Friday, May 16, 2008

Well, I guess there's always gotta be a first...

I left a show at intermission. I've never done this before. And to be quite frank I'm not sure how I feel about it. Perhaps a touch guilty, because I've prided myself on never doing that (even when I've wanted to run screaming into the streets; ie - Cats and a lugubriously unfunny production of Lucky Stiff that my college put in its summer rep a few years ago). I guess it's not really a big deal, but for some reason I like to stick it to the end, even when it's not good just because, you become that "someone walked out of..." and mostly respect to the performers, who are almost all of the time giving 110% in spite of the staging or material.

Well, I also happen to be an asthmatic, and as luck would have it, I suffered a rather terrible flare-up this afternoon while in Manhattan. Fortunately, I had my inhaler on me, or else this blog would be posted via medium (Madame Arcati, anyone?). The show was La Clemenza di Tito at the Met, starring the powerhouse mezzo-soprano extraordinaire, Susan Graham. I was feeling fatigued, with the feeling someone was pushing on my chest, leading into the performance. When I stood up for intermission, that feeling was compounded with dizziness and I told Noah I had to go. I left, and aside from a precarious elevator ride down (where I felt like I was about to do my best Lucille 2 impression) I got home safe and sound, where I immediately medicated and am much, much better. That's just one of the miseries of the allergy season for you, especially when pollen becomes your worst enemy.

Of what I saw and could appreciate of the opera (which wasn't much, I couldn't follow the story or characters and I had difficulty with my supertitles), Susan was dynamite. The recitative got irritating (every time we'd switch between the orchestra and the harpsichord I wanted to throw something, but that could have been the way I was feeling). But she executed some rather thrilling mezzo coloratura runs; the kind that give chills, that's how genius they are. However, I don't feel I've given the score or Ms. Graham justice, really. Especially since I was supposed to meet her afterward. Anyway, I still feel weird about the whole evening, not sure why, but I do. I hope I get the chance to see Ms. Graham sing once again, and to be able to shout "Brava!" upon her curtain call.

Oh, almost forgot. To add to the fun of it all, I also bashed my knee into a turnstile in the subway, all while juggling my wallet and phone in one hand, ipod and metrocard in the other and hip-checking my way through. Hilarious. You should see the gorgeous storm cloud that used to be my right knee.


Esther said...

I'm so glad you're ok! And that doesn't really count as a walkout. It was a medical emergency - something completely different. So don't worry about it.

Speaking of knees, I did something to one of mine a few weeks ago. I thought it had healed, but the pain flared up again in the mezzanine of the Walter Kerr Theatre during "A Catered Affair," so I watched half of the musical standing up against the back wall, which actually was a fine vantage point. Luckily, the show is only 90 minutes long!

The fact that there's so little leg room, and a totally inadequate number of bathrooms, in most Broadway theatres is a crime!

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I agree with Esther. You can't really count an asthma attack as a walk-out. Just keep that inhaler with you!

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

I'm constantly injuring my knees somehow. Whether taking line drives off of them or just standing up, it seems even the most minute thing can bother it.

Oh, for the pollen to STOP.

SarahB said...

It was a doomed ticket - me first, then you. CRIES!