t remember having ever completely forgotten that I didn’t have tickets.)

(EDIT (26/03/13): Upon further investigation, it turns out my email never even reached the publicist, so not only am I forgetful, I also can’t even send an email properly.  Quite the professional you are, Adam, quite the professional!  (Please see the About page for my rates regarding my new service, where, for a fee, I’ll not send an email you want not sended.  Should be profitable, methinks.))

Anyway.  The Addams Family.  Ahem.

Walking up Market St, having turned off George St (I think it’s Market St), there was quite a bit of hubbub (good lord, why did I choose such a word when my b key is failing on me?) from one side of the road, with many a passerby somewhat transfixed by the goings on outside the Capitol Theatre.  There was a red carpet, you see (which I expected).  But this was the largest and most intrusive red carpet I’ve had the misfortune to lay my little corneas on.  Usually the Capitol Theatre red carpet isn’t all that long – normally it runs between the door to the new foyer and the doors to the old foyer.  And normally it takes up half of the footpath.  This time, however, it ran along the entire length of the theatre-front.  And it blocked off all access to the theatre, apart from having to actually walk along the red carpet itself.  And the route one had to take – walking behind the photographers, then turning around and coming back on the red carpet – meant that, because of the width required for such an operation, the red carpet had taken over one lane of the street.  Plus there were witch’s hats/orange traffic cones to stop non-VIP people turning into the street as well.  I’m not entirely certain if this was the case, but it seemed like they had closed the street down completely to normal users.  (What intrigued me somewhat, too, was what would happen to those people (my mother included – not that my parents were with me tonight) who needed to use the disabled parking that was now part of the red carpet?  One presumes you’d just negotiate with the traffic controllers, I suppose.)

But to let my ego emerge from its hidey-hole deep in my subconscious for a moment: what an interesting development I, as a character in my life story, have had!  I can’t remember when my first red carpet was, but I remember that I felt that it was something to be avoided, that I wasn’t a person of enough importance to warrant walking on it.  (Although I still believe I’m not important enough – or rather, interesting enough – for anyone to care about me on it (no one cares about critics, after all – playwrights, maybe).)  I remember that the idea of having my photo taken, the idea of having a photographer then ask me who I was (because I assumed that they shot first and asked questions later), was a terrifying one.  They would see me for the fraud I was, you see!  They’d laugh, probably.  (Okay, maybe I didn’t think that they would actually laugh, but I felt that I would be judged, and not in a flattering way.)  And then, as I became exposed to more and more red carpets (opera stuff, other musical theatre openings, and so on), I no longer felt any trepidation, but saw it as something that was just ‘part of the event’, and something that I had very little to do with.  (I remember that I had to walk a carpet at the opening of South Pacific last year, and I was a tad anxious about that, but now I’m completely blase about it.)  And then, last night, I discovered that I was quite annoyed at being forced to walk on it.  One imagines that most people would think walking on a red carpet to be an exciting moment in their lives, yet I, after having done it quite a few times, have gone from being terrified, then indifferent, to a semi-loathing of the thing.  How time and repetition changes us!

Anyway, I’d been invited to come as the plus one for the rather lovely man (who I met for the first time at Carmen last night – he’d flown up from Melbourne to review it, and we were due to meet at The Addams Family, but were placed two seats away from each other at the opera, in a quite remarkable turn of fate) who was to be reviewing it.  (Two lots of tickets could not be had, unfortunately.)  So I was ‘taken out’ to the theatre, as it were, for the first time in probably one or two years.  (I’m always the one inviting people to come with me, you see.)  The whole experience felt strangely new again.  (Part of the reason for that, methinks, is that we were sat – while in the centre – high up in the circle, and I haven’t been in the circle at the Capitol Theatre since my parents took me to Guys and Dolls.  I don’t even know if Guys and Dolls happened after I started this blog.  I doubt it.)

The show itself, while not a classic, didn’t leave me disappointed, so all was well on that account.  Top stuff.

And then there was the after party.  At Town Hall.  Which we had to walk to.  (We missed the last bus, but from what I could gather, I don’t think the bus was intended for us lowly critics in the first place.)  So that was a nice walk up the hill of George St.  (My Melbourne friend had very little idea where he was going, so lucky he had me!)  And guess what they had draped over the steps of Town Hall?  A red carpet!  Replete, also, with a few bouncers, as well as a few tickets takers (all women – it always seem to be women that take the tickets at these things).  (In fact, the percentage of publicists that are women must be something along the lines of at least 80%, methinks.)  No cameras, though.  Well, inside there were, I think, but nothing on the outside.  One could have one’s picture taken on a plush black shiny leather fainting couch, for instance.  (That was in the Town Hall foyer.)

Inside the main hall, however, were blue lights.  Or rather, a slight blue tinge to a lot of things.  There was a chandelier-type feature made of many separated layers of semi-transparent white sheeting – or something – that had images, such as a modified dollar bill, being projected on to it.  There was a DJ in a very large dirty white jumpsuit (at least that’s what it looked like), and she was playing some very loud music, which was, as you can imagine, right up all my alleys, laneways, and cul-de-sacs.  (Why do they insist on having loud music at all of these things?  Thankfully normal theatre doesn’t seem to do that.  I mean, why can’t they, if they must have music, have a string quartet or something?  It’s not like anyone dances to it anyway.  Throwing an after party for a theatre crowd and expecting them to dance is like giving a group of kids a bucket of lollies and expecting them to build model airplanes out of them.  (That simile makes no sense to me either.))

I had a sore throat this morning.  I wonder why.

I also did something I haven’t done for a bit at these things: mingled.  Urgh!  The word sticks in the back of my throat like the skin off of a popcorn kernel.  My Melbourne friend being far more advanced in the theatre scene than I, and thus knowing quite a few of the people  there, was able to walk up to and talk to and introduce me to a variety of people.  I met an agent, and his wife, who deal with child talents, for instance.  I met a woman (and a husband that didn’t seem to be enjoying himself that much – or maybe he was more the quiet type like I am usually) who deals with copyright and approval for musicals and plays and whatnot.  (So, she makes sure plays aren’t performed more times than they’ve paid royalties for, and that they stick to the script if they need to, and so on.)  I met a ‘great’ (his words) producer and a woman she was walking around with (though I didn’t actually talk to them).  I think I met the understudy (and his wife) for one of the parts in The Addams Family.  I met someone from not one, but two theatre websites.  (Well, one of them I met outside the Capitol, but close enough).  And a few more that I can’t really remember.  The point being that I had, for example, a good five to ten minute conversation (at least it felt like that – it was probably only five minutes) with the agent (my friend was talking to his wife), and a nice conversation with the guy who worked for another theatre website, and managed to chip in in quite a few of the other conversations…  This may seem mundane to you, dear reader, but I am quite a shy person, and the thing about shy people is that, even if we are perfectly capable of carrying on a more than pleasant conversation with complete strangers, we still feel anxious about doing so, especially when we haven’t had much practice for a while.

And then I also didn’t talk to a few people.  Or barely said a word, as my friend was doing all the talking.  You know how it is – especially with loud music.  You can’t hear a word that’s being said (or not many of the words), so you spend half your time looking at what’s going on behind the people you’re listening to, and nodding along with the cues from their body language, and laughing at the punchlines of jokes you haven’t even heard.  (This is one of the reasons I have a distaste for loud music, too – I’m perfectly happy to merely add a witty line or two into a conversation at the right moments, but it’s impossible to do that when you can’t hear what’s being said, obviously.  How many times did I have to ask for someone to repeat something, how many times did I have to bend forward and stick my ear in their direction?  I suggested to my friend at one point, who wondered aloud whether the DJ was taking requests, that someone should ask for John Cage’s 4’33”.  (That’s a piece of pure silence, for those of you who don’t know.  Not that I’ve heard it in a concert yet.  (If that makes sense.))

To be perfectly honest, though, I see mingling as a pretty useless hobby.  People tell me that it’s good to ‘network’ and all that, but I find that I have (a) a shy person’s aversion to it, and (b) a somewhat moral distaste towards it as well.  It seems so manipulative to me, sort of.  As if the only reason why I’m talking to someone is that I want to get some favour out of them in the future, and if that’s the only reason, what right do I have to impose myself on them?  No doubt I’m overthinking it.  No doubt I just don’t realise that that is the rules by which these things are played, and its not an imposition if it’s expected, and so on.  Still.

Much food to be had there, too.  Mini-hamburgers, though the one I had was somewhat cold.  (Didn’t get food poisoning, though, so that’s a bonus.)  And they didn’t have the sticks through it like at the STC.  (Having had my first ones at the STC, I have held those up on a pedestal, and have made them the authentic version.)  Chicken nuggets with creamy fillings.  Fried chicken wings.  Sausage rolls that were some of the driest things I’ve had in my mouth since my last visit to the dentist and his suction-machine.  (You take a bite of it while your interlocutor is talking, thinking you can chew and swallow before they finish, and then find you can’t get the pastry, or half the meat, from out of your cheek.)  They had something in a white square high-walled ramekin-esque dish, which needed a fork to eat, but I didn’t try them.  (Not the smartest idea, having cutlery when one hand needs to hold a drink.)  They had “Gomez’s Gourmet Dumplings”, which I had one of, which was quite nice.  It had its own stand off to the side of the hall.  And they probably had a few other things that I can’t remember.

As for the drinks…  Bars to the side, big bar in the middle.  White counters with many staffers.  I started with something with tequila in it, and lime juice I think.  In a tumbler it was, with a straw.  Then I had a glass of champagne, which was quite nice champagne (they had nice champagne, and a fizzy rose, at the opera, too).  (Champagnes are usually the most variable in quality at these things, so I often avoid it.)  One glass of white wine.  Then another glass of white wine.  A Pale  Ale beer.  And some blood.  (The blood came in a test tube, and I’m not sure if it had any alcohol in it or not.  I’m not even sure if it was meant to be a drink or a food.  It was a pulpy red concoction that tasted like it was vegetable juice or something.  I only had half of mine.)   So how many standard drinks was all that in an hour, an hour and a half?  I’ve no idea.  I remember, when I left for my train and was walking down the steps into the station, that I thought it wise to have a hand that was somewhat familiar with the handrail.  Not that the world was swaying around me or anything.  I’ve never been that drunk.  And I did have to make it down the red carpet steps onto George St, and had no problem with that.  But I was drunk.

I lied.  There were people dancing.  (Sorry for the non-sequitur.)  There were four or five boys dancing in synch in front of the DJ, and people were taking photos and videos of them.  I think they were all the Pugsleys for the production.  They were quite good dancers, actually.  (Well, of course they were – they’re in a musical.  Duh.)

Anyway, I’ve decided, I think, that my maximum after party time should probably be half an hour.  Any more and I’ll drink too much, most likely.  And eat more than nature requires.

A  couple of things to eat, and a glass of wine (maybe two if I’m feeling like it), are all I need.  (All I want, rather.)  Anything more is a waste.

On the train on the way home – the long, long train ride home – I had a rare pang of loneliness.  (Cue the sad sympathisings.)  There’s nothing like talking to a roomful of strangers – most of whom come, just like Noah would’ve wanted them, in groups of two – to make one wish to have someone, slightly more intimate than a person you met the day before, by your side.  (A biblical joke, eh?  That’s new.)

What bemused me about the red carpet, too, was that a lot of people weren’t getting their photos taken, and so we were being ‘moved along’, as it were.  If they didn’t want to take our photos in the first place, why block off all the entrances to the theatre?  Stupid, stupid!

Still, this was my first non-site after party.  (Unless you count the nightclub at Star City as one, though I’d only count is as a half.)  I couldn’t go to the one at the Sofitel after Giselle, but now I assume I didn’t miss out on much.  (Maybe they had a string quartet for that one, though!  Surely the ballet or the opera would stand the best chance of having one.  Actually, South Pacific had like a jazzy band of some sort, but they were just a mellow volume, and was rather perfect for the occasion.  So clearly some people know what musicians to hire, at least.)  Yet another thing to tick off my list of things to do before I die.  (What’s interesting is that I didn’t even have it on my list – not knowing it existed – until a month or two ago.)  And now I can more fully appreciate the wonderful simplicity of an STC opening, and those of its ilk.

Hmm.  I’m glad I went, but I don’t feel like I gained anything from it, really.  Apart from fulfilling my curiosity.  You know, I don’t know what would make me more nervous – the opening night performance of a play of mine, or the opening night after party for a play of mine…   (The agent asked if I was a writer, and I said yes, and he asked what kind, and I said playwright. And I didn’t feel awkward saying it,  which must be some sort of progress.)

Jonathan Biggins was there last night, too.  And was sitting in the row behind me at the Capitol.  (I usually notice him, because I tend to notice all the people involved in Travesties.)

Anyway, I was meant to go to bed 45 minutes ago, so I best stop here, I think.  I doubt I’ve left much out.  3,000 words is enough, anyway.

514/whatever in Don Quixote.

18 lines in the play.  (Aren’t I just full of surprises today?)


Written by epistemysics

March 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Well that escalated quickly…

    samurai pacifist

    March 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  2. What – my post length, or my alcoholism? 😀


    March 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

  3. Both it seems.

    Neil san

    March 25, 2013 at 3:41 am

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