In June, I received a text from Hubby about a new show on Broadway.
Now friends, this is a little unusual, because, let’s be real, 90% of the shows Hubby has seen on Broadway have been for me. One of his few favorites was an off Broadway production of Pygmalion*.
*And, you guessed it, not a bar of music in the entire show.
When I realized what the show was, it all made sense. Here’s the headline Hubby sent: Stage version of ‘1984’ makes audiences faint, vomit, scream
I had a twist of intrigue upon reading the headline alone. Hubby loves 1984. In fact, I read it only a year ago because of him. So, my instinct was to instantly order tickets. I hesitated, however, due to the words ‘faint’, ‘vomit’, and ‘scream’.
Alright, maybe not the word ‘scream’. I have no issue with screaming. But, friends, I have never fainted and haven’t vomited in over 11 years.
There was no way a play was going to ruin that streak.
After reading the article Hubby sent and a few others, I decided I could handle it. But then, he decided he wasn’t sure he wanted to see it.* Not due to the reviews, but merely because he didn’t know if it would be worth it.
*And they say women are indecisive.
On our recent trip into the city, we ended up coincidentally having dinner across the street from the Hudson Theatre where warnings of Big Brother is watching stood on display.
“Let’s see it!” I said, pulling him a short distance until we stood directly across the street from the theatre.
He looked down the street, away from the theatre, and I thought for a second he was ignoring me, assuming I was kidding. But then he checked the time and though it was 7 pm on the nose, across the street we went.
As we waited behind the only other person at the box office, Lance asked, “Are you sure we can get tickets here?”
Knowing my friend, Lisa, has done this several times, I nodded, but worried our timing might be a problem. Though most shows start at 8 pm on Fridays, this was a play, and they sometimes have different starting times.
Lucky for us, we were still two hours early with the play starting at 9 pm. The box office employee was thrilled to get us some ‘very nice seats’. Due to the nature of the play, it was 101 minutes, with no intermission.* Two balcony seats were the perfect price point for us, and we even bumped up to the front row of our section.
*In fact, if you had to leave your seat for any reason during the performance, you wouldn’t be allowed back in.
I suppose for someone who hadn’t read the book, or been warned of the flashing lights, strobe effect, loud noises, gunshot, and other violence and torture in the play, what transpired could be could be a little disturbing.
But, my favorite quote from an article about the play probably says it best: “Director Robert Icke, told The Hollywood Reporter that, “If this show is the most upsetting part of anyone’s day, they’re not reading the news headlines. Things are much worse than a piece of theater getting under your skin a little bit.”
The most difficult parts of the show, for me, were the bright lights which flashed often between different scene changes and, my least favorite thing of all, how they changed Winston’s final words in the book.
Read it and you’ll understand my frustration simply by knowing he didn’t say them.