So a Saturday, so what to do? Something different. Scanned a theater review and loved the title, Next To Normal. Resonated with subject--mom's mental illness wreaks havoc on the family. Why not go cop a $10 matinee ticket?
Driving to the Palace theater I started thinking about downtown’s vibrant-less reputation. Replaced my usual pro-Cleveland attitude with worry that the Playhouse Square scene might be, well, kinda dead. Defensively answered the arrogant NYC smugs in my head that Cleveland had plenty of equity theaters and culture. Who knows what they said.
But then encountered a decent buzz on the streets. Outdoor diners, Starbucks busy, yellow vest guys waving traffic. Don’t tell me I’ll have trouble getting a ticket?
No trouble. Found my cheap seat two flights up from ornate lobby. Golden age of Victorian culture, swarming with golden aged patrons. Fully two-thirds looking like their sixties were just about over.
A red blazer-ed volunteer confirmed my guess. About a half-full house (he said 1,550/3,000). I was sure that many were headed to an early bird supper after the show.
Show only fair, only had a few "moments." Cool sets and quality musicians carried me into the second act, as did view after I wandered down to row 10, stage right. Lady behind me crinkled wrappers at the wrong time. Hard candy? Cough drop?
A good afternoon in downtown. Left hoping there will be new people to replace the early-birders.