PEN&INKee^POSSIBILITIES: There’s no shame in getting a little help from friends

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By Kirsten Laskey

When I was in high school, my mother and I attended almost every traveling Broadway musical show that came to Denver. She bought the tickets as Christmas or birthday presents but there was another gift, the opportunity to share the show with her.

I always remember our car rides back home; we would talk about the show the whole way.

After having a conversation about “Showgirls” or “Bring In ‘Da Noise Bring In ‘Da Funk,” the musicals always seemed more significant and profound after our discussions than the hundreds of times I would listen to the CD soundtracks. Our talks opened up new thoughts and ideas about a particular show that I had never considered previously.

It wasn’t until I went to a few theater performances alone, however, that I realized how much the company of others can add to the whole viewing experience.

Just as the performers hope for a full house to share their art, the individuals in the auditorium need someone with whom to critique the show during intermission and to whisper comments to throughout the performance.

In short, I believe in order to truly enjoy the theater or a concert, or whatever, one needs to include other people.

When you go by yourself, all you have is the program. In the company of others, they can point out things you did not notice or interpret things differently. You can learn a lot from the person sitting next to you.

Besides learning more, in my opinion, the entertainment also increases.

When you are by yourself, the surroundings sometimes seem to be more in focus than the play; a cough, the hardness of the seat, the temperature of the room – seem to snatch your attention away from the show. There is no one to distract you from things that usurp your senses.

A theater companion directs your mind to what matters, the play.

When you are by yourself, it is difficult to take everything in; the company of others, however, helps identify specific dialog, sets, costumes, or music that you may have missed.

Your companions point out things you did not notice or interpret the performance differently.