In case there was any doubt.
For Mother's Day Ed gave me a card that said we're going out Saturday night, dress nice. I gathered we were going to a Broadway show but didn't know which one. I do love a surprise. We went to dinner first and he asked me if I wanted to know, or just be surprised when we got there. I wanted the surprise because I didn't even care what we were seeing and would like anything.
So as we walked down 44th Street the marquis began to come into view.
"Phantom?" I asked, looked sideways at him.
"Nope." We kept walking.
We passed under a construction scaffolding over the sidewalk and watched our step around some cars entering a lot. Then I looked up and just knew. There, up ahead, the rainbow bright beacon called to me:
That's right, I know, it's OK to start singing the song out loud. I'd heard it was fabulous, and had a hard time believing it, knowing how terrifically awful the movie is. But anyway what could be more fun than a night of roller skates and disco balls?
As soon as we entered the theater I felt the energy level rise. There was a guy selling glow sticks for $1 that we could use to participate in the final number. I ignored Ed's cringe as I bought two. I knew he was having fun watching me be excited.
The theater was pretty small and we had awesome seats. It's true the play has the same basic storyline as the movie - ancient Greek muse Kira comes out of a sidewalk chalk drawing to inspire frustrated 1980's artist Sonny Malone to create the ultimate artistic achievement, a roller disco, and along the way she falls into forbidden love with him.
Luckily it breaks from the movie early on by infusing the story with more threads, and thus substance. Having excellently talented singers/actors helps as well. But the real charm comes from what can only happen on live stage, and especially live stage spoofing a horrible movie - the comedic interaction between the audience and performers, and the private joke we were all in on together: that the whole thing is ridiculous, so let's have fun with it. I loved Kira's purposely bad Australian accent, the conniving evil muse sisters' unexpected improv comments that had the audience roaring, and of course the finale, complete with glow sticks, lots of metallic spandex and over 50 disco balls ranging in size from an apple to my double stroller. It was funny, it was sweet, it was rockin' 80's disco. It was the ultimate night out.
After all, as we learn at the end, the ultimate gift of XANADU is just what I had: artistic creation and someone to love.