Last week, I finally got to do something I had wanted to do for many years. I went to see the broadway show, Wicked. As with most things that I do, it was not without some drama.
When I heard Wicked was coming to my city a few months ago, I got very excited. Thus commenced the mad dash of texts to friends to try to find someone who wanted to go with me. I needed a girl’s night at the theater and someone would be coming along for the ride! Luckily, my friend who also came with me to the Singing in the Rain showing, excitedly agreed to join me for the show.
Tickets were purchased. Husbands were informed of their dad duties for that evening. Anticipation was building. It was going to be an awesomely fun night.
Then, the fateful night arrived. Despite the fact that I drove all the way home from the city in ridiculous traffic, just so I could change out of my suit, grab the tickets and my friend, and immediately turn right around and drive back to the city, the evening started off without a hitch. We chatted in the car about our equally crappy job situations, and just generally enjoyed each others’ company. When we got downtown, we went to a local mexican place for some quick chow before the show. I had asked if she wanted to grab some food before dinner, as this area is kind of my hood, so I knew of a good but fast mexican joint across the street from the theater. Luckily, she is a fan, so we went ahead and got some delicious burritos and nachos. Once we were finished our Mexican feast, we were off to the show! First stop . . . alcohol. We both got a glass of wine before going into the theater, of course. Once we made it to our seats, we realized that they were actually pretty good. They were on the floor, right Orchestra, about 15 rows back. We had a great view.
And what we also had was some great pre-show entertainment. There was a guy behind us, who was regaling his date with a vomitous amount of stories about himself, which my friend and I found highly entertaining and bizarre. Some of the best things he said:
I was always typecast as a lawyer when I was an actor. And then my kids actually became lawyers. So, the fake lawyer paid for the real lawyers’ education. (Oh, and I snuck a peek . . . he was nobody recognizable).
My mom was an addict. But it wasn’t drugs or alcohol. She as a professional poker player. She used to cuss up a storm.
Have you ever heard of the product Peter Pan Peanut Butter? I was the first kid, in 1949, to ever utter the phrase on TV, “________________.” (Yeah, neither one of us can actually remember what the phrase he said was. But it was familiar to both of us).
I had a weird childhood . . . I never went fishing. (There was a laundry list of normal things here, but I can’t remember anything but the fishing).
I never had any pets growing up. I housesat and just fell in love with this dog. We had a love affair. (Um, ick? And his date was a dog trainer or shower or something. When she could finally get a word in, she talked about some dog with the hugest head ever that she had at a show).
Unfortunately, the show started in the middle of this rapid fire history lesson, but it was just as well. Eventually, our incessant and uncontrollable giggling at his ridiculousness would have given us away.
Popular. I know about Popu-ular!
The show itself was great. I will say there were a few wonky voice issues, and some bum notes throughout, but mostly it was very entertaining, if a bit long. The first half lasted close to two and a half hours. And that was just before the Intermission. Unfortunately, this is when the trouble began.
As my friend and I were about to get out of our seats to go potty and probably get another glass of wine, she mentioned that her stomach did not feel well. Uh-oh. My first thought was that it was the Mexican food coming back to haunt her, as Mexican has historically been known to do. Then, as we were walking out of the aisle, she said she was feeling light headed. No sooner than she said this and we got past the seats, she told me she had to sit, and plunked down in an alcove to the side of the aisle. Double Uh-oh. She said she was ok, that she just felt a little dizzy and she needed to sit for a second. Ok. So we sat for maybe a minute or less. She then said she felt a little better but wanted to go to the bathroom, so she got up, and while I held onto her arm, we walked out of the theater. Unfortunately, we only made it about 10 feet, just enough to get us out of the theater proper and just barely into the hallway, before she dropped like a sack. Once minute I was holding her arm and the next she was just gone. She sank down to the floor before I could even react. Now, I was worried. This had gone way past uh-oh.
I crouched down beside her and asked what she needed. She said she just needed a minute. I felt her head and she was clammy, so I told her she should probably just lie down. I didn’t want her to hit her head if she fell over, even from her sitting/leaning position. So she laid there. And I rubbed her arm. And wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t going to leave her laying there to get help, and she was conscious and lucid, but the problem was that I’m a lawyer not a doctor. Plus, I’m not really the best in crisis situations. My hubs is the calm, cool, logical, take action one. I kinda fall apart. But not this time.
An usher came out about a minute after this happened and asked if we needed help. Um, there is a person laying in the middle of the floor, so I’m thinking the answer is, “Hell Yes.” I asked her if there was a Medic or Medical Professional in the building that she could call. She acknowledged my request and then walked away, presumably to find someone. The next person who came over was obviously some sort of supervisor, and once again asked what we needed. I reiterated that we needed someone with medical knowledge. As we were waiting, people were pouring out of the theater and walking along the hallway, and many of them stopped to ask if we needed help. I assured them that someone was coming.
Fortunately for us, the tenth person to ask if she was ok was actually a doctor. She was just a lady who was there to see the show, and happened to walk by and see my friend laying on the ground. So she came to give her assistance. She was an angel and I was so happy to see her! I have never felt so useless in all my life as when I was sitting next to my friend, petting her arm, and having no idea what else to do. Around the same time, security came over and wanted to take her to the hospital, but she didn’t want to go, insisting she was fine. They were very persistent, though, and it finally took the doctor to tell the security guys (off duty cops) to back off and “she has the right to refuse an ambulance! You can’t make her go to the hospital!” She was completely awesome and I loved her.
Soon after, my friend sat up and was ok. I ran to the bathroom (once she was in the capable hands of our doctor friend) because she just kept asking for a cold washrag for her head, so I got her some wet paper towels, which was the closest facsimile. The color returned to her face and the doctor, who was taking her pulse, said that it had slowed down and she seemed better. She definitely looked better, and after a wet rag on her head, and a few sips of water, she said she felt better. She figures it was the fact she had not eaten much that day, hadn’t drank any water, and had a glass of wine while sitting in a hot, dark theater. Whatever the reason, the doctor thought she was ok enough not to go to the hospital.
At this point, everyone was working their way back into the theater to see the second half, and my friend asked if I wanted to go back in. I told her absolutely not, she was not well, and I was taking her ass home. She felt really bad that we would miss the second half of the show. Especially after paying over $100 for each ticket! She even went so far as to suggest she could just sit on the floor outside of the theater while I went back inside to watch the show. Yeah, that was gonna happen. Pfft. Despite all of my faults (and oh god, there are so many), one of my best qualities is that I am a kickass friend. I will do anything and everything for my friends, which fact somehow contradicts my obvious selfish nature, but it’s true. So, missing the end of the play was of no consequence to me when it came to helping my friend and making sure she was ok. Of course I am disappointed that I didn’t get to see the entire thing, but my friend’s health was obviously more important than seeing a silly play, and there was no way we were staying while she felt the way she did.
Before we left, we were able to talk to a manager and filled out an “incident report” and I’m going to try to contact them to see if we can somehow get other tickets to see the end of the show. I don’t have high hopes, but I’ll give it the ole lawyer’s try. And as much as I love my friend, this is the second time in a row we have gone to some type of show and missed the ending. I think she might be jinxed. I may need to find someone else to go to any future entertainment events.
On the bright side, the ride home did contain the phrases, “You’ve gotta love an honest stripper,” and, “Well, that was just a show dick.” So, you know, it wasn’t ALL bad.