Friday, November 21, 2003

Bob and Jake's Great Theater Adventure continues!

Tonight we saw a pretty amazing production of The Lion in Winter with a pretty first-rate cast. The production is all but literally in the round; the set is a large X in the middle of a square room with chunks of seats in each corner -- so we as audience members can watch the show AND the rest of the audience at the same time.

And therein lay the problem tonight. You see, a good three fourths of our audience comprised a busload of kids from a Catholic high school from the burbs. And while The Lion in Winter isn't racy by any means, it shows adults kissing -- Henry II gets affectionate with his mistress Alais, and he gets downright smoochy with his wife Eleanor. Which is apparently waaaaaay too cringe-inducing for children raised in the make-believe world of Catholic school to watch. And then when Prince Richard and King Philip share a kiss, fuggetabout it -- the Pope's blessed children giggled and snorted like they were at a goddamn Ace Ventura movie.

I almost pinned the kids' teacher to the wall after the show and told him on no uncertain terms that he was henceforth allowed to bring his kidlets to nothing more representative of the real world than Cats, but I figured the insult would be lost on him. I mean, really -- it's one thing to subscribe to a mythology that insists the entire world is heterosexual and homogeneous and oblivious to your enduring immaturity in the privacy of your own church or school or home, but to bring children indoctrinated in such nonsense out into the real world where they can embarrass themselves and irritate everyone around them is both rude and ignorant. And if this were truly an educational outing, you'd think any teacher smarter than a size seven soap dish would read the play first and either warn the kids that it didn't march in lockstep with the narrow-minded viewpoints of the almighty Church -- or just keep the kids home where they could watch videos about ... oh, I don't know ... supernatural beings who walk on water or Davey and Goliath or goddamn bunnies frolicking in a fucking meadow.

Repeated audience distractions notwithstanding, we really enjoyed the show, and we capped off our evening with drinks at both Sidetrack and the new Caribou on Halsted before heading home to crash.

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