Christmas 2008 my parents gave us a $100 gift certificate to Garbeau's Dinner Theater. Last night we finally used it.
Despite both still feeling pretty crummy from our flu, the reservations had already been made and my parents had put it on their calendar to come down and watch the kids so we decided to go. I must say it was exciting to have a night out and I was looking forward to the play since the online write-up described it as putting a "refreshing, smart, and thoroughly enjoyable 2006 spin on "Pride and Prejudice". I love Pride and Prejudice, the book and the A&E long version, not as in love with the newer Kiera Knightley movie version, but it'll do in a pinch. My love for Pride and Prejudice, along with the impending threat of Garbeau's going under in this poor economy, spurred us to finally make reservations and use our gift certificate.
The dinner was delicious - I enjoyed a perfectly braised lamb shank and Kyle had chicken alfredo. Dessert was heaven - a giant slice of Tuxedo Truffle Cake - melt in my mouth divine mousse and ganache layered cake! Kyle and I "shared" it, but you know who ate most of it. :) The couple of hours spent together over dinner was wonderful too. Uninterrupted conversation with your spouse can be rare when you have children, so we enjoyed the opportunity immensely.
Unfortunately the play did not come anywhere near my expectations. I suppose our first clue should have been when we were warned prior to the start of the play to "have an open mind" and enjoy the "adult humor". The second clue came when one of the main characters used "shit" 7 times within the first minute of the play. Now call me old-fashioned, call me conservative, I don't really care, but gratuitous foul language is a huge turnoff for me. Follow it up with crude and crass dialogue, innuendos and scenes and I am just not enjoying myself. The singing was okay, but it was the first time ever that I have wanted in the middle of something. The people pleaser in me would never do this for fear of hurting the actors' feelings, the waitresses feelings, the maitre 'de, etc, etc, but last night I just didn't care (oh let's just blame the flu).
As soon as intermission hit I asked Kyle if he wanted to go. He said he was fine staying since he figured I was enjoying it (he likened it to tv sitcoms such as "Friends", but I'm not a sitcom person, give me the crime dramas), but he didn't care if we left. We figured they would be settling all of the bills during intermission and asked for ours. We received the bill, put out our gift certificate and Kyle's credit card (it's surprising to me that $100 didn't cover it all) and planned to quietly leave as soon as she brought it back. Can you believe the play started up again all of a sudden and our waitress (and all wait staff) had completely disappeared! I sat there clutching my purse thinking, "I don't want to be trapped here having to watch the rest of this!" Kyle and I looked at each other and he walked back to where the waitress had gone and waited outside the service door expecting the waitress to reappear with his credit card at any minute. I sat at the table a few minutes watching and trying to decide what to do. I finally decided it would be less obvious if I just waited by the door than to have Kyle come back to the table and then both of us leave (oh did I say we were the 2nd table away from the stage up front?). We waited and waited until it became apparent the waitress wasn't coming back. I fiddled with my cell phone and tried to look worried so people around me would think maybe there was an emergency that was causing us to leave - I know it's crazy but hey, that's me. :( If I had more of a spine I would WANT them to know exactly WHY we were leaving and not to expect us back for any future plays, but let's admit it, I don't like confrontation. Finally I glance over and Kyle is going in the back through the service door. He tracked down our waitress, signed the bill, retrieved his credit card and happily relieved, we were off! Let me also say it bothers me if this is their typical protocol to take credit cards during intermission and then not give them back until the end of the show. That's at least an hour that strangers have complete access to your credit card! Just doesn't seem prudent to me in this day and age of so much identity theft and credit card fraud.
So that was our night out. We really enjoyed the food, our time together and the chance to reconnect as a couple, but my image of dinner theater being classy has been completely demolished. It seems to my dismay that dinner theater has become just as worldly as the rest of the entertainment industry. The ironic thing too is that we were the youngest couple there to watch the show, probably the demographic that they expected to love it so much, and yet it seemed we were the only ones bothered by it. Sigh. Well I'm signing off to go watch a good 'ole Hallmark movie where I'm sure this "old-fashioned gal" won't find any offensive "adult humor". ")