Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Theatre That Makes Everyone Happy

Have you heard about Theatre Bay Area's Free Night of Theatre? No? Well, it's exactly what the name suggests: a night of free theatre! Actually, it's more than one night, and over 70 Bay Area theatres donated tickets that T.B.A. then gave away. Theatres that include The Magic, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks, American Conservatory Theatre and a whole host of small companies. All you had to do to get the free tickets was go to the TIX Booth in Union Square or log onto the Theatre Bay Area website. The latter proved to be a bit of a challenge, as the site was overrun with traffic when the tickets went on "sale."

The whole point is to encourage people who wouldn't normally go to the theatre to give it a try for free. And frankly, I think that's pretty neat.

I thought I had been shut out of the Free Night of Theatre because I got caught in the website congestion and wasn't able to submit my online order form. But then I got tickets for Travesties at the American Conservatory Theatre, and Fabulous Patti and I went last night. We had great seats, too. I had assumed A.C.T. would have just donated empties from the last two rows of the balcony, but there we were in the front of the orchestra.

Unfortunately, I didn't like the play very much. The acting was really good, and I liked the staging, but the script didn't do much for me. Yes, it's Tom Stoppard, and we're all supposed to love him because he's a genius, but I found the play to be overly wordy and too self-consciously clever. Oooh, neato, James Joyce, Valdimir Lenin and Tristan Tzara meet during the first World War and debate art and politics. A good idea, but no. But let me repeat, the production is really good and features a fabulously played scene between two of the female characters. Besides, it was free! So no complaints here.

A night of free theatre under my belt, I'm off work today and have tons to do. I have to go to the gym, run errands, work on my column, practice my singing and then meet Denise and Paul at the Roxie tonight for the Pixies movie. Then tomorrow it starts all over again with more exercise, a tour of my gym's fancy expansion and band rehearsal.

And on Friday, back to work. That moment will come all too soon....

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