Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In Comes - and Out Goes - Company

I took myself to the movies last night, something I haven't done since I was twenty-something and single. I had planned to treat myself to something sweet and chocolatey as well, but when I saw the ticket price, which had not only increased exponentially since I was twenty-something, but was also double the usual price because the film was a special feature, I decided that one treat would be sufficient.

The movie was the NY Philharmonic production of Company, a show I know by heart. I'd heard Terry Gross's interview with Stephen Colbert on Fresh Air last week, and it left me itching to go to see the production of which he'd spoken so highly.

The production itself did not disappoint, but the movie experience was flawed, to say the least. After sitting through previews for Winnie the Pooh and a movie featuring the Muppets, I wondered what demographic the folks in charge of trailers thought they were targeting.

The wrong one, as it turns out. When the movie finally began, it wasn't Company at all, but a summer film adaptation of a children's book instead. The audience groaned, and one brave soul went off to share our predicament and rectify the situation.

Two (more demographically appropriate) ads later, the film began. The musical was even better than I remembered, and the performances did not disappoint.

Until the top of Act II, when the screen went blank. We could hear Side By Side By Side, but we couldn't see a thing. While a few practical folks remained calm and solution-seeking, other segments of the audience grew less tolerant. The well-dressed woman sitting beside me - the one who'd traveled 30 miles to see the show - yelled, "We want a refund!" at the top of her lungs. The picture was restored, and we caught the tail end of the number...but then missed another scene where, from the sound of it, the laughs were in the visuals we were unable to see because the screen went blank again.

Despite all the glitches, I was glad I went. And, since the movie theatre comped us two movie passes each to make up for the inconveniences, I might just treat myself to another movie before the summer is over.

And this time, I might even get refreshments.

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