Or, what not to do if you want a so-called blogger to write about your show.
Or, how not to act as an audience member.
Or, how not to act as The Cat in the Hat.
Or, my “review” of PMT’s “Seussical The Musical”.
So Avi and I saw a show on Friday, as you may have guessed. He’s seen “Seussical” before and we have the soundtrack. I was excited to surprise him with tickets to see Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s production because he is five and not an asshole theater snob like his mother, and I could use a reminder about that once in awhile.
We were at will call to pick up the tickets when something very strange happened.
The first set of tickets I received had my blog listed. Sort of. Not exactly the correct name. They were also not in the section I had purchased. And I was So. Incredibly. Confused. On the one hand, cool! Someone set aside free press tickets for me because of ye olde bloggedy blog blog. On the other hand, NO ONE TOLD ME. Seriously, how could that happen?! Who just assumes that a) I’d be interested in writing about “Seussical” – which, honestly, I wouldn’t have been because I’m an asshole (see above) (and below) and b) I will show up on Friday night for the show without being told to do so! The fact that I purchased tickets ON MY OWN was just a coincidence. Otherwise, I would have never known these tickets were set aside for me.
I did some investigating and haven’t been able to figure out who the *someone* was who made these arrangements and failed to tell me about them. So odd!
In any case, we went inside, sat in the seats I had paid for and saw the show, which brings me to part 2 of this too-long tale.
There was a kid sitting next to us with his grandmother. I judged him to be about six or seven based on size. He was out of control obnoxious the entire first act. Yes, it’s a family show. Yes, I think all kids should be exposed to live theater. But I also think they should be encouraged to behave appropriately as an audience member, and that that behavior should be reinforced by their adults. This boy was loudly talking and singing and pointing pretty much constantly. I thought for awhile it was because we were RIGHT NEXT TO HIM that it was particularly distracting, but people two, three, four rows away were turning and glaring. Now let me make it clear that Avi was sitting SO quietly this whole time. He was obviously bothered by the boy’s behavior, but he was also polite and tried to ignore it. Rockstar.
At intermission, a group of teenage girls sitting in front of us turned around and told me that Avi was SO well behaved. They begged me to say something to grandma. I waffled (unsurprising) and chickened out (also unsurprising), hoping the second act behavior would be better. It wasn’t. Finally I turned and glared for a looooong time so grandma couldn’t ignore me anymore. She said “What? He’s five!” And before I could stop myself I shot back, “SO IS HE!” and jammed my thumb in Avi’s direction.
I wish I could tell you she shut up or apologized or something. Nope. She glared back at me and said “Oh grow up!” and that was that. (Which, huh? What does that even mean?!) At the end of the show, she and the boy bolted and the girls in front of us turned around. One of them actually told me, “You did nothing wrong. Don’t worry about what she said!” which was kind of adorable. Thanks, kid.
Whew. Now, part 3 and 4 of this saga come with a disclaimer (I’m an asshole.) and a cop-out: see, my friend Brian said pretty much everything I can say about the production, including the sentiment about youth theater. But I was especially disappointed in The Cat in the Hat, who was played more as a bloated cameo than the spry emcee of the whole story. I have major objections to that particular casting and the ad libbing, and I fully understand that I may be one of few people in Pittsburgh who feel that way, or at least who will admit it. Sorry. But when my kid whispers (because he is a good audience member!) to me that he wishes The Cat would stop interrupting the show, well…it’s not working. That thing you’re doing. At all.
And to steal another line from Brian, other than the parts I didn’t like (The Cat, the set, the lighting, the sound), the parts I did like (Jo Jo, Gertrude, Horton, the costumes, the orchestra, the ensemble) were great.
But I’m an asshole like that.