I can’t see everything, but I can see more

A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I had so many shows to see in the next few months that I was going to need to make a Gantt chart to figure out how to see as many as possible. A friend (the lovely and talented Theo Allyn who will be appearing in the Upstairs Concierge at the Goodman Theatre from March 28 through April 26) commented that there is so much good stuff to see that she has had to accept that she can’t see everything. Theo was referring to the practical limits of time, space, and budgets. For me though, the idea that I can’t see everything became an excuse for not seeing much of anything.

I used to see a dozen or more plays a year. Part of that was because I knew people who worked in theatre who would often give me comp tickets. Free is a very good incentive. But even when I moved to Washington, DC where I didn’t have many theatre contacts I still tried to see shows.

When I met my now-husband he hadn’t been to much theatre. His passion is live music, which is something that I hadn’t seen much of. I took him to plays. He took me to concerts. It was fun to share our passions with each other. But having two agendas (music and theatre) cut into the time and budget for both, which meant going to fewer of both.

Then we got married and had kids. Suddenly going out together meant the added cost and complication of having to get a babysitter. Even fewer things got seen.

When I would miss something that I had been interested in seeing I would think, “I can’t see everything,” but I started to realize that was usually just an excuse for being lazy.

Of course I can’t see absolutely everything, but I can certainly see more than I was. So that’s why I am adopting two new rules for myself.

1. I will go see shows without my husband.

I love seeing shows with my husband, sharing the experience, and talking about it afterward, but requiring plays to be date nights is limiting. My husband and I will choose the plays he really wants to see, but I will also go to shows with friends or even by myself.

I used to see shows by myself all the time. I have no issue with it. I just got out of the habit. I went to see Ordinary Days at BoHo Theatre by myself last week and had a lovely time.

2. I will go see shows on weeknights.

This is the challenging one. After work I’m usually not motivated to do much of anything, but only going to plays on Friday or Saturday nights is very limiting considering a lot of things tend to compete for my time on those weekend evenings. Sunday matinees exist but also take away time with my kids.

If I see shows during the week I will have a lot more opportunities. Plus a lot of theatres have cheaper tickets on those nights. Win!

So, that’s the plan. My husband has made similar resolutions about seeing live music. I’m seeing The Talking Cure at Idle Muse with a friend this weekend and will soon pick a date for my husband and I to see These Saints Will Burn by The Plagiarists.

I wanted to see Two Trains Running at The Goodman, but at this point I don’t think that will happen. Oh, well. I can’t see everything.


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