Last Saturday we went to Million Dollar Quartet at the Music Hall at Fair Park (MH@FP) in Dallas. Last night we went to Young Frankenstein, the Musical at the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall (Bass) in Fort Worth.
The Venue: Bass wins. MH@FP is at Fair Park in Dallas, home of the State Fair of Texas. Many locals consider this a "bad part of town". I have never had a problem but I am always there for a specific event and always during the day. I think the MH@FP building is pretty unremarkable, architecturally speaking, so I didn't take any pictures. The Bass is in downtown Fort Worth. Like any large city, downtown has places you shouldn't be running around late at night alone. However, there is a Barnes & Noble across the street and several restaurants so it feels pretty safe here. It is much nicer on the outside, including two 48 foot angels.
Carved from Texas Limestone by Marton Varo
Here is David wondering, "How'd they get those big-ass angels up there?"
The Seats: MH@FP wins. We had "orchestra" seating for both, meaning we were up close, on the floor. We went to the opera at MH@FP once and sat in the balcony and saw comedian Lewis Black at Bass from the nosebleed balcony and orchestra seating is definitely better. The seats we had at MH@FP reclined a little and were more plush. The Bass seats are narrow and you have lots of togetherness with your neighbor. The seats at Bass are not on as steep an incline so it is hard to see over the people in front of us. David pops up like a prairie dog when something happens low on the stage. My seat is at the end right against the wall of some balcony style seats and this girl wouldn't quit looking over the wall at us.
For a while it looked like David might get lucky on his side and he thought he would gloat a little.
You can just see the sophistication factor rising.
Sadly , a man came right before the curtain went up and, even with all those empty seats, sat right next to David. Maybe the man who tried to scalp us some tickets while sitting at a red light in his truck was supposed to meet this guy but didn't show? He keeps looking toward the back but no one comes. For 8 scenes he stays glued to David's side. Finally, mercifully, he moves down.
The Other Patrons: Tie. The problem with attending events like this is that other people will be there. It rained the day we went to the MH@FP. Both David and I have older women sitting next to us. Older women who don't have any regard for the person seated next to them. I get mine first. She sits down wearing her still wet raincoat and presses her soaking wet arm against my bare one. I move my arm, her obvious goal as she claims the armrest for the remainder of the show. David's partner shows up and after removing her wet coat, flings most of it over on top of him. There is a woman behind us wearing so much perfume I get a headache and am forced to down some Excedrin before the show begins. At Bass there is the aforementioned girl that keeps looking over the wall at us and the man attached at the hip with David. The two girls in front of us dissolve into fits of giggles and clutch at each other every time a joke with sexual innuendo is made. This is a Mel Brooks play. It happens a LOT. During intermission a woman in front of us leans her head way back and proceeds to finger comb her hair over David's lap causing him to reflect, "I hope she ain't got no critters in there".
The Show: MH@FP & Million Dollar Quartet win. My family says I don't have a sense of humor. If I do, it isn't the same one Mel Brooks has. I have never seen the whole movie Young Frankenstein and probably won't force myself to endure it any time soon. I did think a few things were funny and enjoyed the play in general and thought all of the singers were fantastic. If you are not familiar with the premise of Million Dollar Quartet, it is based on real events from 1956 when Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley were together at Sun Studios and an impromptu "jam session" was recorded. This musical is more music, less play. The actors played all of their own instruments, no prerecorded "karaoke" done here, and they were really good. Elvis has the best look and did an amazing impression of the mannerisms and body motions the real Elvis was famous for. Before the show they announced that Johnny Cash would be played by the understudy leaving me wondering - how good was the regular Johnny Cash?
The After Party: Joe's wins. After Million Dollar Quartet we ate crab legs Joe's Crab Shack. It is hard to beat crab legs in my world and we arrived at Joe's before it got too loud and before the wait staff had to stop everything to do The Cupid Shuffle. After Young Frankenstein we went across the street to The Flying Saucer. If you pay $18 they give you a t-shirt and a card. Every time you have a beer they swipe the card and after 200 different beers, they put a customized plate on the wall in your honor. We decline this option and David has 2 beers (both the same), I have a coke and we share some mediocre nachos. We have to sit at the bar and it is very loud so there isn't much conversation.
That's a lot of different kinds of beer and isn't even all of them, more were to the right of this photo. So I wonder...why does man at the other end of the bar come here just to order a Coors Light?
· Is that bee outside?
· Makes you want to get up and dance a jig, don't it?
· Go get me a beer. (This was NOT said at The Flying Saucer)
· Course it ain't rainin', we're inside a building.
· Pants that are lined can't be called slacks.
· I didn't know I was going to get a live performance of Burlesque before we left.
· They're coming for you baby...the whitecoats.
· Here's the beef.
· There's this band called the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I am not sure if you have heard of them.
· I've been trying to get that up all day.
· That was chiseled with a rock.
· I coughed so hard I farted.