You know what’s fun?
Experiencing something – be it a movie, a show, book etc. – and coming to the end and saying “I would like to experience that again”.
Those moments where the resultant feeling of an experience resounds within you.
This has happened a couple of times with me, both with musicals. I’ve walked out and said that I would see it again, ideally at the drop of a hat (but realistically when I have more money). As soon as I had more money, I saw these shows again.
The first was Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical. Now, don’t get me wrong, I hear all the people who say it was a waste of a show, or that Baz Luhrmann is no good. And to those people, I wail a cry of sorrow.
I saw Strictly Ballroom twice. The first time I saw it was epiphanic. By interval, I had decided that I wanted to do something with my life that would create something like what I had witnessed. I realised I wanted to make people feel how I do when experiencing theatre. The first inkling I had that maybe I wanted to direct.
I know that previously I complained about the spectacle of theatre detracting from the primary focal point of narrative, character and meaning. But this show balanced that perfectly for me. It made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Hence why I was moved to see it a second time. I wanted that feeling again. It gave me some sense of my own direction (pardon the pun).
The second time that I saw a show twice was recently, with Pursued by Bear’s production of Ordinary Days. I had previously created familiarity with one of the songs from the show, as I had learned 90 seconds of it for an audition (that I dropped out of at the last minute but that’s another story). The name of the song was Calm, performed by the character of Deb – a grad student who, like me, tends to snowball her thoughts and has the potential to become easily overwhelmed due to perfectionist tendencies.
I saw this show the first time, waiting for that one song. What I didn’t realise is that I’d be so moved by the characters. The writing. The relationships. The intertwining of people’s lives.
Because of this, I saw it a second time a week later. I found that my response, while still enjoying the show, was different. I wanted to know what drew me to the show and its performances, and why I was willing to see it a second time. This show for me connected with life and its ups and downs, and in that, I saw a relation to myself. The four main characters, while all having their own issues to address, were one in the same deep down. It reminded me that I could relate to others, no matter our differences.
I have seen shows more than once when they resonate with me directly.
That resonance is dependent on what is being explored within said show.
On the contrary, there are some shows in which I feel satisfaction seeing only once. That may be because I wasn’t moved to see it a second time, or just feel content with what I experienced. These shows aren’t any worse than the ones that I’ve seen multiple times, they just ‘hit the spot’, I guess.
I just find it an interesting phenomenon to walk out of a show, with a completely different response to the person next to you. It’s fascinating to witness how theatre can impact people in alternative ways.