Monday, April 27, 2015

Phantom of the Opera OR My First Time

At the theater, perv!

This Friday, I am taking Kim to see Phantom of the Opera.

Now, Kim is not a big theatre goer.  If I weren't around, I suspect she wouldn't go at all.  The only thing that could get her to the theatre is a steamin' hunk of a man trying to thrust some culture upon her...and, that's pretty much exactly how it first happened!

I am slightly nervous about this particular show.  Kim has really enjoyed, ummm, maybe like 1 or 2 shows I've taken her to?  Let's see..."A Christmas Story."  I think she liked that one.  What else???  Uhhhhh. 

I won't bring up the time she fell asleep during the "Book of Mormon."  I mean, I pick on her for that all the time, so I won't write about it here.

Moving on.  This post is not about taking Kim to the Phantom of the Opera.  It's about the first time I got to see Phantom of the Opera!!!!  *prepare dream sequence*

The year was 199...uhhhh...something.  1994?  I was getting my first tastes as a theatre nerd in high school.  I had just scored the starring role in the Music Man...a production being put on by a local kids theatre troupe.  No no...not Harold Hill.  The other starring role!  You know!  Tommy Djilas!  The super sexy kid who was picking up all the ladies with his knowledge of repetative motion and saying "Jeely Kly" (whatever the hell that means) all the time!  I mean check this freakin' adorable is this:

Shout out to Jaimie!
I should point out that, at this time, I was also the drum major for the high school marching band.  You'll learn the the relevance of this soon. 
That fall, I was invited by my buddy Cirese (actually...I think it was her mom.  Gail always liked me more than Cirese did, anyway), to go see Phantom of the Opera at Gammage Auditorium at ASU in Phoenix. 
Well, jeely kly...I had never been to a real life honest to goodness stage show before!  Count me in!
So...we roadtrip!  Took the 4 hour drive with Gail at the wheel (because for some reason, Cirese refused to get a drivers license until she was 37), me chilling in the back with my Sega GameGear and Cirese's friend Jennifer (Jennifer?) wondering why she had to sit in the back with the Junior (they were both Seniors, you see). 
Finally, we arrive at Gammage.  We quickly discover that our seats are in the very last row at the super tippy top of the auditorium.  Like, row ZZ or something.  Gail wasn't sitting with us for some reason.  So, I was stuck with the 2 girls who wanted nothing to do with me because they were too busy talking about how hot that Jack Weldon guy was or something.
Me, however...I am totally stoked to be attending my first professional show!  I'm practically skipping up the steps!  All the way up to the super tippy top. 
We sit down.  Cirese and Jennifer are still gossiping with each other and completely ignoring me.  It's about then that I notice something.  They are both holding programs.  I am not.
"Hey, Cirese,"  I say.
"WHAT?" she snaps!  Clearly, I just interrupted something juicy. 
"I didn't get a program." I inform her.
She looks at me like I am the biggest idiot in the world. "So go get one." she says rolling her eyes. 
Oh...yeah that seems rather easy now that she mentions it. 
So, I giddily skip on down the stairs, all 500 or so of them, anxiously waiting to read all about the guy playing the Phantom this evening.
I'm so happy that I decide I am just going to skip the last couple steps at the end.  I'm just going to do a nice little hop over the last steps.  *Hop*
See, the thing about hopping is that you need to land on your feet.  It's a bad idea to land on your ankle.  Which is what I did.  Somehow, I landed wrong, my foot rolled and my entire 120 pound body (Gawd I miss those days) landed onto my ankle causing a very gross crunching noise.
Now...a few feet away, handing out programs was a young lady.  She was rather attractive.  I assume she was an ASU coed volunteering her time at the theatre.  She had obviously just seen me fall.  She rushes over to me!  "Oh my god, are you ok?"
About now, I wish that I had fallen in a pool or something so I could pretend I wasn't breathing.  But, alas...I had tripped on the stairs and looked like a complete dufus in the process.  So, I quickly jump back up, brush myself off and say, "Of course!  May I please have a program?" 
She hands me a program, I grab the banister and painfully hobble myself back up the stairs. 
When I get to the top, I say to Cirese, "Cirese...I think I just broke my ankle."
"That's nice," she responds.
And then the show starts.
Fast forward.  Nobody is sitting in front of me, so I plop my foot up on the seat in row YY and enjoy act 1 immensely!  This show is amazing!  After a while, the chandelier falls and it's time for intermission.
I get up, stretch and take my first step toward the doors. 
*Plop*  I fall down.  My ankle will not hold any weight.
This is when the girls finally notice me.  They help me to my feet and down the stairs.  Apparently, the hot usher coed had been watching me.  Because, by the time we got down all 500 or so steps, the theatre manager was waiting for me.
He takes me out to the lobby and makes me sit while he fetches the first aid kit.  In the mean time...I take off my shoe and sock. 
Holy Mary Mother of God!  Not only is my ankle black and blue from my toes to half way up my calf, it has ballooned to the size of a softball!
The manager returns.  From the first aid kit he pulls out the ice pack.  It's one of those that you have to pop and mix up all the science on the inside before putting on the booboo.  This guy can't figure it out.  Me...I've been working in the Parks and Rec after school program for the past 2 years.  I am well versed in this technology.  So, I snag the ice pack from him, pop it, put it on my ankle and say, "See...I'm fine.  Can I go back in, now?  The intermission is almost over."
"No." say the manager.
"I can't let you go back in until we know for sure you are ok.  I've called the paramedics."
I sprained my ankle and the dude called the paramedics.  See what happens when we all get sue happy?
Inside, I hear the music begin.  Shortly after, the very familiar chorus of "Masquerade." I am getting pissed. 
"Let me go back in," I say. 
"We can't until the paramedics clear you."  He responds.
"I paid money for these tickets.  I want to see the show!"
"We'll give you new tickets to another date."
"I live 4 HOURS AWAY!"  I can't just come to a different show."
"Can't let you in."
Finally the paramedics show up.  They look at my ankle, declare it a very bad sprain and ask me if I want to go to the ER.
"Heck NO!  I want to see the show!!!"
FINALLY...they let me back in.  The get me a folding chair and let me sit in the aisle by the doors.  I caught the very end of the play. 
Before we left the theatre, the manager gave us a huge bag of ice.  I sat in the backset of Gail's car for the 4 hour drive home with my ankle sitting on the bag, which was quickly become a bag of water...Arizona, don't forget. 
We arrive back in Lake Havasu where, before dropping me off at home, Cirese and Jennifer made fun of me a couple more times.  I got out of the car, hopped in my mom's car and took a trip to the emergency room.  It was about 2 AM.
A splint, some pain meds and a bruised ego later, I prepared to start my week back at school where my first class was...Marching Band.

Needless to say, Mr. Beal wasn't very happy with me.
That's all...end of story.  With a lot of tape and some Vicodin you can march on anything.  I was even able to pull off my award worthy performance in the Music Man.  Although, apparently someone did later ask the director why that one kid had a brace on his ankle. Oh well...glad they noticed that and not the fact that my fly was down...which it was. 
I have since seen Phantom all the way through. This show will be my 3rd viewing, I believe.  I'm super excited.  I hope Kim likes it!   

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