Thursday, June 22, 2006

Like Seinfeld, Only on Broadway

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My friend is a media buyer who gets sucked up to via free Broadway play tickets and the like. Last night I took her up on an offer for second row seats at The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

This play was seriously dimented and morbid. At one point, a guy was hanging upside down being tortured right in front of my face; bodies were chopped, cats were killed, toenails were removed... Beyond all of that though - the show was in Irish, which is really not English at all, and I couldn't understand anything until about the third act wherein I finally got used to the accent.

Anyhow, all of that was but foreplay for the intermission. You see, when the tortured guy was dangling from the rafters, a steal pulley hook fell onto the stomach of the guy sitting directly in front of me and bounced into his hands. He was calm - picked it up, looked at it dubiously and put it onto the stage. At intermission, him and his wife remained seated and so did I. The ushers came over to shoot the shit and the wife mentioned the hook.

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"Good thing it didn't land on his head."

The guy sitting next to him concurred, "Yes, good thing it didn't land on his noggin."

I'm pretty sure the noggin guy was a celebrity, but I couldn't place him. He had one of the most bizarre accents I've ever heard and again, used the word "noggin," without hinting at even a bit of underlying jest. The hook guy's wife was one of those controlling types and she obviously wanted to make a scene, maybe even get a free ticket. However, the hook guy was pretty relaxed about the whole situation ("Eh, shit happens. No harm done"). Nevertheless, the wife and the two couples on opposing sides from him were just downright peeved about the situation. I should note that it was controlled peeveness, but peeveness just the same.

Anyway, Antoine, a female usher, was telling the celebrity/noggin guy that the hook guy should go tell the manager. The celebrity/noggin guy told her that the manager should come to the hook guy. After all, he was sitting in the front row. That's pretty expensive. She made some senseless argument that "This is America" and wouldn't let up. The celebrity/noggin guy rolled his eyes. Antoine didn't pause though, "When you sit in the front row, you agree to get splashed by a little blood. When Julia Roberts' play was here, the front row had to deal with the rain. That's just what you sign on for sittin' in the front row."

Meanwhile, the other usher was suggesting to the couple sitting on the other side of the hook guy that the hook guy really ought to tell the manager, so the manager could then tell the stage manager. Again, the usher didn't think it was his own duty to go get the manager, but thought it necessary that she was somehow informed. This went on for a good 5 minutes and I was certain that I was in the middle of a Seinfeld episode.

In the end, the hook guy got up and told the manager, seemingly just to end the stupidity, and the manager evidently robotically responded: "Areyoualright?Okay,good."

In the end, a few more cats were killed, bodies were chopped up, blood was sprayed, Irish was spoken and no free tickets were issued.

When we stepped outside, my friend looked at me and said, "I don't even know what to say," as if she had to explain something to me. Hell, I enjoyed the show thoroughly. I mean, a Broadway play is by no means worth going to if the stage is properly constructed and the ushers aren't idiots. A good, bitchy wife sitting right in front of you -- that's but a great cream cheese icing on the ol' carrot cake. Bravo...

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