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Would you please SHUT UP!

I didn't pay $60.50 to hear you talk

Saturday night, we decided to take in some culture and see the musical Chicago at the Mandalay Bay Casino. Chicago is one of those musicals that we had a take it or leave it sort of an attitude towards. If it was convenient and the cast was good, we'd get tickets… but the crew that came through San Francisco was fair to poor and when we were in New York City, we had other musicals that we wanted to see more than Chicago.

But upon our arrival in Las Vegas, I noticed that the Mandalay Bay Casino had a permanent troupe of Chicago based at their 2 week old 1500 seat theater. Still, it didn't thrill me. Then I noticed the cast: Ernie Sabella, Chita Rivera, Ben Vereen and the Teutonic goddess herself — Ute Lemper. What a cast!

Friday night, we went to Mandalay Bay after dinner just to see if it was as impressive as everyone said it was (it wasn't&#41. On our way across the casino floor, we decided to stop by the box office and see if there were any tickets available for Saturday's 10:30pm show. There were, and we decided to bite the bullet and buy two tickets (at $60.50 each after tax&#41.

For the next 24 hours, we sat there wondering about the crowds. You see, Janet and I are theater purists. If we pay $60 or more for a ticket to a show, we expect a certain level of behavior. We expect that everyone dresses well. Like I said in the flight attendant story above, you act how you dress. People in nice clothes tend to be respectful of everyone around them at the show and people wearing casual clothes like khakis and polo shirts tend to be a little annoying… they'll whisper during the songs, fidget in their seats and generally piss me off. However, we figured that since the patrons of the Mandalay Bay were shelling out over $350 each night to stay there, they would be a good crowd.

10pm, Saturday. The crowd assembles: drunken frat-boys in denim shorts and t-shirts and their too-short-black-dress-wearing painted whores of girlfriends. Not good. Then I hear the comment of doom: "I've had better drinks at the blackjack table (in reference to the drinks that they bought at the theater bar&#41." Ok, I thought you went to the theater to see the show, not to get drunk.

We enter the theater: comfortable chairs, good sight-lines to the stage… and cup holders? It looked more like a movie theater than a theater theater. Still, the seats were good and there was nobody around to annoy us with their chatter and fidgeting. Enter the parents, the grandfather and their 8 year old kid.

Ok, who the hell takes a kid to the theater at 10:30?

Ok, who the hell takes a kid to see Chicago, a show with women in fishnets and g-strings singing about sex and murder?

Finally, what the hell does it teach the kid when they talk incessantly through the first act. I was beyond Ssssh with these people… getting all the way to For God's sake, shut the hell up!! before they finally decided to shut the hell up. The people in the row behind us got a growling WOULD YOU PLEASE BE QUIET! when they wouldn't stop talking and digging around in their coats for krinkly-cellophane wrapped hard candies! Oy!

Still, the show was fantastic, and we moved to an empty row during the intermission. What a cast! 66 year old Chita Rivera is still amazing on stage… Ben Vereen conveys such great emotion in his voice and Ute Lemper is just to die for when she dances.

We left the show singing All That Jazz as we made a bee-line for the taxi stand, crossing through the gates-of-hell threshold that led out of the 1.1 billion dollar frat-boy casino and grabbing a cab out of this low-class spoiled-brat pit of hell. Next time we want some culture, we'll go to New York.

Posted in Scowls.

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