One of my New Year’s resolutions was to go to the theatre at least once a month. There’s no easier place to fulfill that plan than New York City. I enjoy watching actors tell a story on-stage live, in real time. It moves me.
My minor (almost major) in college was Theatre Arts. One of my professors required that we go see theatre weekly. Broadway was not in the budget, so I’d scour the theatre listings and find amazing but inexpensive productions in obscure parts of the city. I’d bring My Mom with me and we’d have a great time whether the plays were good or not.
Theatre was a big part of our family tradition. We didn’t go on vacation but My Parents made sure they took me to see plays. We saw a mix of dramas and musicals and everything August Wilson. My Dad used to say, “If there are Negroes on Broadway, we’re going.”
The last play we saw together as a family was “The Book of Mormon.” It was to celebrate My Parents’ wedding anniversary. My Mom is super catholic and I was worried that she’d hate the play, but just a few minutes into the opening she turned to me and said, “This is wonderful.” And I stopped holding my breath.
So I renewed that tradition for myself this year. And ironically, Broadway is still not in the budget. (“Hamilton” 2020 is on my Bucket List). But I am always on the lookout for deals. I pay close attention to the flyers I get in the mail. The ones that say: “Seats starting at…” Of course, finding one of those is a challenge. Last month I saw “Three Tall Women.” But from my seat in the last row, it was more like Three Short White Chicks. But the content and caliber of the performance more than made it back to the cheap seats.
This month I scored an orchestra seat ticket to see “Saint Joan,” a play about the dangers of organized religion and undiagnosed mental illness. Watching a woman stand her ground in the face of epic level mansplaining is timeless.
The lead, Condola Rashad, was even more wonderful than advertised. And we have something in common. I too will be on Broadway. A few blocks north and for one night only I’ll be performing at Caroline’s Comedy Club on Wednesday, June 6, as part of Sisters of Comedy. No one will be burned at the stake but the show will be fire and sure to include heretical utterances aplenty.
So, if you too have resolved to avail yourself of more live entertainment, to be moved by people performing in real time then I hope to see you in the audience.
Leighann Lord is a veteran stand-up comedian, author, and podcaster.