It was bound to happen sooner or later. In fact, I’m surprised it took this long. Lately, you see, I’ve been reviewing as many as three shows a week for the Philadelphia Dance Journal. I love it—I get free tickets and my editor is super cool and sometimes I get to see naked people or drag queens (or both on the same night, which is when I really love my job)—but it’s a lot to keep straight. Especially when I’m also teaching, rehearsing or directing student rehearsal three nights a week too.
Four o’clock rolls around and my usual thought is, “Hmmm… I know I’m doing something dance-related tonight but where? New Jersey or Philly? Downtown or in the suburbs? Traditional venue or some hole in the wall somewhere?”
As such, when The Wedding Date arrived on Thursday night to accompany me to the farewell performance of Jeanne Ruddy Dance, I instructed him to drive to the Jeanne Ruddy Performance Garage.
Makes sense, right?
If you’re a choreographer who’s fortunate enough to own your own performance space (and said space bears your name), wouldn’t you want to perform there?
At least not if you’re Jeanne Ruddy and your company is giving their final performance. You want to be downtown in that case, on the Avenue of the Arts if possible, and just to make things even more confusing, you’re going to choose a theater that bears a different woman’s name: The Suzanne Roberts.
Unfortunately I somehow missed the memo. So The Wedding Date and I drive over the Jeanne Ruddy Performance Garage, spend about ten minutes trying to find parking and make our way towards the entrance all the while arguing over the difference between a townhouse and a condo.
The entrance, however, looks weird. As in dark. And empty.
There is no one there.
Tacked to the outside of the building a flyer for a show called Suadade.
I’m supposed to be reviewing Suadade, but not until Saturday. Or so I thought.
In desperation, I dig in my purse for my cell phone. “I think we’re at the wrong show,” I explain to The Wedding Date. “Or it’s the wrong day. Or… something.”
I pull up my calendar but of course I didn’t note where Jeanne Ruddy was performing because Jeanne Ruddy was supposed to be performing at Jeanne Ruddy! So then I Google it, and that’s when it hits me: it’s not the wrong time, and it’s not the wrong date; it’s the wrong theater. And we’re on the completely opposite end of town.
“We need to run,” I announce.
“Seriously?” The Wedding Date asks.
“Yes seriously! I’m reviewing!” I hike up my dress (which is long and meant for sipping cocktails, not engaging in cardiovascular activities) and take off down the street. The Wedding Date, who runs several times a week (as opposed to several times a decade) sets an easy pace and follows behind me.
All I can think is I am so screwed if I miss the first piece. Not that I’d be the first dance critic ever to miss an opening number (in fact, I’m sure it happens all the time) and I’ve seen critics leave before a show’s over simply because they’re bored or on a deadline but I don’t want to be one of those critics.
So we run and as I’m calculating just how long it’s going to take us to get back to the car, drive across town and find a place to park, all I can hear is The Wedding Date. And he’s cracking up.
“What are you laughing at?” I demand, turning to look over my shoulder.
“Us,” he says. “It looks like I’m assaulting you.”
And so it does, because The Wedding Date is running behind me because he knows I hate running and doesn’t want to set too fast a pace. (Or so he claims. I think he’d simply forgotten where we parked.)
I force a smile to let all interested parties know that I’m not being chased but am instead running late… hence all the… well, running.
We make it just in time and I don’t even have to give my name to the press folks because let’s face it: I’m the only moron who went to the wrong theater. And thanks to my mistake, we’ve missed the complimentary champagne.
Better luck next time.
Here’s my review by the way. (And you’ll be pleased to note that I managed to catch the entire first piece after all.)
Check back later this week for my official Mother’s Day Re-cap (hint: my Abuela’s involved.)