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A theater critic burns through memo pads at a fast clip.Mine get filled up with the stuff you’d imagine they would: bits of dialogue, a lighting cue, dashed-off descriptions of a set or a costume. For me at least, the notes are little more than mnemonic street lamps, each one lighting up a few minutes of the play I just watched. I don’t often write down anything I’d consider real criticism, unless, say, I’m just not buying what a given group of performers is selling and I can’t put my finger on just exactly why until I hit on a word like tentative – that stuff, I’ll write down.
But my notes also contain, ah, other stuff. Lookit:if the bf doesn’t wanna join me when I review something, I tend to go alone. And when I do, I do what everyone who sits alone in a theater has done since Seven Against Thebes was packing them in.
No. Not that. There’s zoning. Also: ew.
No: I eavesdrop the hell out of you.
Here’s some of the pearls of – let’s be generous and call it wisdom – overheard during Fringe.
“No, we’ve never been to Fringe before. We’re from Annandale.” Matronly sort at Cat-Headed Baby, blithely asserting a cause-and-effect relationship where one doesn’t necessarily exist.
“I dunno. Do they grab you and make you come on stage?I hate that. It’s like, dude, I’m paying you to watch you.” Skeptical teen perusing fliers at Fort Fringe, expressing his conviction that “audience participation” is oxymoronic in nature.
“…Antonin Scalia’s favorite restaurant…” I’ve overheard this phrase, or a variation thereof, every time I get within 20 feet of Fort Fringe. I imagine Fringe staffers hear it on the hour. Please stop.
“Did you get that thing where she was in the shower?” Furrow-browed young woman leaving Born Normal, confessing her slow-on-the-uptakeness in re: one of the show’s more abstract jokes.If you’re reading this: It took me a while to get that, too, but I think she’s talking about sperm.Or crabs, possibly.No, probably sperm.
“Are you seeing the arms on that guy? [Grunt.]” A slightly tipsy admirer of the male form, shamelessly objectifying one particular Dizzy Miss Lizzie castmember.
“Well, I haven’t had any of my patients die unless it was just their time.” Nothing to do with Fringe, really, except that we overheard it over a post-Born Normal Guinness at the Fox, and, seriously: WHAT? Listen, Dr. Calvinist: My time, schmy time — I get wheeled into your ER with a sucking chest wound, I need to see a little more hustle from you.
Got any more?