On Monday night, Steve and I attended the Barrymore Awards, Philly’s version of Broadway’s Tony Awards: annual recognition of the year’s best plays and performances. Steve got us tickets because he has been understudying at the Walnut Street and Arden Theaters during the last few years, and he knows some members of the local show biz community. With one exception (Gypsy) I have not seen one minute of any of the nominated shows, but felt it would be a fun night of glitz and glamour (and a nice night out with my hubby).
|Aiden's Shakespeare puppet-closest I've gotten to theatre lately!|
So we got all dolled up and headed into the city, noting on arrival at the venue that our seats were waaaay down front; we were surrounded by nominees who were seated close so they could leap to the stage when (if) their names were called. We got a few puzzled glances from theatre folk trying to place us in a show, but we were mostly ignored by our excited, formally attired aisle-mates.
For the next two-and-a-half (no intermission) hours, I sat and watched as people I had never laid eyes on before strutted their stuff in the musical numbers, or wept with joy as they made their acceptance speeches. I had no skin in the game, as it were, and had I been obligated to cast a ballot I would have had to resort to the eeny-meeny-miney-mo method of voting. The Lifetime Achievement nod went to an aging actress, none of whose lifetime of achievements have been witnessed by me. The Emerging Artist nominees have all, inexplicably, been working for at least 10-15 years in the theatre (that’s some slow emerging). I will mention that the Best Musical winner was a rock musical about ax murderess Lizzie Borden, and leave it at that. Even the prospect of an open bar at the end was not enough to keep the Seyfrieds from making a speedy exit, and we were home before 11 PM.
Steve at least had some acquaintances among the nominees, so there was some genuine interest on his part. For me, the evening reinforced the wisdom of my choice to stop performing years ago—this just isn’t my crowd. But it was also a reminder that my attending awards ceremonies to which I have absolutely no connection is a strange pastime indeed. This realization does not stop me from watching the Oscars in years where I haven’t seen ANY of the nominated films or performers, or the Emmys (even though I basically no longer watch TV). But I came away from the Barrymores sort of wishing I could have given my ticket to a starry-eyed theatre super-fan, who would have loved every one of the 150 minutes of sitting (did I mention no intermission?) and cheering for her favorite performers and plays.
If I ever go to the Barrymores again, I vow to have seen every single nominated show! Even the ax murderess musicals! Then the 2 ½ hours in my seat will fly!