Monday, December 19, 2016

Oh Ebenezer Scrooge, how I love you!

Many years ago I was part of a book club group at the church I attended.  My friend Shirley, from nearby Napoleon, also took part in the group, so I had transportation.  I enjoyed the monthly discussions about our current book.  I hear the group eventually was asked to go elsewhere for their meetings because we weren't always reading "religious" books.  Somebody probably complained.  You know how people are.  But I digress.

One winter the leader of our group asked if we'd be interested in going to see "A Christmas Carol" in Kansas City on the UMKC campus.  I don't recall what the price per ticket was then, but I do know I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to be able to afford it; those weren't prosperous times for us.  I wasn't expecting to enjoy the performance much because, after all, I've been familiar with the book, as well as several movie versions, since childhood.  But it sounded like a fun outing.

However, seeing it live, with the cast members actually running through the audience at times, was a whole new experience.  I've never forgotten it.

Believe it or not, Cliff and I are much better off financially living on Social Security than we were back then, mostly because the only bills we have now are utilities:  Phone (Internet), electricity, propane, and cell phones.  Plus gasoline, which we charge to a credit card and pay monthly.  So when there's some event I want to see, I can actually afford to go.  This year I had a strong desire to see "Christmas Carol" again.

Cliff didn't share my desire, but then he seldom does.  His hearing impairment makes it difficult for him, but honestly he wouldn't want to go even if he could hear well.  He doesn't like driving in the city, he doesn't like crowds.  He really likes staying home.  So I had to find a sucker relative willing to be my driver.  At this point, someone always likes to point out the fact that "if you could drive, you wouldn't have to find a driver".

Seriously?  Does anybody go to something like this alone?  I don't think I would; I'm a loner, but not to the point of going to events alone.

I talked to a granddaughter who was willing.  Later on, I mentioned the event to another granddaughter who I've never asked to take me anywhere except Van's Warped Tour one time, because our interests are so different.  She thought she might enjoy the Dickens' classic.  So I ordered three tickets, for myself and two granddaughters.  It was expensive, but we don't buy Christmas gifts, so I could afford it.  What a nice way to celebrate the season, with two people I love.

Enter the coldest temperatures we've had in three years plus an ice storm that turned sidewalks and roads into a skating rink.  Saturday, the day before we were to attend the play, I told myself to forget it.  However, Saturday evening the oldest granddaughter assured me she wasn't afraid to risk the roads on Sunday.  As a matter of fact, she was out running around in her car during the storm Saturday evening.  So it was back on.

Sunday I called the other granddaughter to give her an "out" if she didn't want to brave the cold.  She said she wasn't feeling the best and would rather not go.  Oldest granddaughter and I tried to think of somebody else that might want to join us because I sure did hate to waste a ticket (did I mention they weren't cheap?).  Unfortunately one person had plans, and the other had bronchitis.  There was one local lady I thought would enjoy it, but she had mentioned on Facebook that her husband gave her orders to stay home due to weather issues.  Oh well, at least a granddaughter and I would get to go.

Amber had no idea what she was in for.  She had never been to any kind of play in her life, and she had never watched "A Christmas Carol", nor had she read the story.

Looking back, I wish I had used the third ticket for three-year-old Cora, the child we babysit.  I didn't consider her because I thought she'd get bored: no three-year-old would understand the plot of that story.  Ghosts?  People talking with a British accent?  So much dialogue?  But there were young children throughout the audience as young as she is, and we never heard a peep out of them.  There was just so much going on... singing, dancing.  The cast members came out into the audience many, many times.  Yes, I should have taken Cora, even though it took place at her nap-time.  Maybe next year.

The play was BETTER than I remembered, partly because in 2010 they added a set that revolves on the stage.  I won't try to describe it, but wow!  It really added something.

Our only little problem getting to the play was that the tickets stated the play is held in Spencer Theater.  We couldn't see any sort of sign with Spencer theater listed, although the GPS told us we had reached our destination.  Amber drove around the block.  I should say "blocks" because some streets are one-way.  We were sitting at an empty intersection discussing what we needed to do when a police car pulled up at the opposite corner.  I guess he recognized damsels in destress, because he pulled up beside us and rolled his window down.  Amber told him we were looking for Spencer Theater.  He said, "Just get behind me.  I'll take you there."

Folks, there is no sign anywhere that says "Spencer Theater".
picture shamelessly stolen from the Internet

I loved the production, and Amber said she liked it too.  In fact, she said any time I need transportation, she would be my taxi.  I told her "Stomp" is coming up, and the granddaughter who agreed to go with me usually has to work on Sundays; now I have an alternate ride.  I also told her I'd give her a break and make Cliff take me to see Arlo Guthrie in May, because I really don't think Arlo would be her cup of tea at all.  Of course, he's not Cliff's cup of tea either, but he married me for better or worse, so sometimes I play my "for-better-or-worse" card.  

I am so thankful I got to go yesterday.  If I could manage it, I'd go every year, just for the big dose of Christmas spirit I get from it.  

God bless us, every one!


Jon said...

I like the trailer. It looks like a great production.

Charade said...

We were just talking with a friend the other day about favorite productions, and which ones might we like to see again and again. Stomp is my all-time favorite, and I would go weekly if I could. It is such an energy-adder, and even folks who can barely walk seem a little lighter and friskier on their way out of the theater. Enjoy!


Live productions always leave you with a feel good feeling. glad you got to go.

Mary Degli Esposti said...

I saw STOMP many years ago in NY & it was wonderful. And extremely aptly named.
I took several children from The Ronald McDonald House many, many years ago to see A Christmas Carol a few years in a row. I was a volunteer @ The House in my 20s & 30s & I acted as chaperone.
The kids did understand enough to adore it. I adored that the kids adored it. Ha, I liked me better then.... I would not have minded the weather then, but now I'd not go.