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Theatre 40, where art thou?

February 5, 2010

“You must not have read the invitation,” she said.

“Apparently not.”

The email, actually, but she was wrong. I did read it, and then today, I checked the Theatre 40 website to verify the start time of “Could I Have This Dance,” simply to avoid sorting through too many old emails. I’m lethargic that way.

I’m lethargic anyway, having caught a cold two days ago, yet here we were, driving from Hermon (yes, it does exist) to Beverly Hills, in the rain, to catch the show, my first at Theatre 40.

It sounds like a theatre with a front door and sign, right? That it was on the campus of Beverly Hills High School shouldn’t complicate finding it that much, right? Of course not. After driving the length of Moreno between Olympic and Little Santa Monica, and asking a cop if he knew where it was – “No, I’m afraid I don’t,” he said, slipping his nightstick into (nice, that)  its loop – and making a not so legal U-turn, and another, and parking, and walking throughout the campus with the rain falling in a way that somehow confounded my umbrella, we finally stumbled upon a maintenance worker.

“Do you know where Theatre 40 is?”

“Where did you park?” he asked.

When I told him I parked on the street, he asked why. Why? Because it’s raining and we think Fred Astaire has nothing on us, perhaps?

“Follow me.” He drove his utili-cart slowly and pointed toward the maintenance elevator. “It’s on the fifth floor. Press one.”

Sure, that made sense. We exit the elevator. Nothing to the right. A couple students working in a lab answer my door knock and tell us, yeah, it’s right around the corner – to the left.

And as we drip our way down the linoleum hall, we see the empty ‘lobby’ – empty, until we turn the corner and meet a crowd of people walking out of the theatre. “Is it over?” I ask the first person I encounter.


“Intermission? It just started ten minutes ago!”

Not exactly. Had I read the invitation (or email, to be precise), and not the website, I would have known, or remembered, the show started at 7, for press and patrons. Why? Because Fridays are different.

I met the kind PR person who’d reserved two seats for us. “We were worried about you,” she said with a little too much truth for my taste.  

Lesson learned. Next time I visit a theatre for the first time, Mapquest and website info are a good place to start, but the hot tea with brandy I’m sipping now is a better place to finish.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandra permalink
    February 7, 2010 2:06 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Great Theatre that produces Great Work and if you know the way to the correct parking lot you can get there sans elevators and park for free.

  2. the cast of 'Could I Have This Dance' permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:19 am

    Steve- We are aghast and appalled that you had such trouble. We, as a cast, would love to invite you back – with two reserved seats again! We’ll even send you detailed directions to the parking. The first act is worth seeing, too! We hope you stay for the second again… Sincerely, The Entire Cast of ‘Could I Have This Dance?’

    • julianabroad permalink*
      February 16, 2010 7:13 pm

      Thank you, dear cast. I would love to see the play in its entirety and will try to get back before you close on the 28th. Thank you for caring!

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