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Monday, June 27, 2011

The Next Thing You Know: AKA Sometimes Theatre Can Hit WAY Too Close To Home...

Saturday night, I saw Cap 21's production of Next Thing You Know, by Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, who wrote I Love You Because, which is actually one of my all time favorite shows. Seriously check out the OCR, the music is fun & catchy & the show is loosely based on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, which is one of my fav books.

Add my love of I Love You Because to the fact that Next Thing You Know's cast was made up of 4 people 3 of whom I actually knew both from working & the industry & as a friend, & I was pretty confident I would enjoy the show.

So confident in fact that I bought a ticket about a month ago, and then forgot most of the details of the show, including the name whoopsies. I figured since I had liked what else the writers had done, and knew more than 1/2 the cast, I was bound to enjoy it. The point being I walked into the show that night a complete blank slate, knowing only that the show took place (mostly) in a bar.

What followed was a show about being in your late twenties & having to grow up, make choices & moving on with your life, or as Wikipedia described it, "Next Thing You Know looks at a time in life where one day you wake up, and instead of a hangover, you have a job. Instead of a fling, you have a live-in girlfriend. And instead of naïve dreams, you have reality".

Um.....yeah as someone who just crossed into her late twenties, this was a pretty much sucker punch to the great I went out expecting to see a cute little show, & am now sitting there watching the performance while reevaluating my entire Saturday night...

There is just something about sitting & watching live theater that causes introspection. Are at least that is how it has always been for me. I am a relatively happy person, in fact most people who have to deal with me on a regular bias call me "perky". Still lately, I've been going over all the choices I've made in my life. I like to believe I have a carpe diem attitude to life, often saying that "No good ever came from just going home", & that "The question is never why, but why not?".  But then I think of all my friends who have done all this traveling, two of them toured the country following David Cook's Declaration Tour, another two travel to see different touring companies of Broadway Tours, I even have a friend who is a teacher & her summer breaks are spent traveling the globe, she's been to Egypt, Japan, & Africa among many others & I wonder am I really doing all I could/should be doing with my life. Of course most of this wondering happens when I am stuck sitting on an NJ Transit train, but still it is somewhat valid.

In Next Thing You Know four late 20-somethings who've come to that moment in life where they have big choices to make. Waverly (aka the whiner) is doing everything she possibly do to just "stay" the way she is, in between childhood & adulthood.

Meanwhile her best friend, & seemingly everyone else in her life, is starting to move forward, driving her further & further into a full blown quarter life crises. She dumps her long time boyfriend & starts seeing someone she knows will never be serious.

There are several situations that Waverly has to go through before accepting that you can't freeze time. Time moves on & you have to keep up with it. On a side note the acting was great & I would totally recommend everyone go see it, if Saturday hadn't been the last performance...

I still firmly believe that ever choice we make in life is for a reason & ultimately we all have a path, a destiny. It is not that I am unhappy in where I have come to in life it has just while watching the show, I couldn't help but be reminded of the what ifs. It's been awhile since I have come across a piece of theatre that has made me truly think about life & where I'm headed. It was a nice change of pace from the usual fluff.

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