June 26, 2011

Les Mis and an unexpected pleasure.

I'm blessed to be married to a theatre goer. In our years of dating and marriage, my Dear has made us season ticket holders. First, to the Shubert, then in it's demise, the Geffen and for many years now, the Ahmanson.

Before I share another thought, I have to say, Les Miserables was brilliantly staged. J. Mark McVey as Jean Val Jean sang beyond anyone I've heard on stage. And the death of Eponine at the barricade brought me to tears. My dear friend Michelle (oh I have many) Sharpe heard how technology changed the presentation and it did, magically.

So, the night. Our Saturday night theatre dates almost always include dinner at the Pinot Grill at the Music Center. We love dining al fresco, watching the fantastic mix of theatre and Opera goers passing, the dancing waters between the restaurant and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and, of course, Pinot food. Typically, we get to the complex a bit early, check for ticket upgrades and dine.

But last night the plan was altered by first a postcard message about the sold out status of the play and a follow-up email about traffic and timing. My Dear wasn't interested in seeing the play again. (He continues to savor the Shubert version, maybe that's because Tom Hanks and his little girl sat in front of us.) My youngest became my delightful theatre companion. She's very interested in musical theatre and singing and loved taking Dad's ticket.

When we arrived at the Grill we were stunned. The tables were full and there were lots and lots of people waiting in line. We put our name in for our 25 minute wait and sat to watch the people. There was much to see. In her preteen status, my lovely and I had gone shopping for "appropriate" shoes and were watching and measuring at all the fantastic and fantastically high heels on people who could and couldn't command them. It was great fun.

Notably, we saw lots of people in beige or beige patent leather espadrilles, lots of shoes with zippers up the back and these:

We found ourselves completely captivated by a beautiful woman in her late 50s/early 60s who made quite an entrance dressed in black with a gorgeous gray bob, Edith Head sun glasses,  and wearing the shoes of the night: black pumps with the highest heels and and almost floating red platform.
As she walked from the restaurant to the opera with her date, every head was turned and every woman took note and most notably of the shoes. She took the ground at every step. Shortly thereafter our name was called and our runway moment ended.

As we stood, waiting to be accompanied to our table, a woman saw that we were alone and asked if she and her daughter could join us. Though we were in the heart of LA, the thought, at the crowding throng, was that in Europe people do this all the time. My girlie and I agreed, with LA reluctance, to eat share our dinnertime with Laurie and Carly. As we ate we got to know a little about an LA native mom whose best pal is the man who played Timmy in Lassie and her lovely 16 year old flautist daughter (the one wearing the shoes above) who is crazy about Sarah Jessica Parker and wears a Carly necklace (just like Carrie's) and a diamond horseshoe necklace given to her by SJP's goddaughter. It was great fun and a sweet opportunity, quite outside our expected evening. I watched my daughter shine as she talked about her love of Broadway music (as a genre) and how proud she is of her big brother's musical explorations.

It was an unexpected pleasure. A little shift to my dinner and the theatre paradigm. And one I'm the better for.

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