One year for my girlfriend's birthday I thought I would appear smart and cultured and purchase tickets to the opera. Instead of a usual night out drinking and dancing we would dress up and act like refined young women. Of course, I would buy a large economy bag of M and M's and smuggle them in my purse to make the show more bareable. I couldn't pass up the opportunity for really cheap tickets to see the San Francisco Opera Company perform Don Giovanni at my colleges' newly built performing arts center; a world class opera company travelling to Pomona, New Jersey. I wanted to be there and participate in the magic.
My girlfriend and I drove from AC to Pomona in my little Honda Civic. We were like gadflys talking about the opera, what to expect, was it in English or Italian? Could we make it to the end? What is the story about? Who is Don Giovanni, a historical figure? What's his plight? Who composed the opera? We were clueless. My girlfriend studied Russian Literature in college, she had no idea, and I was in college, working on the ten year plan.
We arrived at the PAC, which was new and designed with stadium seating, a new concept at the time; the claim was that every seat was a good seat. We sat dead center. The stage was setup with scaffolding, elevated above the floor,connected one end to the other by planks of wood. When the show began, my large economy bag of M and M's was opened and securely snug between my knees. But, I began to feel anxious about sitting through a two hour show of high pitched warbling and low sultry baritones, could I stay awake? Another good reason to keep popping the M and M's. I looked at my girlfriend and we smiled as the lights dimmed.
A skinny and scrawny fellow took the stage. Could this be the powerful lead character Don Giovanni? all 130 pounds. It appears he has gained entrance to someone's house. Is this the home of the beautiful Donna Anna? all 350 pounds. Now, I am sitting forward, this is getting interesting. Look! she's chasing poor Giovanni, much to his detriment if she catches him. Whoever cast this opera has a sense of humor, I might like the opera after all. The physical disparity between Don Giovanni and this fat chick is priceless! How can I possibly focus on the music and my M and M's? Is this a love connection?
Well, In my lifetime, I have been thrown out of a McDonald's, yeah that's right, McDonalds, and the Margate police station. Now, I had a sinking feeling that this fat chick in a dimestore nightgown, bouncing from one plank to another would be my ticket out of the opera. Which is exactly what happened when my girlfriend and I broke into a fit of hysterical laughing and the usher asked us to leave. My knees separated, and hundreds of little candy coated chocolate morsals rolled toward the stage, like lemurs jumping to their death! What a waste! Seen any good opera's lately?