Good friends, dinner, and a play (An Inspector Calls)

The snow is in its melting stage.

Last night we had a wonderful time with our friends as we went downtown and took in a play at the Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier.

Our friends picked us up and we went downtown, braving the crazy traffic and yet somehow slipping through in way better time than any of us had expected. We had a wonderful dinner at Riva Crab House after giving over the car to the valet. The strange thing about the valet at Navy Pier is that once you get it validated by the restaurant (where we usually go anyway), the price is less expensive than parking it yourself in the adjacent parking area.

We always have an especially good time with our friends as we have so much in common: three sons, living in Deerfield, their being members of the same catholic parish we once belonged to, and also taking care of grandkids. More importantly, these are people who have a beautiful view of life, one that is imbued with a Carpe Diem, life is good set of themes, but also one that is completely aware of the reality that so much in life is less than perfect and thus we need to go with the flow. It is also nice being with people who are not judgmental and not imprisoned by a fear of the modern times we live in. In short, being with them is a sincere, heavy upper.

After finishing our meal, we sauntered down to the theatre on the other end of Navy Pier. There, we went into the theatre to see ‘An Inspector Calls,’ a completely British production of JB Priestley’s. Last night was their opening night and sitting beside us were the parents of a young man with a role in the play. He is a local boy, from Highland Park, and one of the few actors in the play that is not a Brit. It is a British Touring company, after all.

It was a very different play with a fantastic set and directed by Stephen Daldry. At first, it seemed tough to follow, but it soon morphed into a play that somehow reminded me of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ in that one had the sense of being warned of one’s culpability and of its ramifications. It pointed out as well that when things happen, we are all involved in the outcome, especially when our actions may have been negative or hurtful. Many of us do bad things, rationalize them, and then when we are not called out on them, forget whatever happened. The play really made the audience think.

Is there any better way to spend an evening than to have the opportunity to be with wonderful people, break bread with them, and see a great play? I don’t think so.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Life in general, Theatre, Thoughts and philosophy, United Kingdom. Bookmark the permalink.

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