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Theatre-going

There are two basic situations in which I buy theatre or dance tickets: when I’m traveling or when I’m drinking.  Because I generally travel by myself and I don’t search theatre websites when I’m drinking with friends, I’ve gone to dozens of shows as an adult, but almost all of them alone.  I rarely think much of it unless someone else brings it up.  (E.g., “Oh, you’re seeing something at the Kennedy Center?  Who with?”)  I’ve always figured that performances aren’t really good times to talk, so company isn’t necessary.

Every now and then, though, I do wish I had someone along with me, if only to help me make sense of what I’ve seen.  Tonight, for instance, I saw the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s performance of Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray, which is about (yet not about) Abraham Lincoln and is almost impossible for me to describe.  I would have had absolutely no idea what was going on if I hadn’t read the program notes, but I came away deeply impressed by the show; it was one of the most inventive productions I’ve ever seen.  The set was simple yet incredibly flexible and consistently fascinating.  The mixture of poetry, instrumental music, spirituals, and historical texts overlaying the dance gave the piece enormous emotional range.  I just wish I knew what it all meant…

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