|Me at the show!|
Since Eric and I are huge celebrities, we receive tickets to all sorts of cool things. Mainly plays, I guess. No one has ever given us tickets to a baseball game or a hot new club opening or an architecture boat tour. "Broadway in Chicago" is a not-for-profit organization that brings huge musicals from New York to Chicago so that we may learn about what real theatergoers like. I took my wife out for a night on the town! We had dinner at some place with half-priced appetizers and made our way over to the big bright theater.
Sometimes in life, things turn out better than you would have thought. For example, if your car got towed, but someone had put a bomb in it. Or if your penis got smaller, but then you started dating a Pixie. Pixies have notoriously small vaginas.
Do you know what you say when these things happen?
You can shout it from the rooftops! Because the past is in the past! This was one of the lessons I learned at last night's star-studded performance of Disney's The Lion King.
Have you ever seen Disney's The Lion King before? It was a movie first. A cartoon movie with lots of celebrity voices! There was Cheech and Ferris Bueller. Whoopi and Darth Vader. Die Hard 3 and Home Improvement. You never saw a bigger list of hot names!
The movie is about this prince that is gonna be the king of this one section of land and his uncle is mad about it. The uncle wants to be king and then he will unite the neighboring country and his and have a huge country. So far this sounds like most Shakespeare history plays.
All good plays and stories are about the same thing. Power struggles and finding courage.
That's why I was so surprised that they would take such an incredible idea for a show and then make it about animals. Did you know that this thing is about talking animals!? I mean, I knew the movie was about animals, but I thought for the play they'd give it up with that stuff already. Cartoons aren't real and you can't have lions and giraffes and zebras running around on a stage in Chicago. How would they even get here in the first place? Whatever. I'm not a zoologist. Here's the thing though... they use puppets! Not puppets like puppets we are used to either. Sometimes they just took a statue or doll and moved it around and they called that a puppet. Other times, they just wore a hat and then they called that a puppet. PUPPETS PUPPETS PUPPETS!!
Some of the people onstage were just people and didn't have any puppets. For example, this one lady was supposed to be a monkey named "Rafiki" and she was just her. No puppet at all. At first I thought that was pretty racist, but she seemed fine with it, so I was too. Also, the lion cubs didn't have any puppets, they were just little kids in face paint. It was cool though, because they were kids and working puppets can be hard to do, so it was probably more for safety than anything else.
The show begins with all the animals in the forest or wherever coming up to this big rock dancing around and singing this song in gibberish and then the head lion king picks up this baby lion robot and holds him up in the air and all the other animals bow down. This means that this baby lion robot is going to be the king one day, so all you other animals better recanize. Then this guy named "Scar" who is the uncle of the robot (who is a real boy/lion now, named "Simba") is chilling out with his hyena friends and they set up a plan for Simba to get run over by some wildebeests. Well the plan almost works but then the Lion King comes and saves Simba but then Scar pushes Lion King into the wildebeest herd and he dies. Wildebeest festivals are no place for Lion Kings.
Well Scar goes back and tells everyone that it was Simba's fault and that he got killed too. Now, everybody hates Simba.
After this happened, I needed a sec to cry and pee, so I was very pleased that it was intermission. As I went to the bathroom, the line was extraordinarily long. I couldn't figure out why. Did all these people need to pee and be alone for a minute too?
No they didn't. You know who was in line? Chicago's favorite joy-eater, Jay Cutler. Jay Cutler is the quarterback for the Chicago Bears, so naturally he would like a play about animals. He was signing autographs and being very stone faced as the angry Disney fans hurled insults at him.
For a quick second I thought, Jay Cutler is sort of like Simba right now, because everyone hates him and blames him for the death of our dreams. I wanted to ask him if it made him feel good to ruin everything for a whole city, but all I really wanted was for him to get out of the way of the bathroom entrance. Neither of these things were gonna happen, so I just went back and sat down. Right when the lights were going down for Act II, Cutler rushed back into the theater and as everyone was making snide comments as he passed, I wanted to join in, so I yelled "I'm going to murder your girlfriend!" but I don't think he heard me. Probably for the best, now that I can take myself out of the moment and reassess the situation. Sometimes when people start yelling, I want to yell too, and sometimes I go a little overboard.
Do you know what happens in the second act of Disney's The Lion King? Simba meets this pig and a rat and they dance around town in their little gang singing songs about not caring about anything and telling fart jokes. They are pretty funny and all the kids were laughing and some of the grown ups, too. Then they meet Nala who is Simba's girlfriend from before. They fall back in love and Nala tells Simba and the rat and pig to go to the monkey and then go fight the uncle. When they get to the uncle, they have a huge fight and the hyenas eat the uncle. Everyone cheered for this because all Americans wish their uncles would be eaten by hyenas.
Everyone standed up and cheered for this and was whistling and hooting! I got carried away and screamed "I WILL FUCKING BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!". Again, this was the wrong reaction and got me thinking about maybe having a mild form of autism.
Then they sang "Have You Seen The Love Tonight?" or whatever it's called and everyone clapped. So many great puppets to look at, and also I loved not being ashamed to like a Broadway play because the lights were out, and nobody knew who I was, so my street cred was ok.
After the 8th encore, we were allowed to leave. The "Broadway in Chicago" people were gracious enough to set up a meet and greet with the cast for some of the "Press" that was there. It was basically me and my wife and three dudes from Univision.
Since I spoke the best English of the group, I was an instant hit with the cast! I told jokes and bought them all Disney's The Lion King t-shirts in appreciation of such a great show.
|Left to Right: Zebra, Lion, Lion, Gazelle, Pig|
Then the night had to come to an end, but what a spectacular time I had! I'm still humming that one song! Do yourself a favor and save for a few months and take someone you love to see this play because you will totally get laid afterwards. Also, if you are Jay Cutler, I'm sorry for threatening your family.
-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach