We went to a wedding yesterday. At the reception – which was a full-on 9-course Chinese banquet, although I counted 11 courses before the cake – the girl next to me started making small talk. Her date (fiancee? husband? boyfriend?) was part of the band and so he was up and down through most of dinner, so somewhere between the shark fin soup and the abalone with mushrooms, she asked me what I do.
When I told her I work at a theatre company, she asked me which one, and it turned out she’s actually kind of into theatre. She’s actually been to see shows that we have put on, the most recent 3 years ago, but that’s still far better than most people I find myself making small talk with. I immediately upgraded my conversation from the standard “talking about my work with people who don’t care about theatre.”
“What have you seen around here that’s good?” she asked me, and I reached out for anything, anything we’ve seen lately.
But it appears I’m a theatre major failure, because it’s been months since I’ve seen anything. Well, I guess I’ve seen shows at my work. I resorted to fibbing and talking about shows at other companies, that I’m sure were very good, but they closed before I had a chance to see them.
Erin recently saw Chinglish at Berkeley Rep, and she raved about it, so I almost said that I’d seen that, but luckily something stopped me, because it turned out that my tablemate LOVES David Henry Hwang and saw Chinglish last week. Yeesh, that could have been messy.
After the reception I got to thinking: we should really see more Bay Area theatre. There is so much here. It’s just that a lot of it is so spread out and/or difficult to get to. And let’s face it. I’m into being at home and in pajamas by 8pm these days. I missed opening night of my own company’s current show, and haven’t actually managed to see it yet – and this is the last week of performances.
But I think I might see if I can get tickets to see Chinglish. I’ve heard such good things.