Broadway Missteps

In keeping with my newfound bravery in attempting to go somewhere outside my comfort zone, I made plans to see a former Broadway play being performed locally. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been around since it debuted in England in 1973. Somehow through the years, I had not seen the stage version or even the DVD. I probably wouldn’t have seen it now except students from the adult handicap organization VISTA Vocational and Life Skills Center, Inc., based in Westbrook, CT, were involved as performers and stagehands. They complemented a cast of professional actors, singers, etc., and my husband and I wanted to support their efforts.

It would have been nice to at last see the thing, but circumstances arose that prevented it. I have to take part blame in the unfortunate outcome – but only part blame.

The Ivoryton Playhouse located in Ivoryton, CT (a suburb of Essex) has been hosting shows for more than 100 years. Folks like  Katherine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Betty Grable and Mae West have appeared there. I had never attended any of its productions even when healthy. This event was just the thing to remedy that.

On the night of the performance, we arrived in plenty of time before the show started – or so we thought. Not factoring in the possibility that the reserved handicap spots would be taken up quickly because some of the cast and their fellow students from VISTA would need them too, I hadn’t realized the small-town scope of the venue. There was on-street parking only and one pay lot that unfortunately had a rutted surface that was not conducive to maneuvering a wheelchair. There were cars everywhere, their owners all looking for parking, Piles of snow and ice  had been plowed into otherwise normal parking spots. An illegally parked car blocked the only access to the area where I could have been dropped off.  All in all, it was a bust and we went home.

A conversation the next day with the executive director of the playhouse went a long way to soften the blow of the missed production. With sincere apologies, she related the “perfect storm” of the above-listed circumstances. She mentioned that I could have called the box office from the car (a point I hadn’t considered) and perhaps assistance from them might have helped. I also thought to myself that I should have taken a dry-run car ride to check out the place beforehand, anticipated the difficulties,  been air-lifted in by helicopter and deposited on the roof of the building. Well, that was a little exaggeration there, but you get the gist of my frustration.

One important thing I learned from this debacle is to plan ahead. There is no room in my life now with MS for spontaneity. I will physically check out places first, if it’s feasible. Also, I’ll contact the venue and find out everything about their accessibility. I’ll allow twice as much time for arrival anywhere.

So,  I’m going to borrow and finally see Joseph And TATD on DVD from our local library.  One alarming consequence of my newfound courage: Before the Ivoryton fiasco, I recklessly promised my husband that I would go to a live Yankee’s baseball game…via train…to New York City…to the stadium in the Bronx. Holy moly! But maybe I really will hire a helicopter…I’ve always wanted to see what life looks like from the Yankee’s center field!

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