Saturday, June 18, 2011

On Wednesday I Went to "Follies"

Since Jason had already seen this production and since I wasn't going to pass up a chance to see Bernadette Peters and Elaine Paige live, I bought myself a ticket to a weekday matinee of the Kennedy Center's "Follies" shortly after I arrived in DC.

I gave myself plenty of time to get to the Kennedy Center. When I was planning out my trip to Georgetown earlier in the week, Jason asked if I had a GPS app on my phone.

"Yes," I replied.

"Then you'll be fine," he said.

"Oh, no," I said, "you underestimate my ability to get lost."

I knew that the Kennedy Center wasn't far from the Foggy Bottom metro stop, which I had visited the day before to enjoy some shopping at Trader Joe's (Oh! I forgot to tell you in my "On Tuesday" post that I went to Trader Joe's! The one downtown is a tinier version of the ones I've been to in San Diego and Bellingham, and boy is it popular! I got there about an hour before closing, and the check-out line was wrapped entirely around the store the entire time I was there. To their credit, they had a lot of workers checking people out in a pretty efficient set-up for such a small space. It's just terribly popular with the yuppies of the area. For good reason. Here's a shot of the contents of my basket:

Trader Joe's!

I shall certainly go back again soon - I'm almost out of that guacamole hummas. Anyway, back to Wednesday).

When I got to the top of the escalator out of the metro at Foggy Bottom I quickly found the sign pointing the way to the Kennedy Center. I headed that direction, but when I hit the next intersection the sign giving directions pointed directly at an apartment complex right in-between two streets at a 40 degree angle to one another.


After about five more minutes of walking I came to the end of the street at a business complex that was decidedly not the Kennedy Center. I was also cursing my sandals, since some painful blisters were quickly developing (Never, never, never is it a good idea to think, "Oh! I haven't worn these shoes in, like, a year! I'll bring those for my black dress shoes").

Since my GPS wasn't helping me get there by foot (see my issues exiting the zoo yesterday) and because I didn't want to go all the way back to the main street to find my way, I went into the business complex. There I found a balcony where I could lean out and see the Kennedy Center! Ah ha! Separated from me by two freeways with no sign of a pedestrian walkway! Shoot!

Knowing which direction I needed to go, I went downstairs to exit the complex and discovered a seven-foot high metal gate. I rattled the door, but it was locked on the outside. A different set of stairs led to the same result. Faced with the need to completely retrace my steps in order to get out there, I took off my sandals and walked back the way I came, barefoot.

Thankfully the good weather was holding and the sidewalk wasn't that hot. I didn't love the dirtiness, but I certainly went barefoot in a lot more public places in Thailand. Plus, my toes were bleeding by then. Stupid sandals.

I arrived at the Kennedy Center six minutes before the start time, having spent 40 minutes wandering around the area. I slipped on my shoes and hobbled into the theater.

I do love the Kennedy Center - it's such a lovely arts complex. The production itself was fine, but the show is weak. The book is stilted and unnatural, the songs feel out of place, and the main characters are not terribly appealing. Of the actresses my favorite was Jan Maxwell (with Terri White a close second). The Washington Post did a series of profiles on each of the show's actresses, which makes for interesting background.

You can read Jason's review of the show here. I agree with most of his thoughts. Happily, they have worked out the technical kinks since he saw it - the production elements were as seamless as you would expect for a show that's heading to Broadway in a few weeks.

After the show I found the free shuttle that ferries the bejeweled and elderly (Ah, the weekday matinee crowd!) to the metro stop and joined them for the ride. I got home, changed, and painted a second coat on the wall in Jason's bedroom. He got home from work around 9:00 and we went to SweetGreen for salad takeout for a late dinner.

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