Well, at least I got out of the house.
I mean, that’s the only way to look at it, really. If you look at it any other way, it will just depress you.
Really, when you have to drive eight hours round-trip to do something you don’t want to do it’s best to-as the great Eric Idle once sang-always look on the bright side of life.
What I did a few days ago was to drive eight hours round-trip to spend two hours in a theater in St. Louis watching a stage production of “Anastasia,” which is loosely based on the animated movie of the same name. The animated movie was, in turn, loosely based on the legend of the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, who some claimed had survived the execution of the Russian royal family during the revolution.
It’s not exactly a comedy.
The reason I drove eight hours round-trip to sit in a theater in St. Louis to watch a stage production of “Anastasia” is because of our 20-year-old daughter, Emma.
When Emma was much younger, she loved the animated version of “Anastasia” so much so that to this day, I can still recite lines from the movie. It’s the same reason I can still recite lines from the remake of Disney’s “The Parent Trap.”
It’s what happens when you’re a parent.
My wife was the person who discovered that the stage production of “Anastasia” was playing in St. Louis.
“We should go,” my wife said to Emma.
“You’re right. I’m excited,” Emma said.
“That’s great,” I said. “You’ll both have a good time.”
See, I thought my wife and Emma would drive to St. Louis while I stayed home watching sports on TV and drinking beer. Turns out I was the only one who thought that.
“So,” I said after my wife told me that I was also going to see “Anastasia” in St. Louis, “you want me to drive four hours to a hotel in downtown St. Louis. Then you want me to dress up, spend at least two hours in a theater watching a play I don’t want to watch, drive back to the hotel, go to bed, get up the next morning and drive four hours back home?”
“Yes,” my wife said.
“I see,” I said, even though — as I think has been well-documented in this column — I seldom see.
For those of you who aren’t feeling sorry for me yet, I should point out that the stage production of “Anastasia” is not just a play. It’s a musical.
That’s right. A musical. That I drove eight hours round-trip to see.
What happens in a musical is the play will be moving along fine and then, for no apparent reason, the people on stage will start singing. Then, when they finish singing, the people on stage will go back to talking as if nothing happened.
I don’t know about you, but if I were talking to a woman and that woman all of a sudden started singing and then, when she was finished, resumed talking to me as if nothing happened, I think I would be forced to say, “Excuse me, but did you just break out into song for no apparent reason?”
And if the woman said, “Yes. Yes, I did,” I would probably say, “I see.”
And then I would run away as fast as I could.
But maybe that’s just me.
The one good thing about sitting through the stage production of “Anastasia” was the fact that they sold beer at the theater. But the problem is if you finish your beer, you can’t get another one right away. You have to wait until halftime. So what I tried to do was sip my beer slowly so it would last the entire first half of the play.
I didn’t succeed.
Oh, there was one other thing about driving eight hours round-trip to sit through the stage production of “Anastasia.”
Emma and my wife loved it. The musical, I mean.
So I guess it was worth the trip. But, they better not make a musical out of “The Parent Trap”.
I mean, I don’t like getting out of the house that much.