Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jersey Boys & Drag Queens: Pittsburg, PA

First let me say I can never remember if it is Pittsburgh or Pittsburg.  Let me also say, I don't really care and this is not one of my favorite destinations.

When I arrived in Pittisburg(h) back in early September, it became my second time in the city.  The first time was during my "don't leave the hotel after dark" days so in some ways, this is my first time all over again.

Because I try to be cost conscious with my company's money, I end up getting a hotel in Green Tree, just outside of the city.  Mapquest says the hotel is 3 miles from by customer's location.  The first morning I give myself 45 minutes knowing in a good size city like this one, it might take more time to get there, especially when you drive downtown.  I was 30 minutes late.  That's hour and fifteen minutes to go 3 miles.  It wasn't a fluke either, that was the case all three days.

Fortunately my customer was understanding and it was good information to know since I bought tickets before I left Texas to see Jersey Boys the first night, also downtown.

But of course in the evening, it doesn't take nearly that long so I am VERY early and I prefer it that way.  As fortune would have it, there is an outdoor jazz concert going on right across from the theater.  I stand around listening and chatting with a very nice man named Dennis who happened by on his way home.  He told me a lot about what he thinks are interesting things to do in the city (none of which were things I ultimately did) and how the city has really undergone a great deal of revitalization since my last visit around 7 years ago.

I feel vaguely guilty about seeing Jersey Boys without David.  This is one we both talked about wanting to see.  When I saw that it was going to be in Pittsburg(h) while I was there, I checked to see if it would be in Dallas in 2013 but it isn't on the list.  It will be in Houston in March but now that I know I won't be living in Texas by March of next year, I am glad he was okay with me going on without him. 

As you can see from the image, I have a really good seat.  The only needing one seat thing works in my favor again.  Also in my favor is the woman to my left, Connie.  Connie and I enjoy talking before the show even though she is here with her husband.  Connie's husband didn't really want to come.  He isn't a jerk about it like some might be, he gives off more of a "I will probably sleep through this anyway" kind of vibe.  She lives a little far from the city so she rarely gets to do things like this and she is really excited.  Contagious excited.

The play is fantastic.  I really enjoy it but maybe not as much as Connie who grabs my arm as soon as the lights come on for intermission.  She is bouncing up and down, shaking me and squealing a little.  I think Jersey Boys is very similar to Million Dollar Quartet - the first one David and I saw together - and I would be surprised if I found out the same person(s) didn't write both.

On my second night I have plans to return downtown to another play, this time it is Dixie's Tupperware Party.  This is listed as an "interactive" play and from my experience with Bingo in Kansas City I know that means the cast will be interacting with some of the audience.  There is something I didn't realize about Dixie though.

Dixie is a man.

I think I might be the only one who didn't know this in advance and apparently Dixie isn't the only one of his/her kind.  I found some others also selling Tupperware in drag when I looked up Dixie Longate on the internet.  In fact, the top selling salesperson for several years in a row is a man who sells dressed in drag and Dixie has been quite successful in her own right.

This is a one-woman show and also a real Tupperware party.  We are given catalogs and order forms.  Dixie goes through the full sales pitch while talking about how she broke into Tupperware (at the suggestion of her parole officer).  There is, in my opinion, a motivational message here wrapped around her gushing about Brownie Wise who was a vice president of Tupperware in the 1950's (when women definitely weren't VPs at major corporations). 

Dixie's humor isn't for everyone though she is never directly inappropriate there is plenty of innuendo for those with a mind bent in that direction.  My family says I have no sense of humor and I definitely found her funny.  And she definitely interacted.  Four people (including the man and woman in the picture above) were seated on the stage and she spoke to them several times and had them do a relay race towards the end of the play.  She also gave out 3 door prizes which required the "winner" to come onstage.  This showcased Dixie's ability to continue to be funny, even when ad-libbing which she did again during a Q & A session.  And none of us there will ever forget Dirk, a man in the front row center that she picked on a lot and who was invited onstage to demonstrate how to use the can opener, something he had some difficulty doing.

This is a traveling show and if you get a chance to see it, go for it.  It was a fun show and a lot of laughs.  And girls, be sure to take your husband or significant other - especially if his name is Dirk.

My last night in town I am scheduled to go to an author's lecture at a community center.  Driving through and beyond downtown I find myself in a pretty rough neighborhood.  Normally I don't get nervous when I am out and about in a strange town but on this day I find myself feeling a little uneasy about my surroundings.  There are a lot of people milling around on the streets and there are a LOT of abandoned or apparently abandoned buildings.  Definitely some Criminal Minds opportunites here.  As I pull up to a red light, I look to my right and there is a church on the corner.  In the grass a sign:  Stop Shooting, We Love You.

There is no photo for two reasons.  First, the light changed and second, I was a little freaked out.  As I drive up to the community center I find there is no on-site parking.  I will be forced to park on the street and walk back to my white mini-van with New York license plates after dark.  After circling the block a couple of times and finding nothing even remotely close I decide I can't do it.  My mother's voice won't be quiet in my head.  David would freak out if he knew I was even remotely thinking about getting out of my car here. 

So, I drive back through downtown to return to my hotel for the night, disappointed.  Until...

That's right!  Jersey Boys...round 2!

My route to the hotel takes me past the theatre and now familiar parking garage I used for both plays.  I pull in on a whim, walk to the box office, ask what the best single seat they have is and get 6th row center 30 minutes before curtain.  Sold! 

So for the second time in two days, I sit through Jersey Boys.  I have to say, it was just as good the second time.  I only wish Connie could have been there with me.


  1. I have heard so many rave reviews...will see it one of these days!

    1. If you like the music of the Four Seasons, go! I would see it again.