Blame the theatre; it interferes!

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express was in town this week for three shows. Slated for performance this year were Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Midsummer was first up on Wednesday night, and it was sold out. Heather and Jess were able to get tickets at the very last minute. I got a glowing report, but didn't get to see the play. (Only a little disappointed, I was.) The next night they called me up from the ticket line and said, "We have you a ticket, but you have to come NOW. We're going to sit on the front row again, and you need to join us."So I did. Ahhhh, Hamlet. It's one of my three favorites of Shakespeare, but up to now I'd never gotten to see it performed live. We hung around for a few minutes afterward and had a few pictures taken—and bought tickets for Friday's showing of Rosencrantz.

Things being what they are and the wondergeeks being what they are, events never turn out quite as planned. We saw the show, and then again hung around afterwards to get more food. Jess, being a daughter-of-theatre as she is, offered to help the troupe find food-and-booze.

Multiple calls to my spouse ensued. ("Jeff? Help! We need the numbers for Tim's, Rosie's, Beauregard's, TGI Friday's, and any other restaurant that you think might still be serving food at ten p.m.!")

After much calling and wandering around and looking like groupies (according to me), we discovered that TGI Friday's was serving food until ten-ish and the bar would be open until two a.m.

So we pile three heretofore-known-only-on-stage actors and played the who-the-heck-are-you? game, and went to TGI Friday's. After having identified our new passengers as James-the-larger, James-the-smaller, and Alex, we proceeded to food, drinkage, and pictures.

The evening gathered more hilarity as it went on. To think that the batteries in Jessica's camera died by ten-thirty, and had Heather not gone to a gas station to get fresh ones, we would have missed out on so many of the best ones.

We migrated to the bar after finishing dinner. More bad stories, more chuckling at the slightly tipsy ones, more comments that the rest of the troupe really made a bad choice in choosing IHOP over drinks and dinner at Friday's. More pictures were taken, the full amusement value of which can't really be explained without your actually seeing them.

Last call was at two a.m. By 1:45, James had pretty much sold all of us on Oban: a 14-year-old Scotch, spicy and smooth, unlike anything I've ever had before. As my painfully-sensitive teeth demanded, I stuck with my margaritas on the rocks.

We left the bar right before last call and took the various outfreyn home: Alex and James-the-larger to the Bevill Center, and James-the-smaller to his uncle's house on the other side of the mountain. Then home for the rest of us: back to casa de wondergeeken by 2:15 and me back to my house and catz by 2:30.

A.M. Yes. I am still occasionally capable of staying up that late. But I'll pay for it today in naps.