Sundays in My City – A Night at the Opera

August 15, 2010

in through the looking glass

Ok. I lied. I went to the theatre with three boys under twelve with ants in their pants, what do you think? Just had to use it in my title because it is THE favorite album of mine, that’s all.

We went to see a Broadway musical… in Chicago… I wish I could tell you that I saw Spamalot.

Shut up! This is a hold-up, not a botany lesson. I want you to hand over all the lupins you've got.



Or Wicked. Or The Lion King. Or Billy Elliot. But Nooooo….



It is a musical based on a Disney movie. Like, 100% based on the movie... Wouldn't it have been enough to just watch the movie, again?



Every time I walk into one of these classic theatres, I am startled by the beauty inside. The ornate, intricate designs overwhelm the senses and quicken my heart. Faced with the beauty, I feel guilty for not dressing up. I imagine that the walls and the chandeliers whisper, “We wish you had taken the effort to look as good as we do and help us remember those days…”


Unknown Mami


the weirdgirl August 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I think that gorgeous theatre is probably more angry that it’s hosting Shrek the Musical than that you didn’t dress up. It most likely didn’t notice what with the large green characters prancing around.
the weirdgirl´s last blog post…What is this thing you call freedom

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:52 am

You are absolutely right!!!!

Miss B August 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Well, if I ever come to Chicago, I’ll have to time it so we can put on fancy clothes and go to the opera — the _real_ opera — and then go get drunk and inappropriate afterward. To make up for the classiness of the rest of the evening.
Miss B´s last blog post…The Way Things Taste

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:51 am

It is ON. Like Donkey Kong! m’lady.

Holly B August 18, 2010 at 1:28 am

I too love the architecture in these old places. My daughter’s school has the only free standing theater in the county.. it is beautiful and so intricate in its designs. I marvel at it everytime we go there. Each time I see something new in there.
Holly B´s last blog post…Hoity Toity Passive-Aggresive Pukes – Suck A Fart

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

Yup. Something new pops up every time you look at them.

Wicked Shawn August 18, 2010 at 12:19 am

Beautiful theatre. There are still a couple of gorgeous theatres here in Old Louisville. The Kentucky Center is very contemporary, but lovely in its own way. Just not the same as the opulence you find in the old ones.
I love nights out like that, although, thankfully, I am past the Shrek The Musical age. Last one for me was taking Drama Queen to Chicago, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Wicked Shawn´s last blog post…Posthumous Posts and Coulrophobia

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:47 am

I believe Drama Queen deserves another trip to Chicago with her mama. Soon. *wink wink*

Mary Lee August 17, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Ah, so this is where the Facebook picture came from!
Mary Lee´s last blog post…BAFFLED

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:39 am


It’s funny because your latest post title is “Baffled”. LOL

Miss B August 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

God, I won’t even watch the Shrek movies. You’re a better man than I, doll.

I have very strong opinions about the fact that the general public does not tend to dress up for nights at the theatre/symphony/opera/&c. Especially the opera. And especially here on the West coast. I want to take people who show up for a night at the opera — that they’ve obviously paid rather a lot for — in jeans and a backwards baseball cap and punch them in the throat. (This isn’t a dig at you — and really, I think musicals are pretty much the lowest-key of all possible theatrical outings, and especially ones aimed at kids, so I am not judging younharshly, here.) But seriously, people in general need to realize — hundreds of people have worked their asses off for weeks and weeks in order to entertain you. Dressing nicer than you would to do yard work or run errands is part of the applause. Plus, personally, if I’m spending upwards of $50 for a ticket to something, I’m damn sure going to use that as an excuse to put on a cocktail dress and some heels…
Miss B´s last blog post…The Way Things Taste

Absence Alternatives August 18, 2010 at 10:13 am

No worries because I do feel the same way. I used to make an effort, but then after seeing so many people just wearing jeans and t-shirts, and yes I did see shorts and flip flops at the Shrek show, I thought, “Forget it!” (I may go back to become that “overdressed” dork again…) With the popular Broadway musicals I tend to give folks the benefits of the doubt: most of them are tourists and it may be difficult for everybody to pack their finest in that tiny carryon suitcase… I can tell you this: If I am ever shelling out $$$ for an opera, like a “real” one? I am dressing up!

Unknown Mami August 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

I love beautiful old theaters. I’m sure you were better dressed than Shrek.

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

Why yes I did! I also did not burp or fart!

Technobabe August 17, 2010 at 10:04 am

That is some fancy ceilings and walls in there. But I for one understand why you didn’t dress up. Yuck.
Technobabe´s last blog post…I Did Not Belong There

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the moral support! 🙂

Keia August 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

I love Chicago…well everything except the wind (which almost blew me away once).
I went to see Alvin Ailey Dance Company a few years back in Chicago it was great…and then there was the wind in the evening. Ha I’ll stop it with the wind.
Anyway, I just love the theater and wish I went more often. Your pictures are gorgeous!

p.s. How come I can’t add you to my links…is there something secretive going on with your site that I don’t know about?
Keia´s last blog post…almost two years later

Absence Alternatives August 18, 2010 at 7:18 am

Thank you for the compliments. I really need to learn how to use light, exposure, speed, etc.

LOL@ the WIND. (sorry…)

Thank you for adding me to your blogroll! Yeah!

TheKitchenWitch August 17, 2010 at 8:10 am

Crap! You went to the theatre and had to endure Shrek? You are a GOOD mama.
TheKitchenWitch´s last blog post…Intentional Happiness- NYC Edition

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:45 am

I kept on thinking this line “I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue”

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick August 17, 2010 at 7:25 am

Nice theater. And you’re a good mom for enduring Shrek.
I saw Les Mis at a theater in Chicago years ago; could have been the same one.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick´s last blog post…Pop-Tarts Hit the Big Time

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:44 am

Thanks. I prefer Shrek without squirming kids to some other show with kids whispering loudly HOW LONG?

Life with Kaishon August 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Wow. Wow. Wow. That theatre is beyond gorgeous. Stunning.
Life with Kaishon´s last blog post…Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows Helen Keller

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

It really is. With your photography skills, you could have done some really good “damage” by taking gorgeous pictures!

linlah August 16, 2010 at 10:59 pm

That building rocks the architecture, hard.
linlah´s last blog post…bears have jello in their socks

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

Oh yeah.

Jack August 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Good old Shrek- I have a friend who looks a lot like him. Of course he is not green, but he might as well be. That play sounds like fun.
Jack´s last blog post…For the Love of the Game and Learning How To Get Along

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:34 am

Does he know the resemblance? I wonder whether he appreciates it?

gigi August 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Where is that theater? it’s beautiful, and I’ve not heard of it.

The architecture in Chicago is something I miss. Terribly.
gigi´s last blog post…On The Fly Stir-Fry

Absence Alternatives August 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

You may know it as Bismarck Theatre back in the days before Cadillac bought the naming right? (Thank goodness it’s not some company with weird names such as Playboy or Hooters… ugh)

Just remember the cold cold winter. The wind chill. See? You don’t miss Chicago that much any more. You are welcome. 😉

Justine August 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I love theater here too, but not so much for the shows, it’s really for the architecture. There are some breathtaking places around these parts. So proud of our city. How Gotham, Burnham and awesome — oooh, I want to use that for a future post someday. I hope you don’t mind if I quote myself 🙂
Justine´s last blog post…The story of our lives isn’t for everyone

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:33 am

Of course not! Just pay me first. LOL.

Now the kids are older I am more willing to explore the city with them. Next task: teach them how to use trains!

pattypunker August 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm

um spamalot was super funny. we’ll go next time were in ny. they just dont make buildings like they used to. kinda sad. i share your awe everytime too. but damn if i couldnt use more leg room and more women’s restrooms.
pattypunker´s last blog post…fuckit10

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:31 am

THIS theatre has Fab lady’s room! Stalls galore. Definitely get a god gold star from me!

Velva August 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Would you prefer to see Shrek in Chicago or would you prefer Shrek in Tallahassee, Florida?
(laugh). It’s all relative. You could have easily worn jeans, a tee-shirt and flip-flops here, and paid for cookies and cheap wine at intermission. The real difference is that you enjoyed an evening with your boys and it does not get any better no matter where you live. Awesome.
Velva´s last blog post…Dill Pickle Cucumber Slices

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:30 am

I could have used some cheap wine. Funny you mentioned it: My 12 yo during intermission said really loudly, MOM. They have vodka! You should get some!

Kate August 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Oh, I used to live in Chicago. I love the gorgeous old theaters. Well, the whole city, really. Great show or not, enrapt companions or restless ones, at least you were there.
Kate´s last blog post…Being here

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:29 am

You are right! I did appreciate being in that space. And the kids loved the show. So no complaint here really.

dufmanno August 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I always struggle with my wardrobe choices when I go to these things because it hints at casual until you step into the old world opulence.
Always feel the same way wishing I could deliver the pizazz like they did in the old black and white photos where EVERYONE is dressed to the hilt.
The pictures you took of the inside are really beautiful. Makes me thankful that places like that still exsist:)
dufmanno´s last blog post…Cockroach

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:28 am

OPULENCE. That was the word I was searching for.

I struggle ’cause I don’t want to dress up & suspect that everybody else is laughing at me for being a hoity doity dork… Yes. I care about what strangers think about me. Sad.

jen August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm

how was it?

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2010 at 8:26 am

I fell asleep during the first act. The second act was more exciting. But NO helicopters!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: