My husband happily travels the world for business. He enjoys working with groups of people from different cultures and speaking different languages (or trying). He’s a very adaptable person that enjoys new things, usually.
Whenever possible, which means when we’ve saved up enough frequent flyer miles, I like to tag along. We sadly rarely travel to London, since my husband’s business usually takes him to other parts of Europe. The first time we were lucky enough to go I asked my husband if we could go to a show. I’d been to theatre perfromances in New York City, Washington DC and Philidelphia. I didn’t want to miss a chance to see a London stage performance. The only problem is that we had not pre ordered tickets.
While Mark worked, I set out to see what show still had tickets for that evening. Mark is not a fan of the theatre, on either side of the Atlantic. He only asked that I not get us tickets to “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, and try to find something “I can tolerate even if can’t enjoy it.”
At the ticket office my hopes of finding “The Guns of Navarone, the Musical” or “007” starring all the hot Bond girls in the chorus line, were dashed. I finally decided on “Bombay Dreams”.
“Bombay Dreams” is the story of a poor boy from the slums of India that goes on to become a great star of Bollywood films. At some point there is a fountain spouting water, and people dancing and singing. I also think there is a helicopter, and people dancing and singing. There is also a giant slum set, and people dancing and singing. This was before “Slum Dog Millionare”, and was considered a big deal as it showcased the culture of India. Sadly the play went through many rewrites. The version I saw was not perhaps the finest version, if there was indeed ever a truly “fine” version produced.
My husband knew he was in trouble soon after we took our seats in the theater and the two stage drummers came on. Our younger daughter recently decided she wanted to learn “African drumming” and took lessons after school. My husband had heard a lot of drumming recently, and sad to say our daughter was not a natural. He had heard a lot of bad drumming recently. The sight of even professional drummers was to him, a very bad sign.
There was singing, dancing and some sort of plot. Most of all it was loud, very loud. The drumming was especially loud. Someone was shot at one point, but there the resemblance to “Where Eagles Dare, the Musical” ended.
Finally the lights came up, and Mark looked at me and said “Thank God that’s over. ” and got up to leave. I had to break it him gently that it was simply the intermission. There was more singing and dancing to come. I suspected the drummers would also be back.
He survived the rest of the play. I enjoyed it, though even I had enough drumming to last me for weeks. I’ve never made Mark sit through another play again. It’s not that he won’t, it’s that I don’t want to “owe him” for his suffering. It was months before he stopped saying “Look, we’re going to this warbloodguts movie, you owe me for that play!” The only way I can ensure I have a choice at the movies every now and again is to never force Mark to see a musical again. Unless it’s written by Alistair MacLean.