“Oh Frederic, can you not in the calm excellence of your wisdom reconcile it with your conscience to say something that will easy my father’s sorrow?”
“Can’t you cheer him up?”
– The Pirates of Penzance
Without doubt, one of the best things about working for a university with several renowned performing arts programs and groups, and the talent they manage to attract – is coupling all that with the sweet staff and faculty discount I get on tickets. I’ve seen at least one opera or musical and play every year I’ve lived here (The Magic Flute was painfully mediocre – although the witch trio was amazing, Die Fledermaus was one of my favorite comic performances ever, The Phantom of the Opera could have been mistaken for a Broadway or West End performance, Love’s Labour’s Lost – set in WWII France – was brilliant).
Today I bought my last tickets as a staff member: a summer performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (the movie version of which starring Kevin Kline and so delightfully, purposefully camp was a childhood favorite). It felt bittersweet tucking my last discounted ticket envelope into my bag.
Then I got an email about next year’s lineup for touring performers. John Lithgow, Audra McDonald, and Joshua Bell. As well as a Middle Eastern group performing an adaptation of Hamlet in Farsi, a marionette troupe, and some really great looking Shakespeare.
Bittersweet to just bitter, alas!
…But then I think about how I can go to performances at The Globe and in the West End…and I’m mollified.