A few years ago, I went to hear Ira Glass of This American Life fame. He delivered a fascinating lecture on the nature and necessity of storytelling. He mentioned as one of his inspirations a play by Mary Zimmerman called "Arabian Nights". I ordered the script the next day, and fell in love with her writing and that show in particular (you theater people may better know her from Metamorphoses, which she won a Tony for directing in 2002). I'd love to direct any of her plays and hope to someday.
So when I was browsing for theater companies to submit our "Making Waves" script, I checked out the company that she works with, The Lookingglass Theater in Chicago. To my shock and absolute delight, I discovered that a production of "Arabian Nights" is playing there right now AND it's directed by Ms. Zimmerman.
I bought plane tickets today. How could I not? Well, there are many reasons why I could not. And I am being reasonable - I'm not going to miss any school to see it. I found round-trip tickets for $199 that let me fly out on a Saturday morning and back on Sunday. I should be refilling my savings account after my travels this summer and in preparation for my travels next summer, but how often will I get a chance like this?
I've had conversations with people on planes before when they're asked me the "business or pleasure?" question. They're always surprised when I say I'm flying across the country to see a particular play. Sometimes I try to explain, like when it's Madame Butterfly at the Met and the sets are so pretty they make me cry or when it's West Side Story and it's bilingual, but they don't get it.
I think you, my faithful blog readers, will get it, though. You know me. It's Mary Zimmerman and it's "Arabian Nights". And I'm going to go see it in a few weeks.
(Ooh, also? I think I'll be able to see Kelley that day, too! I haven't seen her since she moved to Chicago last year, let alone her cute new little girl. So, bonus! Right?)