Chicago in 2 Acts -- Opera and Musical review, with some personal notes

I interrupted my trip to fly home to Chicago for a few days, because I had opera tickets I couldn't change and definitetly didn't want to miss. While I ended up spending an inordinate amount of time sleeping (it turns out cars/air mattresses/sofas for 3 weeks... sneaks up on you), I did have some interesting experiences both as far as seeing beautiful things, and surounding The Breakup.  Das Rhinegold: I intially bought these tickets for Trevor, who has wanted to see the Ring Cycle for quite a while. The Ring Cycle is a Wagner opera (read: really long, really intense), and lasts approximately 2 years (okay just kidding, it's closer to 10 hours or something). Lyric opera is, wisely, deciding to do it over the course of several years. 

The performance was stellar; their art director really is incredible at creating very visually effective, yet modern scenes. It's hard to comment on any specific singers performance, as this is more an ensemble opera about a world-level plot rather than a character driven opera. I was, however, deeply amused at the opening, when a dwarf (the mythical creature) is chasing some nixies, and they are teasing him and not alowing him to grab them and caress them. After chasing them relentlessly for a while, he gives up, declares that they're cold and slimy anyways, and denounces love. I was like, OMG it's like 70% of okcupid!!!

This was my first time seeing Trevor since I left for the trip, and I wasn't sure how it would go. We quickly negotiated that kisses were okay, and that we still deeply mutually desire each other but that this pants-on queerplatonic relationship is a really healthy move right now. We also both felt comfortable and close with one another... I left the night feeling really hopeful that we will, with time, find our healthy groove.

Next to Normal: The first time we saw this musical, it was in Oconomowoc Wisconsen, and we decided to see it simply because it was the first musical since RENT (both of our favorite musical) to win a pulzer. We were totally unprepared and by intermission were both in a state of shellshock. Next to Normal is fucking INTENSE, especially for anyone who has dealt with loving while mentally ill, loving someone who is mentally ill, trying to manage an unmanagale brain, lost a child, been parented by a mentally ill person, or had troble grieving a serious loss. We fit into several of those categories. So, naturally, when Boho Theatre did a run of it, we HAD TO GO. 

The performers conveyed the intensity of the story amazingly well. In this experience of it, the husband's love of his unwell wife was very clear, and the fight they have where she accuses him of not understanding or caring about her pain, while he gets defensive and expresses that he feels like she doesn't see how hard he's trying to take care of her, felt like it could have just come out of my life in the past few years. I was sobbing within a few songs. I'm still processing it, but, suffice to say, Boho did an amazing job of performing this intimate, intense, emotional rock opera/musical. 

Last time Trevor and I saw this, a little over 2 years ago, our relationship desperately needed the break it is having now. We were both so impacted by the story, we clung to each other, arguably getting back together way before we should have. This time, we both were really impacted by it in different ways. We spent the car ride home re-affirming our love for one another, and grateful that we are doing something different. 

It was a good note to leave on. Now, well rested, I'm on my way to Seattle!