If you ever find yourself on a rendezvous to the theatre (pronounced with an Oxford English accent,) you simply must put on your best. Going to the theatre is classy, upscale and intellectual so you’ll absolutely want to dress the part. When I say theatre, I don’t mean the local over priced, AMC movie theater that is reminiscent of a Las Vegas casino. What I am talking about is LIVE theatre. A play or musical if you will.
When I saw the live production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” being performed at a local theatre I jumped on the opportunity to have a grand evening out, dressed as if I was attending the finest opera in all the land. I had never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life,” nor had I ever been to this theatre. I invited my best friend Ashley to come along and it was night of new adventure!
In past decades (circa 20-50’s) women and men alike have dressed to the nines when attending the theatre. Think fancy coats, pearls, opera glasses, satin gloved arms and furs.
For this grand evening out, I whipped out my finest of threads, including a vintage mink coat my grandmother had gifted to me. We each wore a feathered fascinator with birdcage veils and Ashley even had a vintage, rhine-stoned monacle. With our theatre outfits combined, we were an incredibly opulent duo.
We arrived at our destination only to find what appeared to be an extremely small community type of building, but were hopeful for the inside. We sashayed through the double doors expecting to drop off our coats with the coat check and grab a fancy cocktail to match our fabulous attire. Our sashaying came to an abrupt stop upon entrance where we were greeted with some soccer moms selling canned soda in a giant room lined with cold, metal chairs facing a small, shabby looking stage. As we adjusted to the shock of our grand theatre being a community shack, the soccer moms were enamoured with our ensembles and squealed with delight. One woman kindly asked us to pose for a photograph (the photo below) and said they were going to put it on the cover of one of their community booklets.
After the rush of older woman oohing and ahhhing over out outfits, Ash and I chose two seats in the second row. Out of about 40 seats, there was probably 8-10 people there, including us. It was opening night.
The production was absolutely terrible. And I’m not saying that to be mean… it’s just… well… it was TERRIBLE! The acting was bad, the backdrops and sets were non existent, and the fashion?!?!?! THE FASHION?!?! All I can say is my friend and I looked more like we should have been characters in the play, rather than sitting in the audience.
This was clearly a local, no budget, no talent production. Don’t get me wrong now, my friend and I had an amazing time. We watched the entire thing, clapped, were polite and engaging and overall we had a lot of fun. I just had no idea that it would be AS low budget as it was, and frankly it was slightly embarrassing to show up dressed so nice when the production was clearly not.
After the play, Ash and I clapped as loud as we possible could, for as long as we possible could. Despite the bad play, we truly did have a fabulous time. The actors and actresses all came out to say hello to their families (no doubt the only people in the audience). One actor came over to us and asked, ” Wow, you two must be huge fans of It’s a Wonderful Life to come dressed in part…” I then told him I had never seen the play before. He gave us a blank stare and moved on to chat with someone else. Then another actor came over to us and said, “Oh you guys look great, who do you know in the play?” We then responded that we didn’t know anyone in the play. Again, another blank stare of disbelief. Ash and I were erupting in laughter on the inside. It seems as though EVERYONE in the audience was friends or family of someone in the play, except for us. It was hil-ar-ious! The actors could not believe two totally random girls just showed up dressed as such to see this ridiculous production.
We thanked everyone for there efforts and left with smiles plastered across our faces (without really explaining what our deal was). Certainly not a mission we headed out for, yet it ended on great note, leaving so many question marks behind.
Another night that could have ended in disaster (or complete boredom) if not for fashion making it fun!