The Real Theater

Scott and I had a date night last week and went to see Red at the Dorothy Chandler. The show was perfectly acted and beautifully designed and the writing was neat as a pin- there wasn’t a loose thread or a messy edge or a busted seam in sight. Plus, it was about Mark Rothko, whom I love. And somehow, I couldn’t have cared less about it. It didn’t get a hook in me anywhere. I didn’t feel a thing. It was a fun night out, but that was about it.

As we left the theater, there was free Japanese Ondo/Bon dancing in the courtyard, with a live band. Bon dancing happens in concentric circles and there was a dance floor especially laid out for it, like a little race track around the fountain. It’s a folk dance originally designed to welcome ancestral spirits, and it looks kind of like the electric slide, done with fans in a circle.

There were old women in kimonos and little girls in shorts and flip flops and people of all ages and races. Some knew what they were doing and some were clearly just walking by and grabbed a fan. I was riveted. So was Scott. Something about the diversity of the dancers and their general joy and lack of self-consciousness was truly moving. Of course I hopped in and got my Bon on for a minute- just try to stop me from dancing in the streets. We left totally exhilarated.

You’ll always get your theater eventually, if you keep looking.