It began when I was but fifteen or sixteen. A busload of students from my all-girls school travelled to Sydney to see John Waters and Jackie Weaver in They're Playing Our Song. At the time I had no idea what to expect but by the end of the production, I'd fallen in love. Deeply. Badly.
It was to remain a secret affair for years. Study, marriage, raising children: those pursuits do not allow the time or money to pursue such a love affair. Yes, there were others during this time: a few high school productions (including a memorable one where it began to rain and the audience could seen the rain dancing off the electrical equipment and the students carried on as if professionals), local theatre productions here and there (all very good, I might add) but last night was the culmination of what began all those years ago.
Before I write more, I need to go back a month or so. Son#2's and DIL#2's birthdays were approaching (a day apart). Remembering how much Son#2 had enjoyed the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra last year, I went online to see what our local Opera House was offering. (Don't let the term Opera House misled you. Acoustics are great, everything else ... well I did say local.) There was one show and it fell on a night that I didn't expect to be convenient for them. There was nothing else of interest for the rest of the year and well into 2015.
Disappointing. Until I thought to go a little further afield. What I found caused me to doubt the evidence of my own eyes. Surely not in New Zealand and outside a major city? It's not like we're talking London or Broadway or even Sydney. Could it be true?
It was and tickets were duly purchased. When I mentioned it to DH he said to buy two more and he would take me. Oh lovely, lovely man. To accept my love affair and even encourage it - who could ask for more?
And so it was that last weekend Son#2 and DIL#2 went to watch The Phantom of the Opera, and last night it was DH's and my turn. Yes, The Phantom, and despite not being London or New York, despite not having the talents of Europe or America at it's disposal, despite using home-grown music directors and lighting technicians and supporting cast, it was wonderful. Wonderful.
There's only two problems: one, with a live show you can't hit rewind and watch it all over again, and two, I'm already planning my next rendezvous.