Okay, sure, technically he was working. So, yeah, I had to drive myself to the theater, and drive myself back home afterward. And sit by myself during the show. (Well, not totally by myself--the Gloomiest Man in the World sat next to me. Seriously. Pure Eeyore. Eyes to the fore, did not crack a smile the whole evening. Hey, it's not my fault he was late buying his tickets, and his wife had to sit down on the front row with her friends. I would have offered to trade seats with her, so they could sit together, but frankly she looked like she was having fun where she was, and I didn't want to spoil her evening.)
TG was, of course, running all the technical stuff (hey, I told you he was "technically" working, right?), and so couldn't stay by my side and listen to my
But still. I consider it a date, because we were in the same building, watching the same performance.
And a fantastic performance it was, too! I got to go see my favorite comedy troupe/jugglers, The Flying Karamazov Brothers. You might remember them from this earlier post.
Sadly, the guys didn't come over for dinner this time, but the troupe is every bit as entertaining as they always are. I was delighted to find out they would be performing their famous trick, "The Terror." As I explained in the earlier post, this trick involves juggling a salt shaker, a meat cleaver, a flaming torch, an egg, a block of dry ice, a fish, a ukelele, a bottle of champagne (with the safety wire removed), and a skillet. By the end of the trick, they're frying the fish and egg in the skillet, and drinking the champagne. Really cool.
What's really interesting to me, though (writer that I am), is the build up to the trick. From the very beginning of the show they start to set it up. A sign (it says "TERROR," aptly enough) is placed stage right, and left there throughout the show. One by one, during small breaks between all their other truly awesome sets, the objects to be juggled in the TERROR are placed there.
The tension builds with each addition. All the while we're watching the guys (did I mention they were in kilts? Yeah. *happy sigh*) juggle pins, balls, and funny words, in the back of our mind is, Oh, my gosh--how will they ever be able to juggle all those weird--and dangerous!--things without disaster befalling them?
During the course of the show, the guys sometimes drop a pin, or a ball, or an egg. These things happen. They're great at covering the flubs with funny banter. My personal favorite? One guy saying to another, in a stage whisper, "I don't think they noticed." ("They" being the audience.)
The thing about these flubs--and I'm pretty sure the guys know this--is it builds the tension even more. If they went through the entire show without any mistakes, by the time they got to the TERROR, the audience would be too relaxed. Too certain they'd get through it just fine. It's so much more effective if they let a little doubt build in the minds of the audience members, the fear that the trick might...not...work. That it might fail.
That is tension.
It did eventually work. But not until the third try, and not before they dropped the torch and almost set the bench it rolled under on fire. (Which, TG assures me, was not rehearsed. When you're performing in a very old, wooden structure, with fire, you do not purposefully take chances. Plus, it's a really, really hard trick.)
The point is, by the time the Terror started, we audience members were hushed, holding our breath, trying to help keep those TERROR objects in the air by adding the force of our will (or so it felt to me) to the jugglers' combined skill. We were that involved. That invested in the outcome. The two times it failed were almost unbearable.
And when success finally came (!!!!)? Let's just say it was sweet.
I want to write books like that. :)