One of the intriguing things that is beginning to happen to my husband and me as quasi-empty-nesters, is the opportunity to go out without too much advance planning, needing to take a vote, check baby-sitter availability, or having to make sure that the refrigerator is filled with food. I mean . . . we just got dressed and left . . . hmm . . . We didn't even have to write down emergency numbers for anyone . . . It was rather liberating . . . and weird . . .
Anyway, last night, Lee and I went to see The Mikado at the Lyric Opera House in downtown Chicago. Whenever we go there, I remember the first time Lee took me when we were dating back in 1983 to see the musical, 42nd Street. Picture the two of us . . . young and cute . . . with the most appalling taste in clothes! Lee wore his black biker leather jacket (yes, unbelievable as it may seem, at one point in his life, my husband owned a motorcycle) over his light blue polyester suit that had been out of style for at least ten years. I wore a Norwegian blue fox fur jacket . . . and a mullet. What can I say? It was the eighties!
In time, Lee got rid of the bike and the suit (the jacket is in the back of a closet somewhere . . . ), and I shed the mullet and the fur . . . but the memory . . . I wish I had a picture. This morning Lee and I were talking about our evening . . . and laughing at our young, naïve selves. The funny thing is that much has changed in the intervening 26 years with regards to the dress code for the opera; a broader range of styles is now quite acceptable and not so obviously out of place. I saw long dresses and pearls last night, although most women were wearing smart casual outfits . . . but there were also a few old coots that stuck to their jeans and gym shoes without regard to what anyone thought . . . I suppose I enjoyed them the most remembering that evening in 1983.
The evening as a whole was wonderful, but to be truthful, The Mikado was a bit disappointing. I thought for sure that a play featuring a pair of star-crossed lovers named Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum, had to be fun. I suppose part of the play was, but the music was just so-so. I didn't latch on to any song that would make me want to sing it in the shower over and over again. I did learn the origin of the term "The Grand Poo-Bah" - in The Mikado, he holds, among others, the titles of First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral, Archbishop of Titipu and Lord Mayor - and is now applied mockingly to someone who exhibits an inflated self-regard . . .
Here's a view of the Main Lobby as the crowd was exiting the theatre. The photo was taken from the Mezzanine . . .
The building has some beautiful Art Deco touches, including the chandeliers . . .
Detail from above one of the doorways . . .
The play started at 7:30 P.M. We left the house at around 5:15 P.M. to allow for time, weather and distance. When the play ended at 10:25 P.M. we were hungry, so we dashed to the nearest McDonald's. Never did one of those greasy, inferior hamburgers taste so good! Afterwards, we settled in for the ride back, and listened to Christmas music all the way home. Then we went to bed . . . me and my Nanki-Poo . . .