Who do I have to kill to get tickets around here?
In yet another example of the best-laid plans of mice and men, I was able to drag my lazy depressed ass out of bed long enough to actually watch Phantom of the Opera with a date - by actually not planning to.
My sister had wanted to watch The King and I and, giving her FB profile a cursory glance, saw that Ayen, our genteel and venerable head make-up artist, friend, and colleague (who happened to be on my sister's Friends List) expressed a longing to watch the musical this weekend, too. I knew, however, given how frugal he was, that the play would be a bit of a guilty luxury for him.
Dammit, who do we have to kill to get tickets around here?
In a rare fit of largesse, I asked my sister to inquire about tickets so that she could watch said musical with Ayen, as a surprise treat for them both.
So off she skipped and hopped to Ticketworld, my good little Red Riding Hood. And since she was already there, I figured I may as well have her inquire about tickets to Phantom, as well. Mainly because I remembered a promise I made to Brandon, my old ex-employee and protégé, that I'd take him to see that musical as my date - on the proviso that he attend dressed as a woman, complete with evening gown and jewels. (Brandon is a drag show performer by trade, but one whose bone structure makes him pretty enough, to the uninitiated, to actually pass for female.)
Go big or go home, bitch.
In the ensuing flurry of text messages between my sister, Brandon, Ayen, and myself, availabilities were hastily laid on the table and I basically let fate decide where the chips fell. To no one's surprise, Phantom was pretty much fully-booked except for two adjacent VIP seats, which, as fate would have it, were being offered at a substantial discount because the original reservations had been cancelled.
There was just one catch, though: the tickets were for the following night.
Short notice is short.
Brandon, whose theatrical, potentially-eyebrow raising entrance into the unctuous halls of the CCP had been a minor on-off side project of mine for months, unfortunately was not permitted by his new bosses to take the evening off on that night. Having already given the go-ahead to my sister/emissary to purchase said pair of tickets - and with her already possessing her own tickets to a later Phantom playdate - I was left with an extra seat and no drag queen to drag along and show off to the culturati.
Grand guignol calls for grand entrances.
One text later and Ayen was, in his own words, on Cloud Nine.
And because sometimes real-life plots thicken like Broadway story lines, my sister - whose desire to watch The King and I set all these wheels in motion - suddenly ups and declares that due to a work emergency, she cannot make it to her weekend with Ayen.
Which makes me Ayen's musical date this weekend.
The Queen and I.
Two for the road. Shall we dance?
And so it will pass that Ayen will not only get his wish to watch The King and I this weekend, as my date, gratis et amore, but thanks to a series of unfortunate (for Brandon) events, he also became my unexpected date for Phantom last night.
Better luck next time, Brandon, my angel of music.
A case of a girl making a wish to the FB gods and seeing it come true.
Or just being in the right place at the right time.
However, despite my edict that he arrive in nothing less than a fussy, spangled Bob Mackie rip-off, Ayen showed up in a smart, tasteful pantsuit. Not exactly La Carlotta sniffing at the riffraff in the nosebleeds, but at least he was in heels.
And because the sparkling vision of bugle-beaded serpentina-tottering fabulousness that I had pre-prodded Brandon to be was stuck in my brain like a glittering splinter, I festooned Ayen with enough Swarovski to rival the Phantom's legendary chandelier - to much side-eyeing and eyebrow-raising all around.
I just wanted my date to upstage the lighting fixture.
It's not too much to ask.
And I was a happy little camper in a three-piece suit.
And the show was great, too.
Here's Chuckles with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Thinking of me.
And the much, much-better studio version. With lyrics.
Because this goddamn song makes me cry every time.