LAVA: A Godessey (aka The Show I Missed)

I had a ticket to this show last Friday, December 1, but I didn’t get to see it. Let me tell you what happened instead:

Brooklyn-based LAVA is a feminist acrobatic dance company. Their latest show is called A Goddessey. On the night in question, I head to their space in Brooklyn, excited to have a night out close to home. I have seen them perform twice before and already knew they are excellent. I text my friend that I am there. She says she is on her way. I wait and wait and realize: no one else is waiting outside with me. In fact, the venue looks rather dark. It dawns on me that I went to the wrong location. I look at the email and sure enough, the show is at The Flea Theater in TriBeCa this time. I call my friend. She is there, wondering where I am. She asks the usher how late I can be seated. I have 20 minutes to get there before final late seating. I decide to go for it.

I arrive at the theater too late to be seated. Bummer. This is money I really don’t have to waste, but nothing I can do. I am at peace with just hanging out and reading until the show lets out. In the lobby are two women my age. A similar thing had happened to them. One is from Portland and the other from San Fran, in town only briefly. Their cab driver had taken them to the wrong address. They are very frustrated. I tell them I am going to just stay and wait for my friend, and I will consider the price of my unused ticket a donation. They remark on my positive attitude. They stay.

Another couple arrives: a young man and woman. They thought the show started at 8. (No, sorry, it started at 7.) All of us have friends inside. We all start chatting and we find out that the young man is a storyteller. We have a brilliant idea! We decide to take turns and tell a story to pass the time. One of the front of the house theater staff even joins in on the storytelling, and another staffer offers us each a glass of wine. The stories are touching, funny and so honest — an alcoholic uncle; a judgmental mom; an autistic friend; a coming out story; a cranky self-proclaimed small town theater critic — even a gorilla story. We really connect.

All too soon the “real” show lets out, and we meet up with our friends. We all hug goodbye. We feel close. We have turned a frustrating situation into magic, and we did not retreat into our smart phones. We were present. I won’t forget it. Honestly, I think I enjoyed our own “performance” more than I would have enjoyed the dance performance. It was richer than I can really describe it. I guess you had to be there.

(BTW, my friend said the show was fabulous. Of course it was! LAVA is awesome! Next time, I hope!)

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