The ladies check their cell phones. From "Die Walküre" on Monday to "Jersey Boys" and "Wicked" on Friday and Saturday, I've spent the past week sitting in expensive chairs.
But Althouse, did you enjoy yourself? Review the shows!
Do I review shows? I think you'll find that I do not.
Not a shred of information? Of judgment?
I'm too afraid of being boring. I'm afraid to take those expensive seats because I'm afraid of being bored and I'm afraid to write about them because I don't want to be boring. I will say something about each show, but bear in mind that these are not reviews. These are just a few things I dare to say.
1. "Die Walküre." I never took Fricka seriously before. She seemed like the annoying wife who had to show up and sing once to make God do something he didn't want to do and set the tragedy in motion. But Stephanie Blythe made me really believe her point of view, a rock-solid ban on adultery. And isn't it fascinating to be so outraged by adultery, when there is also that brother-sister incest, which is what shocks the mortals in the audience? There are so many more adulterers in the audience than violators of the incest taboo.
2. "Jersey Boys." If you've been reading this blog from the beginning, maybe you know that back in 2004, I mourned that no one cared about The Four Seasons anymore. Less than 2 years later, a big Broadway show about them opened. But even though The Four Seasons were the first group I loved — and I loved them from the first few seconds of "Sherry" heard on the radio — I wasn't that eager to hear a singer impersonate Frankie Valli. I can't express how sublime that voice seemed to me when I was 11. Does Michael Longoria sound like him? Superficially, yes. But would I go to see a Four Seasons cover band? [ADDED: I mean tribute band.] Of course not. I love all the songs, but I'd rather play the originals. As for the story behind the songs, it's somewhat interesting and quickly told. But I'd rather play the originals and enter the deep emotional space of the past. Must I sit — contorting to see around the melon-headed man in front of me — to stare at the stage and and listen to a little man who is not Frankie Valli, who has a voice but no sex appeal?
3. "Wicked." Great set and costumes and neat, complicated story, but must every song in the show sound like those horrible, overblown pop songs they write for the finale of "American Idol"? Glinda and Elphaba got me thinking about Diana DeGarmo and Fantasia.
I'm through accepting limitsIt's an "American Idol" song. And it goes on and on like that. Pursue your dreams! Be true to yourself! Don't let anyone stop you now! That's fine for you, but what about me?
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But 'till I try, I'll never know