A Rock n’ Roll Experience

28 05 2009

Last night I went to go see the Tom Stoppard play, “Rock n’ Roll” at The Studio Theater on 14th Street. The show was good. You should go see it. It’s fun. But this post isn’t a review of the show. It’s a recount of my experience seeing the play…

So I sat down in my seat at the theater (in the round by the way), and a young couple sit down next to me. I’m sitting next to the guy who can’t be older than me, and was overwhelmed by a strong odor of what smelled like a vegetable burrito with extra onions. Yeah. Weird, I know. I could even pick out the ingredients by the smells. I could totally smell green peppers, beans, onions, rice? (does rice even smell?). And this smell stayed with the guy throughout the whole show. Hey, it could be worse, but it definitely was distracting.

So the first scene of the show has a young girl laying on a chaise, smoking pot, and (as far as the audience knows) possibly hallucinating. She sees some crazy rock musician playing a flute and he is called The Piper. So The Piper is wearing really tight pants/borderline tights and no shirt and a long bandana around his head. Since the theater was In The Round, I was sitting facing his backside. So, I’m not sure if this was a “wardrobe malfunction” or it was purposeful, but his butt was definitely peeping out of his tight pants. That may have been my favorite part of the show. His tights were obviously too small and falling down and thus, not able to contain his booty. Ha. So yeah, it was quite pleasantly distracting. Actually, I feel like everyone sitting in the two sections facing his backside, was distracted by the butt view. And to make it worse/better, the theater space is fairly small… the sections of seats I was sitting in only had 3 or 4 rows, so it was a pretty intimate space.

The final high(or low)light of my experience was the other person I sat next to during the performance. On the other side of me sat an older man, maybe in his 50s or older. I especially noticed that in the second act, he was sitting uncomfortably close to me. It’s not like the theater’s seats are crammed together. There is a good amount of space. And this man wasn’t overweight either. But you know how in most theater seats, you can at least shift your body weight so that you are leaning more to one side than the other of your seat? This man was sitting awfully close to me. And there was no escape for me, because I was already sitting as close to “Vegetable Burrito” as I could while still being able to breathe undisturbed. I could feel this man’s leg touching my leg (up at the thigh). It was so awkward and uncomfortable to know some old man was touching the top of my leg. I don’t know if it was purposeful or not, but it was not favorable. So on a few awkward occasions in the second act, I ever-so-slightly tried to move away from the man. I tried not to make it obvious what I was doing, but the man also realized and he too, sort of shifted away from me (only to return back to his original position). It got to the point where I had tried to shift away from him enough times that it was just becoming more awkward to take any notice of the “situation” so I just tried to pretend he wasn’t actually touching my leg with his. I tried to make myself “grin and bear it” into the end of the show. It was definitely an unpleasant distraction. After the final bow and the show ended, I bolted out of my seat to escape my awkward “seat mates.”




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