Friend: Laura Huntimer
Activity: The Marriage of Figaro Final Dress Rehearsal
Location: Orpheum Theatre
Total $ Spent: $0
Did you know that not everyone from South Dakota knows each other? Did you know that South Dakota is a huge state? These little reminders were brought to my attention the first time I met Laura Huntimer at Joslyn. When I first announced my 28x1x1 project, Laura was among the first to respond with a slew of ideas for possible activities. Resourceful and clever, I knew she had to be one of my $1 dates.
Quiet and yet bubbly, Laura is a self-proclaimed weirdo neurotic. Clearly this is why we are friends. She has also suffered some strange medical issues and though our specific ailments are different, I can certainly sympathize. She is a midwestern girl who is close to her family, like I'm close with mine. Far more brilliant than she would ever allow herself to admit, Laura is the kind of person who knows something about everything, and if she doesn't immediately know she will find an answer. Like opera.
My $1 date with Laura was at the final dress rehearsal of Opera Omaha's upcoming production of The Marriage of Figaro (http://www.operaomaha.org/). On date #16 with Marjorie, I overheard Maggie from Film Streams mention that the Opera frequently opens the final dress to an audience - FOR FREE! Talk about the perfect date for my project! So I followed up, worked my connections and got on the list. Okay, I'm making myself sound waaaaaay cooler than I really am. I basically asked Maggie and she made it happen. Shout out to Maggie - holla!! Anyway, much to my surprise, Laura was an opera virgin! True to her character, she confessed she knew nothing of opera and therefore researched Figaro in case she got lost in translation.
I was worried about finding parking and I certainly couldn't pay to park since it was a $1 date. Luckily I found a spot on the street about 2 1/2 blocks away. Freezing my tushy off while running through the streets of downtown Omaha, I met up with Laura in the lobby. We went into the auditorium and found some great seats. Or so I thought.....
Mr. I Bite My Nails Obsessively was seated to my immediate right. Oh. My. Lord. Annoying, rude, disgusting, distracting. I relished the quiet moments in between his chomp-chomp, spit, chomp-chomp, spitting. At intermission, Laura shared her frustrations over Mr. I Have a Really Loud Cough and I'm Not Afraid to Use It, who was seated behind her. There was also a baby/toddler somewhere in the audience which is just so not what you expect to hear at the opera. After we got all the kvetching out of our systems, we stretched our legs and caught up on life.
Before you think I'm ungrateful and didn't enjoy the opera, I really, really did. But I can't help it that I'm accutely aware of my surroundings and easily distracted by the sound of my neighbor's unfortunate habit(s).
Laura filled me in on how she's been doing since I left the Museum. Although we did get some juicy gossip out of each other, she sounds like she's pretty stable and staying focused on her work. I reassured her that I'm doing well at avoiding a major meltdown. We quickly studied our plot synopsis for the second half of the show and returned to our seats near the aforementioned undesirable seat neighbors. Acts III and IV were a little slower with longer solos and more lamenting over broken hearts and mistaken identies. As my friend Kevin said, "Come on, Wolfie, pick up the pace!" But this is of course in no way a negative reflection on the cast or orchestra. The four main leads were absolutely fantastic and I always adore the Omaha Symphony (http://www.omahasymphony.org/). We really do live in a cool little city....if you're not too cool to admit it.
After the show, we wandered the long halls, taking note of the intricate details in the gorgeous theatre. I saw my friend Stephen who was house managing, and we bumped into Colleen and Sarah who invited us out for a drink. Had it not been a $1 date and had I not been so exhausted, I would have loved to join them. It's important to disclose that part of my exhaustion was from playing Wii Fit with my step-mom for 3 hours last night. But that's beside the point.
We piled on our layers of fleece to prepare for the arctic blast of the Nebraska winter. It's a balmy 7 degrees tonight.......ugh. Laura and I parked in opposite directions so we said our goodbyes under the bright lights of the Orpheum marquis. This might have been our first date, but I think it will be the first of many.