Monday, May 3, 2010

I am increasingly convinced...

...that a significant portion of my sanity may be found in a hotel's Lost and Found. The question is, of course, which hotel?

After Saturday night's concert in Akron I drove a little over three hours to Detroit, checking in at just past 1 AM with the help of a slightly confused desk clerk.

My plan had been to sleep in late before catching both the matinee and evening performances of Spring Awakening at the Fisher Theater: In hindsight it would have undoubtedly been wiser to get to my own bed at a reasonable time and then wake up earlier to drive to Detroit this morning. C'est la vie. I made the plan to stay overnight before the end of April and beginning of May turned into "Lincoln-Covers-the-Midwest-then-gets-pre-birthday-visit-from-Dad" and never bothered reevaluating them until it would have been too late to properly* cancel the reservation.

Sleeping in was the first part of that plan that was foiled: I woke up to the sound of rain on the hotel room's bay window [my first encounter with a bay window in a hotel room, I believe], but not the pleasant tap-tap-tap: More along the lines of rapid automatic weapon fire.

Somewhat sleep deprived I make my way to the theatre for the matinee--but first deposit several checks at a nearby Bank of Ameria ATM**--; a group of people was split across several locations on stage, and since I was seated next to one of those people I offered to swap seats so that they could be more closely grouped; by sheer coincidence I wound up in SA13, the same seat I was in when I first discovered the magic of on-stage seating for Spring Awakening in Philadelphia. This performance didn't feel like it had quite the energy, and I was surprised by how empty (and, by average age, old) the house was: I noticed a distracting slapback off of the rear wall that I've never heard in any other venues, but those relatively minor comments didn't keep it from being a worthwhile performance. I'm ashamed to admit that I did almost drift off to sleep on at least two occasions before I caught myself.

After the performance I made my way to Cuisine -- yes, the name of the restaurant is Cuisine -- and had a Cesar Salad (good, plenty of dressing); the Roasted Duck (I think this is the first time I've tried Duck--and I'm not sure I need to do it again) finished with ice cream. Despite the languid pace of service, which I suspect was intentional since I had told the staff I was killing "a couple hours" and was otherwise quite attentive, once I was settled up ($56.00 including tip and without alcohol making it one of my more expensive meals for one) I still had about 70 minutes to kill before the house opened for the evening performance.

In an attempt to nurse a growing headache, I bought some Advil and Mountain Dew from the pharmacy across the hallway from the theater -- from quite possibly the most customer-focused retail clerk I've met this decade, going out of her way to point out cheaper options and then diging out a coupon for the product I did buy -- I retired to my car planning on napping. The near-constant symphony of chirping car horns announcing the arrival of ushers quickly ended that dream.

For the evening's performance I was seated in the second row stage left: The violist and violinist (doubling 2nd guitar) were immediately behind me hidden from the view of most of the audience, with percussion directly in front of me, followed stage left to right by the upright bass, guitar, cello, and keyboard/music director. As a fan of the violin family of instruments who didn't notice the violin on stage until about 4 performances in it was great to hear both the violin and viola so clearly. Being in the midst of the orchestra, there were times when the vocals got lost, but it was nonetheless beautiful music and there were sounds that I had never noticed--either in live performance or listening to the original cast recording.

The slapback that distracted me for much of the first performance was nearly nonexistent from this seat, and I missed being kicked in the face during Totally Fu--ed by what seemed like mere inches: The onstage experience is nothing if not immerse.

Following the end of the performance I returned to my car and embarked on another three and a half hour late night drive: This time to Columbus, marking my sixth hotel in the past three weeks, and once again encountering a slightly confused desk clerk just past 1AM. Unfortunately, I do not have the leisure of sleeping in tomorrow--er--this morning.

If you happen to know where my sanity may be found, please let me know or provide it with forwarding information.

* - As a HHonors "Diamond VIP", I've unintentionally discovered that I can get away with a lot of things that you aren't allowed to do. I probably could have called the Diamond Desk and weaseled a cancellation without penalty, but I didn't feel that was the ethically proper course of action to take.

** - It's funny: Bank of America has always been "my" bank. They display no loyalty to me, but I feel a loyalty to them such that despite not having a single branch or deposit-accepting ATM in Ohio, I continue to use them. Why? I love their online banking, there is a relatively convenient withdrawal-only ATM, and it seems that everywhere outside of Ohio that I find myself has a BofA branch. And I'm too lazy to move my accounts.

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