I am always amazed at how many people I know (or meet) who say that they would never be caught dead going to the theatre, a movie or, even, the gym alone. For all of my new readers, I would just like to say that my website is dedicated to all the avid travelers, food lovers and cultural enthusiasts who are too afraid, nervous or self-conscious to pursue their passions solo. I hope my posts will inspire, motivate and help you realize that time waits for no one and neither should you. There will be times when none of your family or friends are able or willing to join you. Life should be about collecting great memories, not letting opportunities to make them pass you by. Pursuing your interests solo does not have to be a lonely or scary experience.
All that said, there is nothing pathetic about going to the theatre alone! In fact, theatres and movie houses, more than any other venues, are the two places where a person should NOT feel self-conscious about flying solo… at all. For the price of your ticket, you are supposed to sit in a dimly lit space, face forward, keep quiet and watch the show. Trust me. No one is thinking about how “pathetic” you are for being there by yourself. Either way, you should feel great that you did not miss a show you’ve been excited to see, simply because no one was available to join you. Missing the show for fear of going solo? THAT would be pathetic as well as a missed opportunity to make a new memory for yourself.
Wednesday night I took myself to Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood to see their latest stage play, “Airline Highway.”
Chicago has an impressive theatre district. However, one of the more special theatres here is Steppenwolf Theatre founded by Gary Sinise, Jeff Perry, Laurie Metcalf, John Malkovich and others. Steppenwolf is a small, intimate space located just 1 1/2 blocks from the CTA Red Line at the North/Clybourn ‘L’ stop. So, it is very convenient to get there. There is no bad seat in the house.
Also, Steppenwolf has an incredible history of putting on fabulous, intense, dramatic plays. Many of those plays began on Steppenwolf’s stage and, later, moved onto Broadway stages in NYC. This legacy remains intact today. For instance, “Airline Highway” is a heartfelt, intense play set in New Orleans, near the infamous Airline Highway at The Hummingbird motel. The story revolves around the funeral of an iconic burlesque performer and the “family” of strippers, hustlers and other colorful people who have been touched by her life. It’s a wonderful show. Catch it at Steppenwolf through mid-February before it heads to the Manhattan Theatre Club stage in Spring 2015!
Visit www.steppenwolf.org for information about Airline Highway, other upcoming shows, and discounted tickets
As I mentioned, there is no bad seat at Steppenwolf. However, I was able to score a last minute front row seat, since I attended the show solo. It was well worth the extra price of the ticket because there are a few musical bits during the party/funeral scene which allow those people sitting nearest the stage to feel as if they, too, were invited to the party. Nice!
One final word about attending plays, movies or other cultural events solo. Don’t be afraid to chat with the other folks you meet there whether they are sitting beside you or you meet them during intermission. You are all there for the same reason (well, probably). I have rarely been to a show of any kind on my own when I did not engage in a few nice conversations with some interesting people from all over the world. Wednesday’s performance of “Airline Highway” was no different for me.
So, the next time you are considering skipping a play, movie or concert that really excites you, just because you cannot find someone to join you, DON’T! You just might regret it later.
To learn more about Steppenwolf Theatre’s history, upcoming performances, ticket prices and subscriptions, visit www.steppenwolf.org
ROAM. REVEL. REPEAT